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Geoheritage

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 765–782 | Cite as

Geoheritage Values of the Quaternary Hantangang River Volcanic Field in the Central Korean Peninsula

  • Youngwoo Kil
  • Kun Sang Ahn
  • Kyung Sik Woo
  • Kwang Choon Lee
  • Yong-Joo Jwa
  • Woochul Jung
  • Young Kwan SohnEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

The Quaternary Hantangang River Volcanic Field (HRVF) in the central part of the Korean Peninsula hosts unique volcanic landforms associated with fluvial topography. The volcanic field consists of a series of basaltic lava flows, ca. 0.1 to 0.6 Ma old, which originated from two source vents in DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; North Korea) and flowed along a 110 km long stretch of paleo-river channels to the terminus in the northern part of ROK (Republic of Korea; South Korea). Afterwards, the lavas were eroded by the re-established river system, producing an array of precipitous exposures of columnar-jointed lavas along the channel walls, a number of waterfalls, and other fluvial landforms. The Hantangang River National Geopark was established in 2015 based on the volcanic geoheritage values of the region. Eighteen geosites in the geopark show high geodiversity and can be divided into five major groups of geotopes, including (1) volcanic landforms, (2) fluvial landforms, (3) pre-Quaternary basement rocks, (4) Quaternary deposits associated with archeological ruins, and (5) warm spring. Several geosites are related to ecological, cultural, and historical features. Here, we provide field-based documentations of the geoheritage values of these geotopes, regarding (1) the processes of terrestrial lava flows along a river valley, (2) landform evolution through the interplay between lava flows and fluvial erosion, and (3) the relationship between geological processes and ecological, historical, cultural, and archeological values. The geoheritage values of the Quaternary HRVF may justify for a UNESCO Global Geopark status in the future.

Keywords

Volcanic geoheritage Lava flow Flood basalt Fluvial topography Hantangang River Volcanic Field 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the application preparation project of the Hantangang National Geopark of Korea for UNESCO Global Geopark which was funded by the Gyeonggi-do Provincial Government. All the local government people of Cheorwon-gun, Pocheon-si, and Yeoncheon-gun are appreciated for their enthusiastic efforts during the project. The authors are grateful to Mr. J. H. Choi and L. Kim at the Natural Heritage Institute of Korea for his contribution to fieldwork. Miss S. O. Ju kindly revised some figures and photos. K. Németh provided a number of helpful comments to improve the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© The European Association for Conservation of the Geological Heritage 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Energy and Resources EngineeringChonnam National UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Earth ScienceChosun UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of GeologyKangwon National UniversityChuncheonRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of New Energy and Resource EngineeringSangji UniversityWonjuRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Department of Geology and Research Institute of Natural ScienceGyeongsang National UniversityJinjuRepublic of Korea

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