We have prepared three routes, including Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall - Subsidence Monitoring Station - Reclaimed Water System (Route I), Zhoukoudian Site- Fangshan Global Geopark Museum - ShiDu karst landform (Route II), and Great Wall - Yanqing Global Geopark (Route III) for the As2018 participants. Brief introduction to each route is made as follows.
Route One (Route I): Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall - Subsidence Monitoring Station - Reclaimed Water System
Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall
The Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall (Figure 1) introduces the long history of the immortal city-Beijing, exhibits the great achievements of Beijing urban planning construction, and prospect the splendid future of Beijing city development. The 4-floor exhibition hall, with an exhibition area of 8,000 m2, is serving as a patriotism education base and an exchange center for international experts and scholars.
Figure 1 Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall
Tianzhu Station for Land Subsidence Monitoring
More than 80% of municipal water is mined from aquifers in Beijing. Over-exploration of groundwater has led to land subsidence in some regions. Seven stations have been setup to monitor the land subsidence in the urban areas. We will visit the Tianzhu Station for Land Subsidence Monitoring (Figure 2).
Figure 2 Tianzhu station for land subsidence monitoring
Reclaimed Water in the Chaobai River
Water is the key issue for urban development in Beijing. There are no perennial rivers across the city due to the dams in the mountains and the decline in groundwater tables. Reclaimed water has been used to fill the riverbeds, in order to restore ecological systems of the rivers (Figure 3). We will visit the water treatment plan and the river sight of the Chaobai River with reclaimed water, and monitoring systems of shallow groundwater.
Figure 3 Reclaimed water in the Chaobai River
Route Two (Route II): Zhoukoudian Site- Fangshan Global Geopark Museum - ShiDu karst landform
The Zhoukoudian Site
The Zhoukoudian is situated around 50 km to the southwest of the urban district of Beijing, where the world-famous Peking Man lived about half million years ago. The geographical coordinates of the site are 39。41’N and 115。51’E.
The Zhoukoudian Site has been put on the list of sites to be protected for their historical and cultural value at national level by the State Council since 1961. It has been inscribed on the World Heritage List by the UNESCO in 1987.
More than twenty localities have been open to the public, including Peking Man Cave, Upper Cave and New Cave (Figure 4).
Figure 4 The Zhoukoudian Peking Man Museum
Fangshan Global Geopark Museum
The Fangshan Global Geopark Museum is located in Changgou of Fangshan District, which covers an area of 6.11 hectares with construction area of 10,000 m2. The design conception of the Museum is novel and incredible. Conforming to the natural topography and applying the geographical materials, the overall construction perfectly interprets the orogeny and profoundly makes a metaphor for the human origin (Figure 5). The whole building fully embodies the feature: “respecting the natural mechanism, and utilizing the native terrain”, which is full of science, informative and interest.
Figure 5 The Fangshan Global Geopark Museum
The museum includes six showrooms:
(1) Opening hall: It consists of the preface, sand table model, LED display, relief composition, showing the cultural landscape and geological heritage of the eight parks.
(2) Evolution history hall: This hall tells the history of Chinese geological evolution of the different development periods of China Fangshan Global Geopark, through the evolution of rock, tectonic evolution, and biological evolution.
(3) Eight-Park Hall: It highlights six features of the park, replicating the eight Parks into one unit.
(4) Domestic and international geological park hall: It shows the features of the global world geological parks and introduces their development overview.
(5) Physical specimen hall: It popularizes the knowledge of geology, earth science by various rock and mineral specimens.
(6) Prospect hall: It describes the birth and the development of China Fangshan Global Geopark.
ShiDu karst landform
The ShiDu is located in the southwest of fangshan district in Beijing, is the only place with the large-scale karst landform in the north China. The ShiDu is a river valley of Juma river cutting the northern end of the Taihang Mountains, with the width of 20 km.
Route Three (Route III): Great Wall - Yanqing Global Geopark
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China is a man-made structure that was constructed over two thousand years ago and took about 100 years to complete.
Just like a huge dragon (Figure 6), the Great Wall winds up and down across desert, grasslands, mountains, and plateaus, stretching approximately 6700 Km from east to west. It is a military project built to defend against northern nomadic invaders during different periods of time in ancient China. It embodies the wisdom of ancient Chinese people and serves as a symbol of their persistence and diligence as well.
The Great Wall is wide enough at the top for five horses or ten men to walk side by side. Along the wall are watchtowers, where soldiers used to keep watch. Fires were lit on the towers as a warning when the enemy came.
Figure 6 The Great Wall near Beijing
Yanqing Global Geopark
Yanqing Global Geopark of China is located at a transitional zone between North China plain and Inner Mongolian plateau. It is one of the famous naming places of Yanshanian movement, liking a shining pearl embedded on the south slope of magnificent Yanshan Mountains (Figure 7). Yanqing Geopark, taking the Precambrian marine carbonates as its material basis, dominated by the Mesozoic Yanshanian movement related geoheritage, is a comprehensive geopark by integrating the tectonic, sedimentary, paleontologic, magmatic geoheritage and North-China-type karst landforms into a whole.
Figure 7 The Yanqing global geopark of China
The Geopark has experienced a long geological history, and created abundant geoheritage sites. On the bedding planes of thousand-meter carbonate rocks formed about 1.9 Ga to 0.8 Ga ago, there are various and complex ripple marks. It also has particular angle unconformity in the geologic history; as well as the various intrusive rocks, extrusive rocks and many contact relations formed in the different stages of Yanshanian movement; furthermore, there are large-scale piedmont fault, nearly vertical strata, huge dome, anticline and magnificient monoclinal structures formed in Yanshanian movement.