On the growth of national geoparks in China: distribution, interpretation, and regional comparison
Since the year 2000 China has created 139 National Geoparks; it started under the guidance of the former UNESCO's Division of Earth Science, and has therefore become one of the pioneers in this aspect. Many National Geoparks in China have been described over the past decade, but an understanding of the range of various landform features and their connection with geological and climatic constraints has not previously been published. Based on an increasing awareness of National Geoparks, the aim of this contribution is to provide a comprehensive overview of the National Geoparks of China by reviewing the geological heritage and their intrinsic linkages with geological and climatic controls. A regional comparison of the widespread clastic and karst Geopark landforms indicates that the development of these terrains can only be understood within a synthesis of tectonic constraints, climatic changes and lithological properties, whereas the variety of types, forms, scales and development patterns reflect processes in various climatic settings.
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