Glacial stone pits in Qingshan Reserve
( 2003-08-14 15:24) (China.org.cn)
Potted landscapes created in
glacial stone pits developed from ancient glacial action are distributed over
the geological park of the Qingshan Natural Reserve in the Keshiketeng Banner of
Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Study of their formation in recent years has led scientists
to conclude that the stone pits were formed during the Quaternary Glacial Period
some 2.5 million years ago. Surging torrents within the glaciers combined with
stones to form deep whirlpool-shaped pits.
According to scientists, the pits clearly demonstrate the existence of
glaciers here, important historical evidence in understanding changes that took
place in the local climate and environment long ago. The large-scale pits in the
Qingshan Natural Reserve, unique in terms of characteristics and preservation,
are seldom seen both at home and abroad and can be rated as a unique type of
characteristic of the landscape.
The Qingshan Nature Reserve is located in the southeast part of Daxinganling
Mountains, 25 km south of Jingpeng Township of the Keshiketeng Banner. The
glacial stone pit groups and granite forests stretch some 20 km. The pit forest,
with all kinds of shapes and positions, has its main peak at an elevation of
1,574 meters, with many cliffs and precipices, trees, grasslands and springs. A
path paved with stones, sometimes visible and sometimes hidden, zigzags to the
top of the mountain.
Walking along the path of 2,002 steps, people will find a
flat and wide top. Pits are distributed everywhere on granite slopes, assuming
various shapes such as a jar, bucket, spoon, and basin. The diameter of the pits
normally falls within a range from 50 cm to three meters, with a depth of 30cm
to 1.8 meters.
The stone jars or stone buckets, as local people call them, are actually
stone pits. There are more than 300 distributed in a two square km area on the
top of the mountain.
Earth and water have accumulated in the pits so that flowers, grasses and
plants grow like beautiful natural potted landscapes.