在线订票 简体中文   English   Set as Homepage   For Collection National Geopark   4A Scenery Spot   National Natural Heritage
Position:Home Page > Geological Museum of Zhijindong Cave >

Features of Zhijindong Cave

2015-03-23 18:26 | Author:gzzjd | Reading:amount |



History of Zhijindong Cave
The Zhijindong Cave was formerly named “Dajidong”, “Qianhongdong” and “Zhijin Heaven”.
When it was found in April 1980, it was called “Dajidong”. Its tourism value was recognized so that preliminary protective measures were taken at that time.
In 1984, a photography show on “the karst cave wonders in Guizhou of China” with a majority of photographs about the sedimentary landscapes in the Zhijindong Cave, was held in the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, and made a great success. Since then the Zhijindong Cave has drawn attention from related departments of the Chinese government.
It has been open to Chinese and foreign visitors since 1985.
In 1986, the former Guizhou provincial Party secretary Hu Jintao and the former Governor Wang Chaowen led 19 people, including the leaders and engineering and technical staff from the Provincial Construction Department, Provincial Communications Department, Provincial Water Resource and Power Department, Provincial Department of Finance, Provincial Post Bureau and Provincial Planning and Design Institute, to go to Zhijin for the development and construction of the Zhijindong Cave. On March 6th 1986, the Guizhou Provincial People’s Government invited 15 famous experts and scholars in the fields of architecture, design, art and lighting from around the country to visit the Zhijindong Cave and make suggestions for its internal and external construction, the planning of Zhijin county and the siting of hotels.
In 1994, the Zhijindong Cave joined the International Show Caves Association.
 
Main research achievements
 
Compliments from celebrities
 
“Global treasure” - Sun Daguang, famous geologist and former minister of Ministry of Geology in China
 “King of Caves” - Liu Yi, former director of China National Tourism Administration.
 “You will never know the wonder of caves unless you have been to Zhijindong Cave; you will find another wonderful landscape underground” - Qian Qichen, vice premier of China State Council.
 “Back from the visit to Huangshan Mountain, you have no interest for other mountains. The same is true of Zhijindong Cave. The places visited look really like a holy place where gods and angels used to live. So I began to believe that the heaven palace can be found in the world of mankind.” - Feng Mu, China famous writer.
 “Zhijindong Cave is an outstanding model among karst caves. I will recommend it to my friends in Speleology.” - Mr. Salamon, president of International Union of Speleology and French Karst Union.
 
 Features of Zhijindong Cave
 
Zhijindong Cave-The most distinctive natural scenery and an important area with aesthetic value among cave karsts
(1)The show cave with the highest chamber distribution density in the world so far
(2)The show cave with the highest distribution density and richest type of stalactites in the world at present.
(3)The show cave owning the most precious morphotype of stalactites in the world at present.
To sum up, Zhijindong Cave owns the systematicness and completeness of evolution of karst cave and is the most distinctive natural scenery and an important area with aesthetic value among cave karst, which stands out from numerous caves listed in the World Geopark internet and World Natural Heritage Directory. It has been highly praised by Feng Mu in his poem, famous contemporary writer and literature critic. His poem goes as below: “Back from the visit to Huangshan Mountain, you have no interest for other mountains. The same is true of Zhijindong Cave”. It has been ranking the first of “The most beautiful cave in China” selected by Chinese National Geography magazine. For this reason, Mr. Salamon, president of International Union of Speleology and French Karst Unions said after his investigation:“Zhijindong Cave is an outstanding model among karst caves. I will recommend it to my friends in Speleology.”
 
Landscape type and distribution of Zhijindong Cave
There are mainly 5 types of cave landscapes in Zhijindong Cave: (1) Various secondary chemical sediments (i.e. stalactites); (2) Cave form (i.e. cave chamber); (3) Cave biotic deposits; (4) Cave collapsed landscape, (5) other cave landscapes.
 
 
Majestic Zhijindong Cave
Comparison of world cave halls
Cave chamber of Zhijindong Cave - the cave chamber group with the highest distribution density in the world so far
So far, most caves across the world only develop 1-5 chambers, but only 1-2 chambers with the area larger than 10,000 m2. However, in Zhijindong Cave, there are 13 chambers with the bottom area larger than 3,000 m2, and 6 chambers with the bottom area larger than 10,000 m2. It could be called as the first chamber group of the world. Meanwhile, the “Shiwan Mountain” chamber in Zhijindong Cave is listed as one of the largest 10 chambers all over the world with the projection area more than 25,000 m2 (Rank 8).
 
Wangshanhu Lake
Hall of Miraculous Mist
Silver Rain Palace
Moon Palace
Miaoling Hall
 
Valuable and rare Zhijindong Cave-owning the most precious morphotype of stalactites in the world at present.
 
A. Firstly, it has various high-and-large or high-but-thin speleothems, which are precious and rare, such as the huge stalagmite group consisting of more than 50 stalagmites with height up to 20m to more than 40m; the stone column with diameter of only 30-70 cm, but height of more than 20m; and the huge stone curtain group with the width and height up to 10m to more than 50m etc.
B. Secondly, it has a special flowstone dam with the largest area in a single place in the world. The total area of the dam is about 5,300 m2.
C. Lastly, it has various speleothems which can be called world treasures: “Overlord Helmet”, “Silver Rain Tree”, “Sibling Jade Tree”, “Three-class Canopy”, “Crystal Palace”, “One-Line-Sky”,“Picturesque Landscape”. All of them are unique domestically, also rare abroad.
 
Silver Rain Tree-Deodar-shaped stalagmite、
Overlord Helmet- Helmet-shaped stalagmite

Zhijin Window-Height: 51-56m, width: 36-45m, area: about 2000m2-The stone waterfall with the largest scale discovered so far in the world
 
One-Line-Sky - Palmlike column (Height: 43.6m, diameter: 1-2m) - The slimmest column discovered so far in the world
Helictites
 
Sibling Jade Tree-Deodar-shaped stalagmite - A deodar-shaped stalagmite is still under development and with the most beautiful morphotype discovered so far in the world
 
Sibling Jade Tree-Deodar-shaped stalagmite
One-Line-Sky - Palmlike column
Three-class Canopy-Helmet-shaped drapery
Picturesque Landscape-Various wall flowstones can be found here
Crystal Palace
 
Features of stalagmites in Zhijindong Cave

The abundant stalagmites are main chemical sediments in Zhijindong Cave, which are densely distributed at the 3rd and 4th layers of caves of the first main cave (cave entrance-Moon-Sun Pond-Wanshan Lake-Moon Palace-Shiwan Mountain). Most of them are huge and large stalagmites, which are grand in size, beautiful and colorful in morphology and unique in style with common shape, helmet shape, hill shape, tower shape, mushroom shape, deodar shape, lampstand shape, crutch shape, torch shape, breast shape and cup shape.
 
breast shape stalagmite、
Ancient lampstand-Lampstand-shaped stalagmite
Buddha statue- Tower-shaped stalagmite
 
 Features of columns in Zhijindong Cave

The abundant columns are main chemical sediments in Zhijindong Cave, usually developed together with stalagmites and densely distributed at the 3rd and 4th layers of caves of the first main cave (Cave entrance-Moon-Sun Pond-Wanshan Lake-Moon Palace-Shiwan Mountain). Most of them are beautiful and colorful in morphology and unique in style with common shape, shield shape, Chinese lute shape, round tower shape, palm shape, fusiform and nodular shape.
 
Features of stalactites in Zhijindong Cave

There are lots of stalactites different in sizes and scales hanging at the celling of Zhijindong Cave, and most of them are thick at the upper part and slim at the lower part. Generally speaking, they are large in scales, with a diameter of 10-90cm and length of 20-190cm. Their morphotypes mainly consist of common type (inverted cone shape or rodlike shape), flag shape, curtain shape, shield shape, lung lobe shape, tongue shape, breast shape and phototropic type.
 
Phototropic stalactite
Tongue-shaped stalactite
 
Features of soda straws in Zhijindong Cave
Soda straws have been mainly developing in the Crystal Palace brach cave in the 4th layer in Zhijindong Cave. They usually develop in certain area with a length of 10 to 20cm, an inner diameter of 2 to 6mm. There are usually water drops hanging at the bottom end, indicating they are still growing.
 
Soda straws that are still growing

Features of flowstone sediments in Zhijindong Cave
There are two kinds of flowstone sediments, that is wall flowstone sediments (formed mainly with water flowing along cave walls, such as cave flag, shield, drapery, curtain and stone waterfall) and bottom flowstone sediments (formed mainly with water flowing along cave bottom, such as stone terrace and flowstone dam).And flowstone sediments are also one of the important cave secondary sediments and landscapes. They are widely distributed in the cave with different sizes, scales and morphotypes
 
Features of shields in Zhijindong Cave
The shields in Zhijindong Cave are relatively well developed, which are mainly distributed in the branch cave of Crystal Palace and also sporadically developed in Talin Palace, Golden Mouse Palace and Pipa (Chinese lute) Palace. They are of various shapes and different sizes and scales. Meanwhile, they usually develop symbiotically with stalactites and stalagmites, together forming rare, beautiful, diverse and unique stalactites landscapes, such as shield-shaped columns, stalactites and Chinese lute-shaped columns.

Features of wall flowstones in Zhijindong Cave
Wall flowstones such as drapery, curtain, stone purdah, and stone waterfall have been developed in Zhijindong Cave, mainly distributed in the branch cave of the 4th layer. They are grand with a general height of 15 to 23m (Max.: over 30m) and width of 10 to 17m (Max.: hundreds of meters). They have various and beautiful shapes, with helmet shape, fusiform, curtain shape, waterfall shape and peach shape as theirs main shapes. Meanwhile, they usually develop jointly with other stalactites ,and combin to form grand and vivid landscape pictures.
 
Flowstone dam of water resort in Zhijindong Cave
The stone terrace and flowstone dam at Water Resort Cave Member in Zhijindong Cave. They develop along the tilt cave bottom in the overlapping and sectional developmental way with their dam width of 60 to 310cm, dam height of 30 to 110cm and dam thickness of 10 to 35cm. They separate the water body into pools of different sizes. Their contiguous development area is 5300m2, their single development area is very big so that they are relatively rare both at home and aboard.
 
Comparison of flowstone dams (calcareous tufa for the outside of caves) with a single development area over than 1,000m2 in the world

Helictites of Crystal Palace in Zhijin Palace
The helictites inside the Crystal Palace develop symbiotically with soda straws and cover a contiguous area of 3000m2 with a length of 3 to 8cm. They are various and beautiful in shape, such as branch shape, antler shape, radiation shape, flower shape, feather shape, wormlike shape, and rodlike shape. They are white as snow, exquisite, and growing, which is the rare landscape of helictite seldom seen both at home and aboard.
 
Free growth
Anthodites in blossom
 
The comparison of karst cave in world-- Back from the visit to Zhijindong Cave, you have no interest for other cave s.
 
Photo Exhibition of the main show caves in China
 
 Lingxiaoyan, Yang Chun County, Guangdong province
 Shihua cave, Fangshan, Beijing
the anchor of Huanglong Cave, zhangjiajie, Hunan province
 Yuhuadong cave, Jiangle County, Fujian Province
 coral in Jade Pool of Furong cave, Wulong county, Chongqing Municipality
Lingxiaoyan, Yang Chun County, Guangdong province
 Panlongdong of Duleyuan cave, Liuzhou city, Guangxi.
 
Photo Exhibition of the main show caves in abroad
 
-Eiskogelhöhle –     Austria-- Eiskogelhöhle
-Wind Cave       Malaysia-Wind Cave
-Abrakurrie Cave   Australia-Abrakurrie Cave
-Attahöhle            Germany-Attahöhle
-mammoth cave        America-mammoth cave
-PeşteraScarisoara   Roumania-PeşteraScarisoara
 
Characteristics of karst tiankeng in world
By 2012, there have been 92 tiankengs discovered upon scientific certification in the world so far (66 in China), and 13 karst areas where at least three tiankengs are developing (7 in china).
 
Karst area developing with over 3 (Inc. 3) tiankengs in the world
 
GrvenoJezero    GrvenoJezero--Croatia
Minyé  Minyé tiankeng--Nakanai Mt.New Britain P.N.Guinea
  Wulong tiankeng group, Chongqing
 Dayanwan and Xiaoyanwan tiankengs, Xingwen, Sichuan province
 
Zhijin Tiankeng Group
Zhijin Tiankeng group is composed of seven huge, medium and small tiankengs, such as Dacaokou Tiankeng, Xiaocaokou Tiankeng, Dachilong Tiankeng, Xiaochilong Tiankeng, Daluoquan Tiankeng, Xiaoluoquan Tiankeng and Jiayandong Tiankeng. The tiankeng group has been developing within an area of 42km2, and has a distribution density of 0.17/km2, which is one of areas in the world with the highest tiankeng distribution density. Meanwhile, Dacaokou Tiankeng is one of tiankengs with the largest volume in the world.
 
Regional geological map of Zhijin Tiankeng Group
1. Xiaozhai Tiankeng, Fengjie   2. Dashiwei tiankeng group, Leye   3. Wulong tiankeng group, Chongqing   4. Bama Haolong and Jiaole tiankeng, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 
5. Longgang Tiankeng, Yunyang, Chongqing   6. Dayanwan and Xiaoyanwan tiankengs, Xingwen, Sichuan province   7. Zhijin tiankeng group, Guizhou province
 
Dacaokou/ Xiaocaokou Tiankeng
 Dachilong Tiankeng
Xiaochilong Tiankeng
Daluoquan / Xiaoluoquan Tiankeng
 
Deep Tiankeng
Tiankeng, a super-large collapsed doline, is formed by the collapse of large underground river chamber. It is usually developed in the carbonatite stratum with huge thick vadose zone, stretching from underground to surface, with its plane width and depth up to more than one hundred meters. Having steep and enclosed palisades and deep well-shape outline, it connects to underground river at the bottom (or there might have underground river before). The ones losing underground river track or whose peripheral wall was damaged can be called degenerated tiankeng.
 
Other karst landforms
 
Karst cuesta
Cuesta, refers to the terrain with steep hill or cliff on one side (approximately vertical to rock stratum side) and gentle slope or back slope on the other side (consistent with rock surface). It is usually located in the area where the stratum bulges, which is composed of hard and gradual top layer and soft and steep lower layer formed by weathering and erosion of different degree.
 
The typical cuesta in the geopark includes, Dazhai cuesta, Lujiadu cuesta and Dacaokou cuesta, etc.They are grand in style, vertical in palisades, and vivid in shapes, having special ornamental value and aesthetic value of “grandness, dangerousness, peculiarity and incompleteness” and as well as high value on scientific research and science popularization. They consist of the general background of grand tourist environment of Zhijindong Cave Geopark.
 
Karst hill
Hills formed by karstification are karst hills with weak karstification degree. Typical type of karst hill is combined with hill and solution depression. It is of round top and mild slope, and the width of hill bottom is larger than its height with a relative height between 100m and 150m. It is mainly distributed at the region unfavorable for rapid karstification, such as carbonatite area with limestone, siliceous limestone and dolomite limestone stratum under condition of subtropical climate.
 
Karst pictographic mountain
Carbonatite at bare surface undergoes corrosion and erosion of surface running water plus biologic action for a long time, and vivid pictographic mountain is thus formed. Pictogrphic mountains are widely distributed in the geoark, typically Qigu Yingbin, Chuantoushan, Dapeng Zhanchi, Guandaoyan, Solutional Cap Rock and Sunziyan, etc.
 
High fengcong and deep depression karst Landscape
It is mainly distributed over the north area of the geopark and develops in carbonatite of Permian System and Triassic System. Peaks are high and precipitous, erected and raised up one after another with great momentum, and the elevation of most peaks is 1350-1650m, some of them are cuestas.The karst negative landform such as depression, valley, doline, sinkhole and tiankeng, etc. present in various shapes, like perfectly round shape, long striped shape, V shape, U shape or doline shape or vertical shaft shape, which develop among all peaks in criss-cross mode. The elevation at bottom is 1350-1500m; the height difference between peak and the depression (valley) is 120-200m.Their bed rock is bared with the gradient of 50-70º.These peaks and negative landforms together make up the typical shape of high fengcong and deep depression landform,which is the typical representative of high fengcong and deep depression in karst plateau area of China.Especially Fengcong is extended from Sanjia to Gouyaoyan and Fengcong is located at south side of Zhijindong cave are the most typical, magnificent and beautiful
 
Sketch map of cuesta shape
Qigu Yingbin (Guest greeting with flag and drum)
Qigu Yingbin (Guest greeting with flag and drum)
山Dazhai Cuesta
 
Zhijin Jugui (Huge turtle )
Hanhou Stone (West of Dacaokou gorge)
 
Dacaokou Cuesta
 
Distributing characteristics and features of Zhijin karst
 
Distribution Characteristics of of Zhijin karst Landscapes
The primary attraction of the karst landscapes in the geopark are the Zhijindong Cave and its secondary chemical sediments, followed by the gorges, natural bridges and tiankengs. The cuesta, fengcong, karst hills, light through caves, surface rivers, underground rivers, pictographic mountains, dolines, dry valleys form a magnificent natural fence, serving as a natural environmental background for the geopark. They are combined together to form a frame of the tourism resources in the core region of the geopark. The overall form of the spatial combination of the landscapes is “one cave and two gorges”, the general features of the landscapes are “surface rivers alternating with underground rivers, and caves, gorges, bridges and mountains speckling with each other”, and the spatial combination framework for the landscapes is formed by “caves, gorges and tiankengs”. The Zhijin karst landscapes are clustered together, presenting a regularly linear distribution: the Zhijindong Cave, the Qijiehe River and the Dongfenghu Lake distribute relatively independently, with one underground and two aboveground; and the Qijiehe River acts like a link to connect the three landscapes with numerous surrounding karst heritages. Generally controlled by the paleo-underground river system of the Zhijindong Cave, the Qijiehe River and the Liuchonghe River, these landscapes have a regular spatial distribution, presenting linearly in their mainstream and tributary basins.
 
Features of geoheritages of Zhijindong Cave Geopark
Zhijin karst is an outstanding example of karst landform evolution in Guizhou Plateau, and one of the most distinctive natural scenery among the world karsts as well as one of areas with important aesthetic value.
Zhijindong Cave is one of the outstanding representative places to reflect the evolution of cave karst and cave chemical sediment, and it is also the most distinctive natural scenery and an important area with aesthetic value among cave karst
Zhijin Gorge systemically and completely represents two kinds of karst gorge development modes whose develop directions are totally different.
Zhijin natural bridge and tiankeng systemically record the development and evolution process of karst natural bridge and tiankeng under different geological and geographical conditions and different geologic times.
 
Formation and evolution mode of Zhijin karst
 
Geological Background
 
In the exposed stratum of geopark, Yelang Formation and Yongningzhen Formation of Lower Triassic series dominate, with the total thickness of greater than 300m, and they distribute in the shape of strip piece. They are horizontally separated by coal measure strata of upper Permian series and shale stratum of Triassic System,and are vertically separated by soluble stratum (Huangchunba Member) and unsoluble stratum (Shabaowan Member and Jiujitan Member) of Lower Triassic series, to form distinctive aquiclude structure with coexistence of  both horizontal
and vertical aquiclude.

The geopark area is basically covered by sedimentary rocks.Basically has the following types: limestone, dolomite, mudstone, siltstone, conglomerate, sandstone, shale, marlstone and karst breccia, etc.

The geopark is located in the north side of Nanling tectonic zone that strikes EW. Within the area,the tectonic line and stratum generally strike NE, the structural deformation of stratum mainly occurred in Yanshan Epoch, and the intermittent bulge
is the overall reflection of Neotectonic movement.
Within the geopark area, anticline distributes with syncline in an alternative mode.From Chenjiazhai syncline in the northwest boundary to SE direction,there are Zhijin anticline, Taoshuwan syncline, Diaobian anticline and Lujiadu syncline, etc. Their axis all strike NE-SW, and they are dominant structures and control the movement and direction of regional underground rivers and surface rivers. For example, upstream and downstream of Qijiehe River are respectively controlled by
Diaobian syncline and Zhijin syncline.

The geopark belongs to bared and semi-bared karst mountainous area, where karst developes very well and absorptive capacity of atmospheric precipitation is very strong, and atmospheric precipitation is the main supply source of  underground water. Most of them directly supplies underground water via surface negative landform such as gorge, depression, sinkhole, tiankeng, vertical shaft and doline, etc., some of them infiltrates through fissures and joints, and forms karst fissure water to
indirectly supply underground water.
 
Natural bridges show the superlative craftmanship of the nature
 
Natural bridge
After the roofs of underground river and cave collapse, both residual ends connect to the ground yet the middle suspends. This kind of bridge-shape landform is called natural bridge.

Zhijin natural bridge group 
Zhijin natural bridge group is composed of five natural bridges, namely, Huangtupo south natural bridge, Huangtupo north natural bridge, Xiaotuoluo natural bridge, Xiniu Wangyue natural bridge and Tiangu natural bridge, which stretches over Qijiehe Gorge successively. Their nearly a hundred meter’s height and height of arch make them be magnificent both in scale and shape. The natural bridge group, which is of double-layer texture(up and down)  in general and unique double-pore bridge arc structure in some bridges, is the only huge natural bridge group with double-layer and double-pore structure discovered both at home and abroad so far.

Type of natural bridge
Currently, there are many classifying schemes for natural bridges and we reduce them to four classifying schemes
 
Schematic diagram of distribution pattern of typical natural bridge in China

In recent years, many natural bridges have been discovered in China, wherein, the karst natural bridges take the majority absolutely. They mainly distribute in southwest karst area of China, especially in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Chongqing, Guizhou province and Yunnan province, while distribute sporadically in other karst areas.They possess the spatial distribution characteristics of centrality, diversity, and zonality,etc..
 
Schematic diagram for development parameters of natural bridges
 
Xiangqiaoyan natural bridge, Luzhai, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

Yuanjiajie natural bridge, Zhangjiajie, Hunan province

Xiniu Wangyue natural bridge
 
Xiaotuoluo natural bridge

Tiangu natural bridge
 
Comparison of karst natural bridges both at home and abroad
In recent years, more and more natural bridges have been discovered in China, and they are similar in development process, scale, shape characteristics but they also have great difference.
 
Comparison with non-karst natural bridge
As for non-karst natural bridge (i.e., the natural bridges developed in non-soluble rocks) both at home and abroad, generally its scale is smaller than that of karst natural bridge.
 
 Jiudongtian natural bridge of  Dafang, Guizhou province
Tangjiaba natural bridge of Lang Mountain, Xinning, Hunan province
 Bous del Biel natural bridge of France
Fairy natural bridge of Leye, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region
Sipapu natural bridge of Utah, USA

Status of Zhijin natural bridge group in geomorphologic landscape of the same type in the world

It is the only huge natural bridge group with double-layer and double-pore structure discovered both at home and abroad so far.
Zhijin natural bridge group consisting of five natural bridges stretches over Qijiehe River Gorge successively; their nearly a hundred meter’s height and height of arch make them be magnificent both in scale and shape. The natural bridge group, which is of double-layer texture(up and down)  in general and unique double-pore bridge arc structure in some bridges, is the only huge natural bridge group with double-layer and double-pore structure discovered both at home and abroad so far.
Xiniu Wangyue Natural Bridge is a rarely seen huge curve bridge with double-pore both at home and abroad.
 
Fairyland of Gorges
Zhijin Gorges have many morphotypes of V-shape, U-shape, earth fissure shape, and blind valley shape, etc. and both genetic types of underground river and surface river, cutting down to tens or hundreds of meters, and they are the most typical deep-cutting gorges. The rivers, either as free flow or surface flow and underground flow alternatively, run through the bottom of the gorge, with grand mountains and peculiar stones standing on both sides and extending further forward. It owns extraordinary natural beauty and scientific value and is an excellent and rare natural karst gorge museum across the world.
 
 Karst gorge
In karst area, formed jointly under actions like new tectonic raising upwards, intense erosion and corrosion by water flow as well as collapse, the valley with steep brae and larger depth than its width is generally called karst gorge. It is a karst regional synthesis including karst gorge landform and coexisted peaks, body of water, rocks and organisms. In carbonatite distribution area, because the fault, fissure and joint are positions where water flow are concentrated, erosion and corrosion occur, therefore, karst gorge is easy to be formed.
The types and shapes of karst gorge are various. According to the morphology,karst gorges can be divided into V-shape gorge, narrow gorge (steep valley slope, depth much larger than width), box shape gorge, earth fissure shape (thin strip type) gorge, etc.
According to the causes of the formation,it can be classified into surface river gorge (gorge formed during the development process of surface river to the underground, developing both in karst area and non-karst area) and underground river gorge (gorge formed during development process of underground river to surface, exclusive in karst area).
 
Comparison characteristics of karst gorges at home and abroad
Karst gorge, according to the river mass, are classified into large grade, medium grade and small grade gorges.
According to the cause of formation, they can be classified into two types: gorges formed by surface river and it accounts for most part of the karst gorges, and they are classified into gorges of large, medium and small types; but gorges formed by underground river are rarely seen so far and most of them are medium and small ones, Qijiehe River Gorge is the typical example.
Large gorges of which the typical examples are Tiger Leaping Gorge and Three Gorges of Yangtze River in China, and the Grand Canyon Colorando in America.
Medium karst gorges are numerous, the typical examples are Maotiaohe River of Guizhou province, Malinghe River, Qijiehe River, Liuchonghe River, Gorge Section of the Lijiang River in Guilin of Guangxi, Tongling Gorge of Jingxi county of Guangxi, Taroko Gorge in Taiwan, etc. Medium gorges mostly locates along the upstream of larger rivers and there is water flow at the bottom with width of more than 100m and its cutting depth is of 200 ~ 300m.
There are many medium and small karst gorges at abroad, the typical examples are French Gaussian Tarn Gorge (2km wide, 300m deep, and two walls are cliffs), Belgium Lesse Gorge, Bienne Gorge at the junction of France and Switzerland, England Gordale Scar Gorge,Jamaica Rio Cobre Gorge, etc.
 
Youcaichong geofracture shape gorge
Grand Canyon Colorando in America
Three Gorges of Yangtze River in China—Wushan Gorge
French Gaussian Tarn Gorge
Belgium Lesse Gorge
 
Qijiehe River Gorge
Dongfenghu Lake Gorge
Volte face -Gouyaoyan Gorge
Morning mist in the gorge (Lujiadu Gorge)

Zhijin gorge
Composed of Dongfenghu Lake Gorge and Qijiehe River Gorge, Zhijin Gorge has morphotypes like V shape, box shape, earth fissure shape, blind valley shape, dry valley shape and so on; it is developed under different hydrogeological conditions, such as modern rivers, seasonal gullies and brooks, and underground rivers. Zhijin Gorge has two genetic types: Dongfenghu Lake Gorge developed from surface river (top-down type, i.e. develop from surface to subsurface ), Qijiehe River Gorge developed from underground river (down-top type i.e. develop from subsurface to surface).So far,the geopark is the typical area where two genetic types of gorges have been developing at the same time and in the same area both at home and abroad.It scientifically, systematically and completely reflects the karst gorge shapes and their formation under different lithological, climatic, geomorphological, hydrological and structural conditions as well as different developing stages,and is an excellent and rare karst gorge natural museum across the world.
 
Formation and evolution mode of Zhijin natural bridge and tiankeng
 
The basic mechanism for the formation of natural bridge and collapsed tiankeng: under the joint control and influence of regional tectonics, strata, continuous karstification and collapse process, overlying strata of underground river is collapsed to form these natural bridges and tiankengs. Its formation and evolution process can be divided into three stages: underground river stage→formation stage of natural bridge and collapsed tiankeng→transformation and degradation stage.
 
Formation and evolution mode of Zhijin Gorge
There are two formation and evolution modes for Zhijin Gorge, namely, top-down and down-top formation and evolution modes of gorge, and typical representative examples are Dongfenghu Lake Gorge and Qijiehe River Gorge, respectively.
(1)     Dongfenghu Lake Gorge: Typical representative of top-down formation and evolution mode of gorge
Dongfenghu Lake Gorge: when the surface water flows, in order to gain maximum hydraulic gradient, it searches for the best way to reduce its potential energy to the minimum by discharging to a lower erosion basis. This process results that the surface river erodes and cuts downward vertically continuously until it reachs basically the same level as erosion basis. During its supplement, runoff and discharge processes, karst gorge with the height being over its width in terms of size is formed gradually. We call this as top-down formulation and evolution mode of the gorge.
(2) Qijiehe River Gorge: Typical representative of down-top formation and evolution mode of gorge
Qijiehe River Gorge: it is a typical gorge developed during the process of Qijiehe River’s development from underground to the surface. At present, Zhijin double layer natural bridge group, Dacaokou Tiankeng, Xiaocaokou Tiankeng and the underground river caves at both end of upstream and downstream in the gorge are the direct proof of this geological phenomenon that it develops from underground to surface.
The formation and evolution process of Qijiehe River Gorge can be divided into three stages: underground river stage→stage of being exposed on the surface→stage of surface transformation and degradation.
 
 Formation and evolution mode of Zhijindong Cave
In the late early Pleistocene, atmospheric precipitation infiltrated along longitudinal and tensile fissures, dispersing and independently corroding, eroding as well as  laterally running along interformational fissure surface and stratification plane to form underground rivers with different development degrees and disperse directions. Among which, some underground rivers began to capture various surface water and other underground rivers, gradually forming the early main riverway of Zhijindong Cave.
In the early middle Pleistocene, After Zhijindong Cave underground river captured ancient Xinzhaihe River, its supplementary amount was increased dramatically, and its riverway became deeper, wider and longer; in the late middle Pleistocene, regional crust was bulged, therefore, the riverway of early stage was raised upwards, being formed the 3rd and 4th layer caves, meanwhile, entering the first stage of cave landscape development, which was represented by the formation of many huge stalagmite clusters; at this time, ancient Xinzhaihe River was captured by Qijiehe River, only supplementing to Zhijindong Cave during flood period, so it became underground riverway for flood discharging; about 100,000 years ago, the crust was bulged again, the riverway was raised upwards and formed the 2nd layer cave and entered the second stage of cave landscape development, which was represented by the formation of many long and slim stalagmite clusters and column clusters; from then on, Zhijindong Cave riverway has continued to submerge, forming substratum cave till now, however, it can only be supplemented indirectly by atmospheric precipitation, and the water volume decreases obviously.

In conclusion, the formation and evolution of Zhijindong Cave began in Pleistocene, went through different subsurface karst circulation and development stages: lateral fissure karst water→underground riverway→capturing surface river (ancient Xinzhaihe River)→underground river in large scale→being raised upwards and formed fossil cave→cave landscape development. After being raised upwards for several times, the original underground riverway gradually formed a 4-layer labyrinth fossil cave system, Zhijindong Cave system; there are complete types of secondary chemical sediments, which are elegant, unique, and huge.
 
Schematic diagrams for top-down formation and evolution mode of gorge
 
Schematic diagrams of formation of Zhijin Gorge (underground genesis)-tiankeng-natural bridge
 
Schematic diagram for formation and evolution of Zhijindong Cave
 


Geological Museum of Zhijindon Reservation Hotline Tel:+86-0857-7877699
Geological Museum of Zhijindong Cave

Copyright statement

1、《Features of Zhijindong Cave》this article is supported by net friend, all copyrights author, if want to reproduce, please indicate the source.

2、Reproduced of reference or informative public free information for the purpose of reference to goodwill, should not be allowed to twist 、modify the content meaning ,at the same time, you must retain this net indicate the source of manuscript and own the copyright and other legal responsibility.

3、Caused by improper for reproduced or quoted this net content of civil disputs and administrative processing or other losses,we do not undertake any responsibility。

Contact
(Time:9:30-17:00)
0857-7812018
0857-7812063
Contact QQ