Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The big, dry waterfall

Continuing through the park at Yuntaishan, you reach the Quanpu and Tanpu valleys (Quanpuxia and Tanpuxia in the local tongue).

It is a narrow valley cut down through predominantly limestone (with some intervals of sandstone), which is part of a platform that has been raised significantly by neotectonic activity over the past 25 million years.

The fractured zones of the rock are vulnerable to rapid erosion, hence the near vertical down-cutting by the rivers in this area.

After a long hike through the gorge, which is decorated by numerous small waterfalls and springs, you reach the highest waterfall in China--a 314 m drop.

Unfortunately it was dry. Now I want a refund.

The Tanpu valley is similar, but with working waterfalls (albeit smaller).

Unlike many rivers in China, this one at least had living things in it.

The last time I got to play with tadpoles was probably about 40 years ago.


  1. Good god, Mickey, China has some absolutely crazy topography. And that's just Hubei. I never knew it was so craggy there, that looks like what I'd expect Yunnan to look like.

    It's amazing that China ever became such a huge kingdom with all those cliffs and mountains everywhere.

    1. The secret is the loess. The constant addition of minerals to the soil every year over the entire growing area of the Great Loess Plain is what let China have such a large population in the first place.

    2. Actually, I was referring to geographic barriers to expansion. China could have been a massively-populated region of 100 small kingdoms.

      Though I guess as long as all those massive rivers in China were navigable for their entire length, that would have given them the opportunity to move around the big geographic barriers. Or maybe 5000 years of building roads could have done it.

    3. Most of the population was on the great loess plain, which is cut by the Yellow River (Huang He). Lots of sculptures around here show a mother carrying a baby--the meaning is that Huang He is the mother, and the nation of China is the baby.

      The mountains and escarpments do cover large areas of China, but there was still enough contiguous flat land to get a good-sized nation.