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).

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tunnel in the Taihang mountains

A couple of hours north of Zhengzhou, in the outskirts of Xinxiang city, is an area with a number of villages built on mountain plateaux. These lie on the Henan section of the Taihang mountains, which is really a large escarpment that crosses three provinces in northern China. I have visited other sections of this escarpment here, here, here, and here.

One such village is Guoliang Cun, which for many years was only reachable by a "sky ladder", which is a goat trail. The village was isolated and remained in poverty until in the 1970s, the villagers decided to make their own tunnel through the cliff so that the village could be connected to the main valley road.

A section of the tunnel, viewed from across the valley

The red cliffs are a distinctive feature of the Taihang mountain complex. They consist of reddish Neoproterozoic sandstones, with cross-bedding on a metre scale. Ripple sets are well defined on some horizons.

Cross-bedded sandstone, about a metre thick

Ripple casts in the ceiling

The tunnel was carved out of the rock using hand tools. Local lore has the men hanging off the side of the cliff at the beginning, although I'm not sure how true that is. The tunnel is uneven and is marked by numerous windows of variable size--apparently these were used more for disposing of rock debris during the construction of the tunnel. They provide the only lighting in the tunnel at present.


Gazing out the window

Lookout over the entrance to the village

Still pond near village entrance

The village still has that "land that time forgot" feel, especially when compared to the modern cities of China. Naturally, the town is organized around extracting money from tourists. Most of the buildings are old stone buildings, the exception being the hotels that have been built starting about ten years ago.

No comments:

Post a Comment