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Restrictions on access to some geosites proposed
20 June 2009
South China Morning Post

Access may be restricted to some sites in the planned new geopark stretching across the eastern New Territories.

For reasons of safety and protection of sensitive areas, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department says it may require visitors to get permission before visiting some of the geological features that will be showcased in the park.

Access control will be part of the management and conservation measures set out in a proposal to be submitted to the mainland's Ministry of Land and Resource in a move to have the area designated a national geopark.

"For public safety and for proper protection of geological features that are delicate or otherwise easily affected, we need to consider access control to sensitive geosites," the department said.

One of the measures to be considered would be assigning a time slot for each visiting tour to minimise the number of people at a particular site at any one time, geopark taskforce member Young Ng Chun-yeong said.

The department is working on an "activity signal system" to display the danger levels and feasibility of various activities under different conditions such as bad weather.

The sites that will form the park stretch from the northeastern to southeastern New Territories.

They include hexagonal volcanic rock pillars in Sai Kung that are considered to be one of the world's largest clusters of such formations.

Similar features can also be seen on remote north Ninepin Island, to which local tour operators are already organising visits despite the lack of facilities.

The department issued a code yesterday for visiting geosites, including a 12-point list of guidelines offering safety tips and advice.

Visitors are advised to pay attention to weather and tidal information in planning a trip, and remain alert to potential hazards during their visit. A clear route should be planned before departure to let all members of the tour know the itinerary.

They are also reminded to wear appropriate hiking shoes, and bring along weatherproof clothing and first-aid kits.

They are also advised to avoid slippery, unstable and heavily eroded rock surfaces, and never go alone to visit the sites.

Visitors are also warned that it is an offence to dig up, damage or deface rock features.

Officials said that after months of promoting the natural attractiveness of the geosites, it was time to focus more on safety issues, in expectation of a rising number of visitors in the summer holiday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
SCED: Geopark a new attraction for tourists
Government Press Release
Saturday, February 6, 2010



Hong Kong is rich in natural scenic beauty. The opening of the Hong Kong National Geopark adds yet another valuable treasure to the diversity of Hong Kong’s tourist attractions.

"The geopark offers visitors a refreshing experience in addition to Hong Kong's glittering metropolitan life," the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, said during a visit to the High Island Geo Trail together with the Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong, Mr Shigekazu Sato, today (February 6). The High Island Geo Trail is rated No.1 among the "Top Ten Hong Kong Natural Attractions" with its unique landforms.

Mrs Lau said: "Hong Kong is endowed with a rich variety of natural scenic spots with unique characteristics and amazing beauty. With the growing popularity of green tourism, the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) has stepped up co-operation with the travel trade to promote Hong Kong's natural attractions."

Following the success of the "Great Outdoors Hong Kong" green tourism promotion campaign launched by the HKTB last year, which attracted large numbers of hikers from the region, including Japan, Mrs Lau said she believed that even more visitors would be attracted to explore the richness of the Hong Kong National Geopark, hiking trails and outlying islands.

Speaking after the visit, Mr Sato said he was enchanted with the beautiful hexagonal rock pillars in the High Island Geo-Area. "It is a wonderful experience to be able to see first hand the geological wonders and to enjoy the lush greenery and fresh air of Hong Kong's countryside.

"In the eyes of many Japanese visitors, Hong Kong has always been a place of shopping and gourmet, but actually Hong Kong is a city of contrast and colour. From high-end shopping malls to bustling markets, ancient Chinese temples to glass-curtained skyscrapers, neon-lit streets to verdant countryside - everyone would surely find something to satisfy his or her appetite," he said.

Noting that many people in Japan are nature lovers, Mr Sato said he believed that the newly opened geopark, together with the many other green attractions in Hong Kong, would definitely be a big draw for them.

Also joining the expedition today were the Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism), Miss Yvonne Choi; the Commissioner for Tourism, Mr Philip Yung; the Deputy Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Dr Leung Siu-fai; the Deputy Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong, Mr Daisuke Matsunaga, and the Executive Director of the HKTB, Mr Anthony Lau.

They started with a visit to the Geopark Visitor Centre at the Lions Nature Education Centre in Tsiu Hang, Sai Kung, which was opened in December 2009 by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to provide the public with an overview of the Hong Kong National Geopark and to showcase interesting rock and fossil specimens.

They then toured the East Dam of High Island Reservoir, where they viewed the sea stack at Po Pin Chau, before touring the spectacular hexagonal columns and S-shaped columns, as well as associated geological features such as the fault, the Mafic ***** and the joints.

The High Island Trail is one of the eight geo-areas of the Hong Kong National Geopark. More information about the geopark rock wonders can be found at (www.geopark.gov.hk/en_index.html).

The HKTB has been actively promoting Hong Kong's natural attractions through different channels and activities. Under the "Hong Kong Nature Kaleidoscope" programme, visitors can take part in a range of eco-oriented tours, such as the Northeast New Territories Island Hopping Tour, Tai O Eco-tour, Long Valley Eco-tour, Mai Po Wetland Experience, Hong Kong Wetland Tours and Dolphin Watching Tours, to explore Hong Kong's nature. In October 2009, the HKTB launched a brand new "Great Outdoors Hong Kong!" promotion, highlighting Hong Kong's unique hiking experiences to visitors. Details are available on HKTB's website, (www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/attractions/green.html).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Task Force on Hong Kong Geopark delegation visits Japan
Monday, April 26, 2010
Government Press Release

A delegation of the Task Force on Hong Kong Geopark is visiting Japan from April 24 to 27 to gain an in-depth understanding of the strategy to manage geoparks and promote public awareness of geo-conservation.

The delegation visited Itoigawa Global Geopark and San'in Coast Geopark during their stay in Japan and will also meet members of the Japan Geopark Committee.

"Japan has set a good example in pursuing the key objectives of conservation, education and sustainable development of geoparks. We have much to learn from their experience. The visit will help foster co-operation between Hong Kong and Japan in research and geoheritage conservation," the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Mr Alan Wong, said.

The delegation visited Itoigawa Global Geopark today (April 26). The whole city of Itoigawa is designated as a geopark, with 24 geosites showcasing a wide variety of geo-attractions. The rocks there have a history of over 500 million years. Located at the north of the great fault line, the Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line, the geopark forms the backdrop to two distinctive cultures in east and west Japan, reflected in their cuisines, dialects and culture. Itoigawa Global Geopark is a sister geopark of Hong Kong National Geopark.

The delegation will meet members of the Japan Geopark Committee at the Tsukuba Geological Museum tomorrow to exchange views and experiences with the aim of better conserving and promoting geological attractions.

Yesterday, the delegation visited San'in Coast Geopark. It became one of the seven national geoparks in Japan in December 2008, just one year before Hong Kong established its own national geopark. Like Hong Kong National Geopark, San'in Coast Geopark is preparing to seek global geopark status from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Situated along a rocky coastline with a fascinating assortment of geological features, such as sea arches and sea stacks formed by wave erosion over time, San'in Coast Geopark is said to be "geological museum". Tottori Sand Dunes, a unique topographical feature formed by deposits brought by the river to the sea, is a famous attraction.

During the trip, the delegation enjoyed a boat ride to look at the amazing spiral pattern on rhyolites at close proximity, and visited the Nature Museum and Geopark Centre to have a better understanding of how Japan educated visitors to preserve these geosites of significance.

Task force members joining the visit include Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Fung Tung; Chairman of the Association for Geoconservation of Hong Kong, Mr Young Ng; Director of the Conservancy Association, Ms Betty Ho; Chairman of the Tai Po Environmental Association, Dr Yau Wing-kwong; member of the Geotechnical Engineers Registration Committee, Dr Eric Li; and Assistant Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Mr Joseph Sham.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Seminar on development of Hong Kong Geopark at Hong Kong Central Library
Monday, November 15, 2010
Government Press Release

A talk entitled "Hong Kong Geopark - Present•Future" will be held from 2.30pm to 4pm on November 27 (Saturday) at the Lecture Theatre of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL).

The seminar, jointly organised by the Hong Kong Public Libraries of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Association for Geoconservation Hong Kong, will be conducted in Cantonese.

Chairman of the Association for Geoconservation Hong Kong, Mr Young Ng Chun-yeung, will share his experience and the problems encountered during the past year's geopark-related projects.

He will also evaluate the potential short- and long-term impact on Hong Kong of successful accreditation as a United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Geopark, and further inspire the audience to ponder the future of Hong Kong Geopark.

Mr Ng is the founder of the Association for Geoconservation Hong Kong and a pioneer in promoting geological conservation and the popularisation of geoscience in Hong Kong, and is directly involved in the assessment, planning and nomination of Hong Kong National and UNESCO Global Geoparks. He also designs and writes the geotourism training course for the Hong Kong Government's Skills Upgrading Scheme, and is one its few accredited instructors.

Mr Ng has authored and co-authored over seven books and has published more than 30 papers on geotourism and geoparks since 2004. He is a key member of the Hong Kong Geopark Taskforce, a committee member of Tourism Earthscience and Geopark Research Institute of the Geological Society of China, advisor to China Leiqiong Global Geopark, member of the Australian Geoparks Network and a member of the Hong Kong Country and Marine Parks Board.

To tie in with the seminar, an exhibition displaying topographical and geological maps of Hong Kong is being held at the Map Library on the 5th floor of the HKCL until the end of December.

Admission is free for both seminar and exhibition. Seating at the seminar will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. For enquiries, please call 2921 0351.
 

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http://www.geopark.gov.hk/

The Global Geoparks Network (GGN), which is supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), announced its acceptance of Hong Kong Geopark's application for membership of the GGN at the 10th European Geoparks Network Conference in Norway on September 17 (Norway time). Subsequent to becoming a member of the GGN, Hong Kong Geopark was officially named "Hong Kong Global Geopark of China".

由聯合國教科文組織支持的世界地質公園網絡於九月十七日(挪威時間)在挪威舉行的第十屆歐洲地質公園會議上宣布,接納香港國家地質公園加入為該網絡的新成員。香港地質公園成為世界地質公園網絡成員後,現已正式命名為「中國香港世界地質公園」

香港地質公園 Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/hkgeopark/


(I searched this page using hkskyline's Forum Index. really appreciate his effort.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
1.4億萬年前最後爆發 港有超級火山
2012年08月28日(二)



果洲群島的柱狀火山岩。


今次發現的超級火山位於糧船灣一帶(箭嘴示)。


香港雖是彈丸之地,但在遠古年代,香港東南部的糧船灣原來有一座超級火山。土木工程拓展署經多年地質考察,確認香港首次發現有古代超級火山,直徑長達十八公里,屬中國東南面地區最大型的火山,噴出的火山灰體積逾一萬三千億立方米,火山在一億四千萬年前最後一次爆發後,形成了蔚為奇觀的香港特色地貌六角柱石。有岩石保育協會指今次確認有助本港申請該區列為世界自然遺產,但中電正計劃於火山口上興建海上風力發電場,將對該區地貌及景觀構成嚴重影響。

土木工程拓展署本周四將在果洲群島對開海面,介紹香港首次發現的古代超級火山。該署指整個華南東部及香港在一億多年前屬火山地帶,由糧船灣伸延至果洲群島的地帶更是一個超級火山,該署已在具代表性位置抽取石頭樣本交予外國化驗,確認石頭年份。超級火山是以火山灰噴出的體積界定,火山灰體積達一萬億立方米以上,便可稱為超級火山。但該火山現時已無火山爆發威脅。

該署官員稱,糧船灣超級火山何時形式已無從稽考,但它最後一次爆發約於一億四千萬年前,當時該火山噴出逾一萬三千億立方米熾熱火山灰,量厚且質量均衡,火山灰冷卻形成了規則的巨大六角柱石地貌表徵。該超級火山爆發後出現傾斜,部分浸於海水中,加上逾萬年的風化及侵蝕,現已無法看到一座完整的火山形狀。火山上部分為火山岩,較深層部分則為花崗岩,由淺至深從西貢向九龍及香港島伸延。

威力等於冰島火山萬倍

香港中文大學地理與資源管理學系副教授伍世良指,超級火山是以火山的噴發量來計算,噴發系數一般超過八,便屬最高一級,去年五月冰島格里姆火山爆發威力雖大,但以火山爆發指數評估,糧船灣超級火山爆發威力相當於冰島火山的一萬倍。

香港地貌岩石保育協會主席吳振揚稱,本港○九年獲批准國家地質公園時已發現該處有超級火山,但未獲國際確認,今次不但進一步驗證其國家地質公園的價值,亦有助本港向聯合國申請最高保護級別的世界自然遺產。
 

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We're sitting on a supervolcano
The Standard
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hong Kong sits on an ancient supervolcano - but don't panic as the last eruption took place 140 million years ago.

Situated in the southeastern part of the territory, the "High Island Supervolcano" is the first of its kind discovered in the SAR as well as in southeastern China, according to the Civil Engineering and Development Department.

The department will hold a media briefing on Thursday off the Ninepin Islands on the discovery.

"This important finding is the result of geological surveying in Hong Kong carried out by the department," it said.

A paper on the discovery was published in a US geophysical journal, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, in January.

"The upper part of this extinct volcano is represented by the volcanic rock covering a large area within the geopark in eastern Sai Kung," the department said.

"It extends from High Island to the Ninepin Islands.

"The cooled and solidified ash from the supervolcano eruptions formed spectacular columns.

"Progressively deeper parts of the supervolcano, represented by granite, extend from Sai Kung toward Kowloon and Hong Kong Island."

An expert said citizens need not worry about the supervolcano erupting in their lifetime because it is already extinct.

According to the Hong Kong Geopark website: "Rocks of the Ninepins date back to the age of dinosaurs - about 140 million years ago. It is believed that this group of islands were created by a major volcanic eruption which produced about 70 cubic kilometers of volcanic ash."

In 1980, Mount St Helens in Washington state spewed out "only two cubic km of ash when it exploded while the catastrophic Krakatoa eruption in Indonesia in 1883 produced 12 cubic km of volcanic substances."

Meanwhile, CNN will broadcast in its World's Untold Stories on Friday that one of the world's largest supervolcanoes - which sits squarely in Yellowstone Park, and lying just eight kilometers beneath the Earth's surface "could wipe out" the United States.

"It's a sleeping giant that's been at rest for more than 600,000 years, but its eruption is a potential catastrophic event that could kill millions," CNN said on its website.
 
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