“Cheongsong: a green treasure”
Celebrating Earth Heritage
Enclosed by a mountain range, Cheongsong UNESCO Global Geopark is located in the central eastern area of the Republic of Korea far from the ocean. “Cheongsong” is derived from “Cheongbo” and “Songsang,” meaning “green treasure” and “pine tree ecology,” respectively.
The Republic of Korea is situated on the eastern margin of the Eurasian Plate, below which the Pacific Plate is being subducted, with the Japanese archipelago located on the subduction boundary.
Cheongsong UNESCO Global Geopark belongs to the Kyongsang Basin, the biggest sedimentary basin in the Republic of Korea. The area presents igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, formed from the Precambrian period through the Cenozoic period. From the bottom, the geological layers of Cheongsong comprise metamorphic rock in the Precambrian period (more than 500 million years old); plutonic rock in the Triassic period (200-250 million years old); sedimentary and volcanic rocks in the Cretaceous period (60-150 million years old); intrusive, plutonic, and other rocks in the Tertiary period (2-60 million years old); and alluvial layers in the Quaternary period (less than 2 million years old). Distinctive features demonstrate the interaction between the rhyolitic volcanic activity and water which formed the Cheongsong spherulitic rhyolite and the Dalgi Mineral Spring Site respectively, two representative geosites of the area. Rhyolitic lava has a higher silica content than the average volcanic rock. This abnormal mineralogical content caused the hot lava to cool down in spheres of dark and light layers, resulting in a unique and beautiful type of rock, spherulitic rhyolite, locally called the Flower Stone.
Cheongsong UNESCO Global Geopark comprises 24 geological sites: seventeen igneous rock sites, six sedimentary rock sites, and one metamorphic rock site and four geotrails.
Sustaining local Communities
The Cheongsong UNESCO Global Geopark has a population of 26,697 people. It is comprised of eight small towns.
The Cheongsong area supports itself with an agricultural economic structure. By using and advertising products made by groups and corporations as geotourism products, the UNESCO Global Geopark expects to improve the local economy and increase incomes.
An educational plan is currently being implemented by educational authorities, educational experts, and tour agents. The emphasis of the education is mostly focused on making guides and improving the explanations given by guides. Moreover, the plan will introduce educational programs that will be undertaken in partnership with elementary-, middle-, and high-school educators.