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Landscape resources

The Caoling area geologically belongs to a dip-slope terrain with the altitude ranging from 400 to 1.300 m. The strata exposed in the area including the upper member of Kueichulin Formation of the Pliocene (the Tawo sandstone member), Chinshui Shale and the Cholan Formation from the Pliocene to the Pleistocene. The tectonically deformed sandstones and shales form the typical dip-slope terrain in the area (Hsieh et al, 2017)[1]. Five faults and four folds structure lines pass through and dissect here; therefore, the terrain is rugged, and the surface is fragile to soil erosion and landslide. Besides, the Qingshui river with its enormous erosion impacts also dynamically contributes to forming the diverse landscape picture of Caoling geopark.

With both above internal and external forces in geomorphology process, Caoling geopark is well-known for its rich geodiversity. Based on the selective standards of geoconservation sites in Taiwan, there are 22 landscapes selected as geoconservation sites in Caoling geopark for their academic, education and recreational values. Those geoconservation sites consist of landslide landscapes, fluvial landscape, fossil layer and miniature landscapes. Various fluvial landscapes can be found in Caoling’s river, in the valley, and on the river bed with many potholes, waterfalls and incised valleys (Lee & Su, 2017)[2].

  • “Ciao bi syong fong” is a dip slope cutting into the Qingshui River at an angle of 45 degrees, with a height of approximately 140 meters. The significant sliding surface bottom is the best proof of the quake lakes formed after each separate landslide and the best way to understand environmental changes and their influences.
  • Penglai Waterfall is another unique landscape, located at the mid-stream of Jhu-gao-shui River. The waterfall of more than 30 meters along the cliff makes a splendid scene.
  • Potholes are another characteristic feature of the area. Although the most famous pothole landscape is along Keelung River in Taipei area, Tsaoling’s potholes are uniquely distributed due to precipitation and geology. Pothole group landscape can be easily spotted in Shibi Valley and Lianshin Pond. Due to extreme changing river flow and water levels, pothole groups are found at different heights and scattered around the river catchment. 

[1] Hsieh, Y. C., Chan, Y. C., Hu, J. C., Chen, Y. Z., Chen, R. F., Chen, M. M (2017). Tsaoling: A Natural Laboratory for the Earth surface process. 2017 International Geopark Conference in Taiwan
[2] Lee, C. T. and Su, C. H. (2017). Geodiversity and Management of Caoling Geopark, Yunlin County, Taiwan. 2017 International Geopark Conference in Taiwan