View count: 3038
The total distance measured from the entrance of the Yehliu Geopark to the end of the cape is about 1.7 km; the widest area in between is shorter than 300 m. The distance measured from Yehliu Stop at Jijin Highway to the end of the cape is about 2.4km. The rock landscape of Yehliu Geopark is one of most famous wonders in the world. The costal line is stretching in a direction vertical to the layer and the structure line; besides, the influences caused by wave attack, rock weathering, earth movement and crustal movement all contribute to the formation of such a rare and stunning geological landscape.
The name “Yehliu” was derived from:1. A term translated from the Pinpu language; 2. An abbreviation of the Spanish words “Punto Diablos(which means “devil’s cape”); 3. In early days, local residents earned their living at sea and they relied on rice suppliers from inner land to offer rice to them. During transportation, some local people would use the sharp bamboo tube to stick the rick sack and leave a hole on it, so that the rice may slip out and could be picked up by them. As a result, rice traders often mentioned “the rice was stolen by the savages” (whereas “steal” and “savage” are pronounced similar to Yeh (savage) and liu (steal) in Taiwanese).
Yehliu Geopark can be divided into three areas. The first area contains mushroom rock and ginger rock. You may learn the development process of mushroom rock as well as witness the appearance of ginger rock, cleavage, pothole and melting erosion panel. On top of that, the famous candle shaped rock and the ice cream rock are presented in this area too.
The second area is similar to the first area, where the mushroom rock and the ginger rock are the main focuses, only they are fewer in numbers. You may see the Queen’s Head, Dragon’s Head Rock, and etc. Since the area is near the coast, rocks that develop into four different kinds of formations can be seen in this area: elephant rock, fairy’s shoe, earth rock and peanut rock. The aforementioned are parts of the layers featuring special shapes as a result of being corroded by sea water.
The third area is the wave-cut platform located on the other side of Yehliu. This area is much narrower than the second area; one side of the platform is closely adjacent to steep cliffs while down below the other side is a scene of torrent waves. Several rocks of grotesque shapes and sizes that are incarnated as a result of sea erosion can be seen in this area, including the 24-filial piety hill, pearl rock and Marine Bird Rock. The third area also includes the major ecology reserve of Yehliu Geopark in addition to the said rock landscapes.
Yehliu Geopark is famous for its sea-erosion landscape, while most of the spots are very close to the sea, tourists are advised to observe the tour guide regulations in case of the occurrence of possible danger or causing any damage to the natural resources. Welcome to Yehliu Geopark and we hope you have a nice day.
Yehliu Natural Landscape
The stratum of Yehliu is mainly composed of sedimentary rocks; the formation of sea bays is due to the impact of sea erosion on softer rock layers, while those hard and solid ones may therefore turn into sea capes eventually.
The prospect as presented from a long distance view of Yehliu Cape is like a turtle crouching down by the sea; therefore, the cape is also called “Yehliu Turtle”. In the olden days, Yehliu was a key channel of the trade route between mainland China and Keelung harbor. Yet, the waters around the area were torrential and dangerous, and often caused serious shipwrecks. A legend was told that once a turtle elf was making trouble in the sea. A fairly was dispatched by Jade Emperor to tame the turtle elf. The fairy was riding an elephant with a sword in her hand. When she arrived, she yelled at the turtle and said, “What a naughty turtle; how dare you do such evil things and kill so many innocent people. I, bestowed with the power of this holly sword, shall punish you and you shall have no way to escape.” The turtle elf was serious hurt then. After that, whenever the weather changes, people may notice a strand of smoke permeating through the air at Yehliu Cape. And that’s when you’ll hear local people say. “look, the half-dead turtle is making its last breath again”.
Cuesta refers to a kind of ridge featuring a stiff slope on one side and a gentle slope on the other side. It is formed by gently tilted sedimentary rock strata as a result of orogeny.
Two cuestas can be seen in Yehliu, a long, narrow wave-cut platform is connected between these two cuestas. To avoid confusion, the one located near the entrance of the park is called “Big Cuesta”, while the other, with its end engulfed by sea, is called “Gueitou Mountain”.
One may take a look at the full view of Yehliu Cape by standing on the pavilion; it may be a surprise to you to find out the traces of orogeny left on rocks, and see the candle shaped rock, ginger rocks and mushroom rocks neatly lie up on the wave-cut platform.
Weathering is the decomposition of earth rocks through direct contact with the planet’s atmosphere, while the rocks may turn into sands, mud and soils due to the chemical changes of inner substances or physical function—heat expands; cold contracts. Yehliu is located in the subtropics zone with a temperate and humid climate. Each year, the place is under the influences of Northeast monsoon and wave erosion for over a six-month period. The impact caused by weathering can be detected apparently on rocks, whereas the formation of strange rock landscapes is also due to the decomposition of the special rock layer as existed underground.
Weathering ring often appears as brown-color pattern on the surface of rocks, especially on the parts with cracks. The weathering ring shown on rocks can be regarded as pieces of extremely fine craftsmanship rendering flawless beauty with high ornamental value.
Weathering often occurs along the joins of rocks as they are exposed to the plane’s atmosphere. If the water or the rocks contain iron, it may become ferric oxide after a long time interaction; whereas the color of the weathering ring may darken and turn into tan or brown color. The more complete the processing of oxygenation is, the darker the color will be.
Sometime, the ferric oxides may become harder when having a further interaction with the sand grains inside the nearby rocks, or other substance. If the hardness of which is bigger than its adjacent rocks, it will raise and become a ridge; otherwise it will descend downwards and even leave several compounds rich in irons in the cracks.
Honeycombed rocks refer to the rocks that are covered with holes of different sizes and appear like the honeycombs as a result, for example, the top of the mushroom rock.
Owing to the differential erosion caused by weathering, the surface of rock turns into the shape of honeycomb or window lattice. The flat, level rocks are spreading across the land and covered with holes of different sizes. They are just like tiny windows on the ground.
The formation of honeycombed rock and honeycomb weathering is caused by the organism detritus on concretions. The process can be divided into three phases:
- The organism detritus: The concretions are covered with numerous of shell and urchin detritus.
- Small holes: The holes appeared on the surface of rocks are formed as a result of organism detritus being dissolved by sea water or the decomposition of rocks.
- The formation of honeycombed rock: The decomposition process continues as influenced by sea salt, and the holes gradually turn into big ones, while the shape of which is just like the honeycomb.
The mushroom rocks grouped on the wave-cut platform are formed with globe-shape rocks on the top while supporting by the thin stone pillars on the bottom. Queen’s Head is the most famous mushroom rock in Yehliu.
The formation process of mushroom rock can be divided into three phases:
- Two broken concretions within rock layers are formed vertical to the sea level; as a result, the erosion caused by seawater may progress along the concretions, leading to the formation of stone pillar lining up in row.
- The formation of mushroom rock is caused by differential erosion as the top rock layer containing calcium and being more durable for erosion than the lower rock layer.
- The mushroom rock as formed is under continuous plate extrusion and thus is raised above sea level. Once it’s exposed to the planet’s atmosphere, it will suffer from weathering as well as rain erosion and turn into the shape as we see it now.
The mushroom rocks may turn into various kinds of shapes in a progressive manner as they are chronically eroded by wind, sun and rain. They may involve into neckless rock, thick rock, thin rock and even the broken-end rock eventually. The top of the thin rock may fall apart if the neck of the rock contains incomplete sands and thud accelerating the formation of broken-end rock.
Since the rock layer contains irregular concretions within, the harder concretions may raise above the ground while the softer ones may descend downward as erosion imposes upon the rock. The surface of the hard concretion may become rough and uneven as it is exposed to the atmosphere and having direct contact with the wind and the sea. The interlacing patterns as shown on the surface of ginger rock are the result of crust extrusion occurred underground. These patterns as shown are called “joints” in Geology. They get the name “Ginger Rock” because of their rough surface and the beige tint as appeared.
The thickness of rock layer containing ginger rock in the area is about 50 cm, while the ginger rock landscape spreads from North-East to South-West of the cape in a band distribution manner. The tilted rock layer makes the scene available on the sea cliff and the wave-cut platform.
The rock layer can be divided into three layers:
- The first is the layer of mushroom rock: It is composed of the two-meter calcareous sandstone on the top with the ocher-yellow sandstone on the bottom.
- The second is the layer of ginger rock: It is composed of irregular sandstone on the top with ocher-yellow sandstone on the bottom.
- The third is the layer of candle shaped layer: It is composed of globe lumps contained within the sandstone.
The candle shaped rock is a conical rock standing erectly on the ground. It is 0.5~1 cm in diameter with the top being narrower than the bottom. A round shape concretion containing lime is formed on the central top of the rock and being surrounding by circular grooves, just like a candle tray.
The formation process of candle shaped rock can be divided into three phases:
- The formation of candle light: The candle light refers to the ball-shape concretion contained within the rock layer; it is small in size. As the said concretion is harder than its adjacent sandstone and is more durable for sea erosion, it eventually raises above the ground when its surrounding sandstone being worn away by seawater.
- The formation of groove: As the seawater flows around the concretions, a circle of groove is formed since the sandstone that surrounds the concretion is being worn away by seawater.
- The formation of candle tray: The seawater flows along the circle of rock that surrounds outside the concretions, a rock formed in a shape of candle tray is developed as a result of sea erosion occurred chronically.
As the bottom of sea cliff is close to the sea level, it is frequently eroded by sea water and a notch will be developed as a result. We can find out sea levels as presented in different times according to the position of notch as developed. The sea notch may further be developed into a sea cave deep down into the sea cliff.
When a series of sea notches are continuously eroded by seawater, the stones above will be fallen apart and recessed as they lose the support from the bottom, while an erected sea cliff and a wave-cut platform will be developed eventually.
As the sea cliff is under continuous sea water erosion, it is gradually receded and leveled; as a result, a flat platform is thereby developed.
As the sea waves continue to splash on rocks along the coast, the rocks on the shoreline will be worn away and a sea cave will be formed as a result. “Lover’s Cave” is one of the biggest sea caves as developed in the case.
Ocean erosion pothole is formed as a result of seawater erosion as well as weathering imposed on the notches created by differential weathering. A grain of sand may often be found inside the pothole.
On the wave-cut platform, corrosion often takes place on the basins filled with seawater, and thus leading to the formation of the flat, shallow holes. The corrosion process includes the chemical reaction taken place between the mineral substances within the rock and seawater, debris exfoliation caused by salt weathering and etc. Sometimes, the bottom of the panel may contain calcium sediments which make the rock hard and solid.
During the formation process of sea cape, the rock layer is extruded by external force that causes the development of crevices. These crevices are called joints. Joints look very much like faults in appearance, yet the rock layers on both sides of the rupture surface do not generate relative movement along the said surface. Joints can be developed in various sizes; take those as found in Yehliu for example, they can be as small as the bean curd rocks or as large as the sea grooves. Some of them even can be served as brides that connect both sides of the land.
Joint landscapes can be divided into three types:
- Sea Groove: It is formed as a result of sea wave’s splashing, eroding along the surface of the joint of the rock layer.
- Close-type joint: The raindrop goes deep into the rock layer and dissolves part of the chemical or mineral substances inside the rock, while the rock is exposed to sunlight and thus leading to the formation of weathering ring as the dissolved substances being settled around the concretions.
- Bean Curd Rock: The rock is formed by seawater flows and erodes along two groups of concretions interwoven vertical to each other.
It takes two groups of concretions nearly being vertical to each other and under the erosion of seawater that makes the rocks develop into the shape of bean curd.
One may notice a set of beautifully formed “Bean Curd Rock” spreading neatly at the edge of sea cliff on the left while strolling on the stairs leading to Big Cuesta.
Sea groove is formed as the surface of concretion is eroded by sea waves while the concretion is developed in a position vertical to the cape. The small bridges set up in the park are meant to connect two lands where sea grooves are formed below.
In Yehliu Geopark,you can see many long and tube trace on the ground. These are the caves of creatures which live in the sand before. When sediments continuously collected, cemented, and became part of the sedimentary rocks. The trace of early creature lives were reserved in the sedimentary rocks, which's called “trace fossil”.
Queen’s Head, one of the most famous scenes in Yehliu, is a kind of mushroom rock. It is formed due to the differential erosion caused by seawater during curst movement. When comparing the height of which with the crust’s rising rate, it is assessed that the age of the rock is about 4,000 years old. The so called “Queen’s Head” is in fact a mushroom rock; it gets the title because the shape as formed after the top of rock being fallen apart in 1962~1963 appears like the side face of Queen Elizabeth.
Queen’s Head is regarded as the landmark of Yehliu, yet its fame doesn’t bring any good to itself since it not only undertakes natural devastation but also being spoiled by mankind. The narrowest part around it neck is about 138 cm now.
Legend says that this one piece of shoe was left accidently by a fairy that came down to earth to tame the naughty turtle elf. The fairy’s shoe belongs to ginger rock, and is formed due to seawater erosion on rock layer that contains rocks of different hardness, along with the impact caused by stratum extrusion.
A giant bird-like rock is situated near the entrance of wave-cut platform while its formation is due to the impact of weathering.
It is said that a Netherland-owned sailboat was shipwrecked on the offshore sea of Yeahliu and floated to the front area of Lover’s Cave. None of the crew in the ship survived, yet a little bird was standing on a rock and kept whimpering for help until it died. As a result, the rock was named after Marine Bird (Bird of Sailing) in memory of the little bird.
The ice cream rock is formed as a result of differential erosion. When looking at it with face toward the hill, its shape is like the yummy ice cream people love to eat in summer days, while it turns into the figure of an E.T when viewing it with face toward the seacoast.
The elephant rock is the lime concretion or lime lump featuring stiff texture while being formed under the influences of differential erosion. Legend says that the fairy forgot to bring the elephant back when she defeated the turtle elf; as result, the elephant stood there waiting to be taken home and rejected to go ashore.
The peanut rock is situated on the left hand side of the fairy’s shoe. Concretion with special shape is eroded by seawater and thus rises above sea level. It was formed in a figure similar to a peanut and thus it’s called peanut rock.
The pearl rock is a globe concretion and is spreading all over the park. As the pear rock situated below the fairy’s shoe is a beautifully formed globe concretion, it’s also called the earth rock.
When looking toward South East of Yehliu Geopart, you may a notice a strange rock standing beside the harbor of Donao. The rock looks like a camel resting with its face looking toward Yehliu, and thus it’s called camel rock. By the way, it also looks like the figure of the snail.
The queerly-formed ginger rock with a top like pig, while on the left hand side of the rock, a ginger rock manifested in the shape of a turtle situates by the seashore.
A small-size sea cave called Mazu Cave stands between the first and the second area. Two hundred years ago, one fisherman discovered a piece of Mazu statue inside a sea cave when he was collecting lavers in this area. Local people couldn’t afford to build a temple to settle the statue thus they put it inside a cave. Yet, the place was not a safe location to settle the statue since it was frequently tortured by monsoon and typhoon. One night, Mazu made her presence before the fisherman saying her desire of being settled in Jinshang; it was when the Ci Hu Temple was build up in 1809 B.C to consecrate Mazu. Now, a religious parade of Mazu will be performed regularly on the 16th day of the fourth month in lunar calendar every year.
The shape the mushroom rock is like the figure of an elegant, attractive Japanese geisha.
The shape of the ginger rock is like a fried drumstick, while the cause of its formation is the same as those drumstick-shape rocks as founded around the Dragon Rock in the second area.
A rock featuring a concretion in a shape of the eyes of the fish is situated on the left rear of the candle shape rock; thus people call it Carp Rock. On the hill opposite to the carp rock, a rock in a parrot shape lies down towards the sea can be seen.
A total of 24 pieces of rocks are located below the Yehliu Cape. The name “24-filial piety hill” was given by a group of tourists out of inspiration while taking photos in the place.
The Old Man’s Head is also called Skeleton Rock; the rock on the right hand side is formed in octopus’ shape, and people call it the Octopus Rock. The two of them are called “The Old Man and The Sea”
On the seashore across the bridge, a rock is formed in a shape like pig-leg and people call it the Pig Fore-Leg rock, while on the hill opposite to the bridge, a rock in a shape of pig hock stands on the edge of sea groove and it is called the Pig Rear-Leg rock.
Lovers Caves are two sea caves that internally connect to each other. Once upon a time, a couple made decisions to die together in this place as their family disapproved their love. The girl fell asleep inside the cave and dreamed of a bird asking her to cherish her life; the girl told the boy about her dream and the boy listened with surprise since he himself dreamed of the same scene as the girl did. Later on, they gave up the idea of committing suicide and went home with hope.
The rock inside the pond in front of the Dragon’s Head Rock is formed in a shape of a lion’s head; and thus people call it the Lion’s Head Rock. A tour guide from Singapore once joked that how come the Merlion Statue makes its presence in Yehliu.
Dragon’s Head Rock
A unique-formed mushroom rock, with one side features an image of the dragon’s head while the other side is like the shape of a puppy’s head. Make sure to say your prayer before the Dragon’s Head Rock to have its blessing.
This rock is formed in a shape of giant gorilla squatting down to worship the dragon king. You may find it like two puppies licking each other while approaching it.
Beside the second sea groove bridge, tourist used to play with kids by throwing coins into sea and made them jump into the water to pick up the coins. It’s not only a game but also a trick played by tourist to test young kids’ guts. As those kids enjoyed the game very much and forgot their time to go home, their relatives would search around all over while shouting out loud “You naughty boys, how dare you playing around and forget the time to come home”.
The Taiwan Rock stands right behind the first sea groove bridge, as its peculiar figure is formed as a result of differential erosion, it is shaped in a fashion similar to shape of Taiwan. You may notice the pattern in the center of the rock is where the real Central Mountain Range of Taiwan locates.
Bar-B-Q Drumstick and Three Drumsticks
The drumstick-shape rocks are located near the coast beside the Dragon’s Head Rock. The shape of the rock is like a large drumstick placing on the stone while three little ginger rocks are lying in parallel on the right hand side of the drumstick rock, and are called as Three Drumsticks.
A legend says that a turtle elf will spit out smoke whenever the weather is going to change or before the big waves come. In the olden days, local fishermen took it as a sign of climate change.
On the back of the Gorilla Rock, there stands a peculiar shape concretion nearby the sea. The interwoven joints appeared on the concretion is very much like a pineapple bun. It is strongly advised that visitors shall observe the tour guide regulations to preserve these natural wonders.
Yehliu CultureYehliu Lighthouse
The lighthouse is designed in a fashion following the candle shaped rock as prototype. Built in 1967, the lighthouse is measuring 11.3 m in height and is located on the top of Gueitou Mountain. One may head to the spot along the side road apart from the main trail that starts from the top of the cape. The Yehliu Lighthouse is within the range of projection radius as formed by Fuguei Cape Lighthouse and Keelung Lighthouse and thus reinforcing the operation of Keelung harbor.
The radio tower located beside the Yehliu Lighthouse is used for fishery communication. The 20 m tall tower is easily distinguished with its white-red interleaves design, and is often mistaken with the lighthouse.
Baoan Temple is the religious center of Yehliu; the “Sacred Prince-Developer of Zhangzhou”, Mazu, Tu-Di-Gong (local earth god) and other gods and goddesses are being worshipped here by local people. Long time ago in the Ching Dynasty (1820 B.C.), a boat was floating to the waters near Yehliu area. Local people found it, carried no one, but a piece of god sculpture with a bunch of materials used for building houses. Later on, they used the materials they found on the boat to build the Baoan temple and settled the god sculpture there. It’s confirmed later that the piece of god sculpture as found is the statue of General Chen Yuanguang, the Sacred Prince-Developer of Zhangzhou.
The religious rituals held by Baoan Temple such as “harbor cleansing” (as held in the 15th day of the first month in lunar calendar), “Greeting of Mazu”,”Birthday Ceremony of Sacred Princes” (both held on the 15th day of the second month in lunar calendar) and “Sea Ritual” (held in the 10th day of the 10th month in lunar calendar) are very important traditional customs as preserved and believed by local people.
Harbor Cleansing is one of the three major religious rituals held and performed by Baoan Temple on the 15th day of the first month in lunar calendar. The ceremony begins at 10 o’clock in the morning with several strong men jumping into sea while carrying a sedan chair; later on, those sedan chair carriers will get up on the opposite side of the harbor. Next, a “Passing Fire” ritual will begin at 11 am, while a religious parade will be performed in the afternoon to pray for bless to local people.
A compass shape platform is situated on the top of the stairs in the second area. It was a speed testing stand for ship set up by CSBC (China Shipbuilding Corporation). The speed testing stand is composed of two platforms positioning in a distance of 1.8 km in between. The velocity of the ship can be calculated by measuring the times that the ship passes the two staff gauges as located on each platform. Since this calculation approach is much higher in cost, people now use GPS to conduct the measuring.
Before an official scenic area was established, Yehliu was open spot without safety resources. March 18th, 1964, a group of students were visiting the area while a student named Chang Guoquan fell into sea by an accident. A local fisherman, Lin Tianzhen, jumped into the sea to save the student; unfortunately, both of them were drown in the end.
Upon hearing the news, President Chiang Kai-Shek gave orders to set up a statue in memory of the fisherman, Lin Tianzhen, while his story was also included in the textbooks for people to remember his brave acts.