True Colors of China: Rainbow Mountains

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True Colors of China: Rainbow Mountains

 

 

Rainbow Mountains are the concrete form of a rainbow. The combination of colors look like a child’s paint book, too good to be real.

 

 

On the mountains, there is the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in Gansu at the northwest of China. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. Both natives and tourists embrace this natural beauty. Also National Geographic selected here for the ‘Top 10 Geographical Wonders of the World’.

 

 

The colors of the mountains have emerged before the Himalayan Mountains were formed. The mountains are made of cretaceous sandstones and siltstones and the sand and the silt with iron and trace minerals have made the main element of the colors.

 

 

The formation of the mountain began 55 million years ago. When the flat sandstones collide and uplifted the mountains. With wind and other natural events in time, the overlying layers went away, and the mineralogy and chemistry of the mountain began to shape today’s form of the mountains, also the colors.

 

 

Also the underground waters have a role while creating the colors. The water’s move through the sandstones revealed the minerals between the grains and cemented them. The first color that was occurred was red. The iron oxide coating and cementation between the sandstones made the red color. Also rains helped it to happen.

 

 

After red colored stones, brown, yellow and black stones started to occur just like the same process. With oxidized limonite, goethite, magnetite, iron sulfide, sulfur and more chemical reactions created other colors. To sum up, colors helped to create other colors.

 

 

Although the Rainbow Mountains are unique, actually all red rocks in the world have the same chemicals to create colorful rocks but this may take time.

 

 

The best time to visit the Rainbow Mountains is summer. Winter is too cold to visit, also the summer rains make the colors of the mountain deeper.

 

source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2016/03/02/rainbow-mountains-china-earths-paint-palette/#5fa1e4c23e5e

source: https://thesanetravel.com/travels/china/rainbow-mountains-china

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