A geological park dedicated to plant fossils — the first of its kind in China — is set to open in Yuzhou, Henan province.
It took more than three years to build and covers an area of 28.93 square kilometers.
Zhang Bingchen, deputy chief engineer of the Henan Institute of Geological Survey, said visitors to the park will be shown how plant fossils are formed and discover what the Earth used to look like during the Permian Period, more than 250 million years ago.
Yuzhou has rich deposits of plant fossils dating back to this period, with more than 306 species of plants already identified among its fossil records, according to Zhang.
“Most importantly, unlike other areas in Shanxi and Anhui provinces where the plant fossils are buried deep underground, here they are exposed on the surface, and are much easier for people to see and to study, “ he said.
The new geological park will also feature exhibits on the history of Jun porcelain, a type of Chinese pottery with a complex blue glaze that was developed locally during the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
“This porcelain owes much to the local clay, and the geological park will also show the history of this clay, as it was closely connected with local culture,” Zhang said.
The new park is set to open in January, after successfully passing an inspection organized by the province’s department of land and resources on Dec 2, according to the Henan Institute of Geological Survey.
Xie Dongfang, a professor at Henan Polytechnic University, said the park would fill a market niche as it is the first such venue dedicated to plant fossils in China.