Between a rock and a valley

Updated: 2012-05-31 08:51

By Wang Qian (China Daily)

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Between a rock and a valley

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Peach Blossom Valley is on the west side of Mount Taishan. The valley was once full of peach trees. The route runs along a few creeks and small lakes, which are navigable. There is also a cable car service that runs from Peach Blossom Valley to the summit of Mount Taishan.

There are several scenic spots on the way. One of the most splendid attractions is a crystal-clear stream full of colorful stones formed around 2.8 billion years ago.

Light quartz bands and grayish black amphibolite combine to form a colorful riverbed, named Colorful Stone Stream. It is a symbolic tourist spot in Taishan Global Geopark and also a valuable repository of Taishan's geological features.

Today, it is also a main production area of the precious Taishan stones and jades. Our guide told us a meter-high piece of rock would be as expensive as a sedan car.

The Colorful Stone Stream has four types of rocks making up its bed. There are the dominant black rocks, or amphibolite, formed at the middle crust. The white rock is a product of partial melting and is called the leucosome. And there's light yellow granite with veins and light-color pegmatite.

The black-and-white rocks were formed under powerful pressure. Subsequently, the rocks disintegrated and compressed repeatedly - hence the bands, which intersect to create amazing patterns on the surfaces.