You are here

Natural geological resources of Tung Ping Chau

8 June, 2015 - 12:28

Tung Ping Chau is a flat, crescent-shaped island located in Mirs Bay the north-eastern waters of Hong Kong. On Tung Ping Chau a visitor can combine ecological, cultural (historical) and geotourism and enjoy all of this on one small island in one inspiring day.

Tung Ping Chau is only about 1 sq. km in area, and nowhere is more than 50 m above sea level. Today 0.83 km2 are protected on the land portion of this island (it is an extension of Plover Cove Country Park) and in November 2001 another 2.7 km2 surrounding Tung Ping Chau became a marine park. For years, Tung Ping Chau was protected by its remoteness. Today, it has the added protective status of being part of a country park plus a marine park. Geologically, it is made from dolomite siltstone with chert of the Ping Chau Formation. Such rock is not common in Hong Kong, which is typified by volcanic rocks, created by violent eruptions that took place mostly between 165–140 million years ago (Owen and Shaw 2007) rather than rocks like siltstone.

Photo tour
Here is a slideshow of images from Tung Ping Chau.

What do geotourists come to see and enjoy on Tung Ping Chau? The AFCD have maintained a nice country trail circuit hike around the coastline of Tung Ping Chau. Perhaps the most photogenic and eco-geo feature is the wave-cut platform at Kang Lau Shek on the north-eastern tip of the island. Here you can see, measure, admire and photograph two honey-coloured sea-stacks each about 8 m above sea level (Choi and Stokes 2005). These geomorphological formations are, in effect, monuments to natures forces of coastal erosion. Here is a thought for you. How do you think that the beautiful platforms were built; what natural forces were creating the geomorphological features and, at times, exposing magnificent rock displays that almost look man-made (e.g. rock fragments that look like cakes from a giant's cake shop in Mong Kok)? Yes, you are correct, it was exposure to strong waves and their ability, overtime, to make world class geo-attractions crafted from these, essentially, sedimentary rocks of dolomite and calcitic shales, marls and siltstones.