The Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes is a World Heritage Site in South Korea.
Jejudo is a volcanic island, 130 kilometers from the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula. The largest island and smallest province in South Korea, the island has a surface area of 1,846 square kilometers.
A central feature of Jeju is Hallasan, the tallest mountain in South Korea and a dormant volcano, which rises 1,950 meters above sea level. The main volcano includes 360 satellite volcanoes. Volcanic activity on Jeju began approximately in the Cretaceous and lasted until the early Tertiary period. The most recent eruptions are estimated to be be about 5,000 years ago, which puts the volcano into the active classification, meaning eruptions in the last 10,000 years. The designation as active is not agreed by all, as more monitoring and study are needed to better understand the volcano. The island is covered in volcanic rock and volcanic soil produced by Hallasan. Baengnokdam, the crater, and lake in it are located at the peak of Hallasan, which was formed over 25,000 years ago.
Jeju is scientifically valuable for its extensive system of lava tubes (also known as lateral volcanoes or in Korean as Oreum). These natural conduits through which magma once flowed are now empty caves that are some of the largest in the world. The caves provide opportunities for scientific research and are also popular tourist destinations.
Off the shores of the city of Seogwipo are a vast belt of pillar-shaped rocks that are examples of the natural beauty of Jeju. Shellfish and animal fossils discovered in this area are also very valuable as scientific resources. Beom Island (Beomseom 범섬, sometimes still misspelled Pomsom) and Mun Island (Munseom 문섬, sometimes spelled Munsom), also off the city seacoast, are also well preserved and scenic areas.
Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 2007
Thank you, Sophia !
Sent on: September 22, 2015
Received on: October 5, 2015