Quanhuatan: The colorful pool group in the alpine mountains

Located at the west slope of Mount Gongga in Yulong Village, southwest China's Sichuan Province, Quanhuatan, a large calcification pool group, is hidden in a valley surrounded by mountains on three sides. At an altitude of over 4,000 meters above sea level, Quanhuatan is a fairyland known to a few.

Quanhua means sinter in English, which is a mineral deposit presenting a porous or vesicular texture. In geology, natural sintering is an accumulation of chemical sediment or crust brought by a mineral spring. Near Quanhuatan, at 4,300 meters above sea level, there is a hot spring spouting 1.5 meters high. The water temperature is about 30 degrees Celsius all year round, it is also Quanhuatan's main source of water.

There are at least two kinds of sinters, siliceous and calcareous. Quanhuatan belongs to the calcareous category, sometimes also called tufa or calcareous tufa. Quanhuatan, which is 900 meters long and 100 meters wide, has eight Quanhua terraces down the mountain. On each terrace, there are a dozen colorful pools of different shapes. The algae of various colors at the bottom of the ponds, and different minerals and plants make the water even more vibrant.

Quanhuatan belongs to the alpine valley meadow landform, on its southeast side sits Sichuan's highest mountain, Mount Gongga. Mount Gongga, also called Minya Konka, is popular among the locals as "The King of Sichuan Mountains". With an altitude of 7556 meters, only 24 people have successfully reached its peak until today. But if you just want to enjoy the magnificent view of Mount Gongga from a distance, Quanhuatan is the best vantage point.

(Cover image is a screenshot from the video)

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at nature@cgtn.com.)