EuroSpeleo 2016 Sessions

Natural and cultural heritage values of the Geomunoreum Lava Tube System, Jeju Island, Korea

Session code: OS15

Oral / Science, Main EuroSpeleo Conference

Prof Kyung Sik Woo


Jeju Island contains a variety of volcanic landforms and more than 120 lava tube caves of international geoheritage significance. Among them, the geosites of the World Heritage Status consist of one major shield volcano, Mt. Hallasan, with satellite cones around its flanks, the parasitic cone (Seongsan Ilchubong Tuff Cone), which shows Surtseyan-type underwater volcanic eruption; and a variety of lava tubes (Bengdwi, Manjang, Gimnyeong, Yongcheon and Dangcheomul caves), which show a complete flow system and display perfectly preserved internal structures despite their old age. Other geosites showing various types of geological features are Jeju Jungmun Daepo Coast (Columnar Joints), Mt. Sanbangsan (lava dome), Yongmeori and Suweolbong (tuff deposits), the Seoguipo Formation (fossil site) and Cheonjiyeon Waterfall. Several aspects are identified which demonstrate the congruence of geoheritage values of Jeju as World Heritage and Global Geopark status. 1) The volcanic exposures of these features provide an accessible sequence of volcanogenic rocks formed by at least three different eruptive stages between 1 million and a few thousand years BP. 2) The geoheritage features include a remarkable range of internationally important volcanic landforms that contain and provide significant information on the history of the Earth. The environmental conditions of the eruptions have created


Proferssor, Departent of Geology, Kangwon National University
President, International Union of Speleology
Chair, IUCN WCPA Geoheritage Specialist Group