Red Beds and Danxia Geomorphology Working Group

WG Chair:

Prof. Piotr Migoń
Wrocław (Poland)



Ms. Ren Fang
Center for Environmental Sciences, Saint Louis University (USA)


Past Chair:

Peng Hua (China)

Introduction to WG activity

Danxia landform is characterized by steep cliffs and consists mainly of continental (and may contain non-continental interlayers) red beds. This definition, which has widely been accepted by scientists, can also be defined as “red beds landform characterized by steep cliffs”. The main focus of the working Group is to further study the surface process and control factors of Danxia landform development, to conduct comparative study between Danxia landform and its similar landforms in China and other regions of the world (such as red beds landform), thus to contribute to scientific protection and utilization of Danxia landform, and promote sustainable development and science popularization in the region.

The activities of the Working Group include: 1. Organizing researchers to conduct in-depth research on Danxia landform using interdisciplinary disciplines such as geochemistry, remote sensing, geographic information systems, structural geology; 2. Promoting scientific research results on Danxia landform for its protection and sustainable utilization while publicizing regional sustainable development.

Background: Red beds landforms are widely distributed around the world. There is still academic dispute about the genesis and controlling factors of Danxia landform. Some scholars believe that Danxia landform is a kind of sandstone landform, while others believe that Danxia landform is a different general sandstone landform, which is related to structure and water erosion. China’s Danxia landform sites have been found widely distributed across the nation. Around 1,005 Danxia landform sites have been identified. In recent years, more and more Danxia landform areas have been designated as UNESCO Global Geoparks or World Natural Heritage Sites. The protection and development of Danxia landform area has become an important resource for people in these areas to get rid of poverty and achieve sustainable development of the region. Therefore, the continuous and in-depth scientific research and popular science activities on Danxia landform have more scientific and social significance.

Last WG Annual Reports:

Annual report 2023

Annual report 2020


  • Report of the International Joint Scientific Investigation on Danxia Landform in Northern Shaanxi Province 25-30 April 2019
  • Third International Symposium on Danxia Landform, Jianglangshan, Zhejiang, China, September 21-23, 2015.
  • Report on First Conference of Danxia Geomorphology Working Group of IAG/AIG and Second International Symposium on Danxia LandformThe scientific development and the protection of resources and environment of red beds and Danxia Landform”
    Danxiashan, Guangdong, China, October 28-30, 2011.