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Connections for new WHS 2016

Author elsslots
#1 | Posted: 24 Jul 2016 08:59 
If you'd like to help add connections (and links) to the WHS that were added this year, here are 2 links with what we're missing:

No timeline attributed:
No official link:

Please post your suggestions in this topic, so that we don't do the same work twice. Also, giving a timeline to a natural WHS might need some discussion for verification.

Author Solivagant
#2 | Posted: 24 Jul 2016 10:17 | Edited by: Solivagant 
All of (?) the sites without timelines are Natural ones.
A fact which hit me when doing the exercise originally was what a high percentage of natural sites, as we see them today and as we give them "Value" because of what we see, are the creation of the Holocene period i.e the last 11700 years since the last major glaciation.
Any site situated in an area which was glaciated during that last Ice Age is almost by definition going to be Holocene UNLESS its value relates to some aspect which doesn't relate to its current geomorphology and/or its current ecology (flora/fauna) - e.g Stevns Klint
Similarly for any site situated on a coast line which has significantly altered because of sea level rise since the last glaciation

With this in mind I have had a look at
It appears that the coral reefs we see along the Red Sea today are primarily Holocene - BUT some of them overlie old Pleistocene corals which were laid down in the marine environment of that rather earlier era. Sanganeb apparently is one of these - it is set a fair way out into the Red Sea on such earlier reefs. But - is that enough reason NOT to assign it to Holocene which is the main period which has created the reefs we see today. On the other hand it could be argued that, if it hadn't been for the Pleistocene reefs there would have been no "bed rock" for today's reefs to grow on.
I think I would still assign Holocene.
It appears also that Sanganeb is widely (if slightly controversially) regarded as an "Atoll" and should perhaps be "connected" such.
If you want to try to extract some additional knowledge from academic papers have a look at - 364.pdf tocene&source=bl&ots=eD425wQX_O&sig=dXGjNl9GtXViPLNf045uXv6bgcY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKE wiinem3oozOAhXFKcAKHaeOBk0Q6AEIHjAB#v=onepage&q=sanganeb%20pleistocene&f=false eb+pleistocene

The Tienshan mountains were uplifted, folded, metamorphosed etc in the Paleozoic Era (540-250mybp). But, from 25mybp, faulting and sedimentation changed the landscape. Then finally the entire area was glaciated during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. So what we see today is a largely (but of course not completely) "post glacial" Holocene landscape??
For more see

Views on these conclusions??

Author hubert
#3 | Posted: 24 Jul 2016 15:46 

Author Solivagant
#4 | Posted: 24 Jul 2016 15:52 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Take your choice! As the islands have been created across several geological periods and indeed still display volcanic activity it would seem best to take the earliest in the sequence but include the full text as follows -
"Clarion is the westernmost and oldest island (early Pliocene). Rota Partida is a rocky islet and is the throat of an old volcano. It is younger than Clarion but older than Socorro, the largest island (early Pleistocene), and San Benedicto, the youngest and northernmost island (late Pleistocene).
(From )

A few "Connections"
Recent Volcanic Activity - San Benedicto had a major eruption as recently as 1952-3
Named after an Individual - Don Juan Vicente de Güemes, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo, the 53rd viceroy of New Spain 1740-99
Endemic Bird Species - Socorro and Clarión wrens, the Socorro dove (extinct in wild), Clarión mourning dove, Socorro mockingbird, Socorro parakeet , Townsend's shearwater
Dubbed after another WHS - "Mexico's little Galapagos"

Author elsslots
#5 | Posted: 25 Jul 2016 01:51 
Thanks both for the connections and links.

Views on these conclusions??

I find it terribly difficult to assign timelines to natural sites, maybe because I don't get the bigger picture. What I can do is see whether the dating is related to the OUV. In the case of Sanganeb, besides the coral reefs the marine wildlife (dugongs, fish) is also important.
I had a look at The Evolution of Fish ( ), but they have been floating around much longer.
So would go for the creation of Coral reefs indeed.

Author Solivagant
#6 | Posted: 25 Jul 2016 05:02 
Another Holocene WHS. See "Formation of Lake St Lucia" on page 3 of this - oblemandfindingasolution.pdf?fd=0

Author Solivagant
#7 | Posted: 25 Jul 2016 11:33 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Its OUV lies primarily in its flora and fauna. What seems particularly "special" is the fact that the area acted as a refuge during the "Quaternary Ice Ages" (Quaternary Glaciation is also called the Pleistocene Glaciation) arising from a mixture of location/geology/climate etc.
"Dubbed "Noah's Arc" for animals and plants from the glacial period, the Shennongjia area provided shelter for animals and plants from glacier activities that were prevalent elsewhere during the Quaternary period some 2.5 million years ago. It has preserved an array of plants that existed in the Tertiary period and is widely called a home of living plant fossils." -
"Shennongjia is not only a world-famous "Green Pearl" and "Species Gene Bank", but also a "refuge for species in the quaternary glacier disaster". -
I can find no particular argument for choosing either Early, Middle or Late Pleistocene and, since the area provides a refuge for tertiary organisms it seems reasonable to choose "Early" as being the first occasion when it performed this function??

Author Solivagant
#8 | Posted: 25 Jul 2016 16:27 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Lut Desert
Lut's OUV derives from its aridity and its geomorphological features such as yardangs/nebkas. But when did these get created? The Iranian Plateau goes back c 25m years (Miocene) to the Arabian plate (which separated from Africa in the Oligocene) colliding "into" the Eurasian. But there appears to have been a long period after that of further geological change such that the exceedingly dry desert with its arid formations came along much later - as evidenced for instance by the existence of the remains of large lakes and alluvial plains in the central plateau. Without these now dried out lakes and alluvial deposits the material to create the Yardangs and Nebkas wouldn't have existed

These articles seem to place the development of today's "Lut" to some time into the Quaternary period (i.e Pleistocene and Holocene -
"This aridity dates from the Quaternary or, in some parts, the Tertiary " ( )
"The Dasht-e Kavir and Dasht-e Lut are 2 major basins on the Central Iranian Plateau ...... former Pleistocene lakes are now dry and interior drainage has deposited deep alluvial fill and concentrated salts. Basin floors are covered with silt, sand and salt" (Earth's Landscape - istocene&source=bl&ots=tusJr-iTaw&sig=oilgaUldgg3hTaBXADcMV85MuMA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahU KEwiFoqKosI_OAhXrDMAKHehjDSYQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=lut%20desert%20pleistocene&f=false )

But this is far and away the most detailed article I have found on the development of the various geomorphological phenomena of the Lut
"The Lut Desert of southern Iran contains classic mega-Yardang developed in Pleistocene basin fill deposits "
"Mega-yardangs of Lut, for example, are yardangs that originated in pre-Pleistocene times, possibly in the Miocene or earlier, and in these regions there has been a protracted time available for yardang formation"
"According to the formation of nebkas of Lut, seems the age of nebkas date back to the mid Pleistocene through to the late Holocene. "
"The desert landscape of Lut is dominated by mega linear, Barkhan and transverse sand dunes of Tertiary and Holocene ages with reactivation during the late Holocene"
"During the late quaternary, the climate of Iran playas specially the playas located in the central desert of Iran have fluctuated between periods of higher rainfall and fluvial activity, dominated by the influence of the drier and arid conditions under the wind and water erosion processes."
( morphologic_Evidence_and_Civilization ).

I am inclined to opt for Holocene rather than Pleistocene as being the time of greatest aridity. A case could be made out for Pleistocene when all the geology was in place but than raises a problem over whether early/mid or late!!

Author Solivagant
#9 | Posted: 26 Jul 2016 06:15 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Uvs Nuur
I have had a look at trying to assign a timeline period to Uvs Nuur.
Its OUV derives from its current ecosystems which exist because of the closed "Endorheic" basin and the Uvs Nuur lake at the centre. There seem to be 2 approaches to choosing a time period.
Choose the period which
a. created the current ecological "mix". This will inevitably lead to the choice of "Holocene" since enormous changes and fluctuations have occurred across time since the creation of the "Basin". For instance - long periods when there were huge, small, medium or no lakes, glaciation or no glaciation etc etc. There seems no reason to choose any one of these earlier variable states over any other - other than to conclude that, since the current situation is what has been inscribed, then it should take primacy - and thus go for "Holocene"!
b. created the closed basin. One "problem" with this is that geological OUV was specifically excluded from the OUV - but it could still be held that the ecological OUV aspects wouldn't have been created without the basin itself and have exisited/been developing in one form or another since that time! If we adopt that argument we are faced with the problem of identifying when the Endorheic Basin was created. The best academic article I have found is the following thesis from 1968 (!!!). It concentrates on the more recent "Limnological" history (and is therefore also of interest if we were to go for option a) but does touch on the formation of the Basin itself. This seems the most relevant quote
"The Uvs Nuur Basin was formed tectonically. It lies between the Asian and the Chinese plate and is until present tectonically active. Prominent signs of neotectonic activities in Western Mongolia are shifts of some 30m across quaternary alluvial depositions.........These tectonic activites influence the river network as well as the formation of lakes........ The whole area has been dry land since the Permian....... A huge basin formed the Central Asian lake landscape. The present shape of the Basin has been formed during the Alpidic orogeny when the delimiting mountain ranges started lifting and the Khan Khoykhiyn mountains divided the Uvs Nuur Basn from the southern "Valley of Great lakes"
See - section 1.4.3.
Which raises the question - when was the "Alpidic Orogeny"??
Wiki says "The Alpine orogeny or Alpide orogeny is an orogenic phase in the Late Mesozoic (Eoalpine) and the current Cenozoic that has formed the mountain ranges of the Alpide belt. These mountains include (from west to east) the Atlas, the Rif, the Baetic Cordillera, the Cantabrian Mountains, the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Apennine Mountains, the Dinaric Alps, the Hellenides, the Carpathians, the Balkan Mountains, the Taurus,the Armenian Highlands, the Caucasus, the Alborz, the Zagros, the Hindu Kush, the Pamir, the Karakoram, and the Himalayas."
So - although the orogeny is named after the Alps its effects cover a vast area of mid-latitude Eurasia and N Africa -
"The Alpine orogeny is caused by the continents Africa and India and the small Cimmerian plate colliding (from the south) with Eurasia in the north. Convergent movements between the tectonic plates (the Indian plate and the African plate from the south, the Eurasian plate from the north, and many smaller plates and microplates) had already begun in the early Cretaceous, but the major phases of mountain building began in the Paleocene to Eocene. The process continues currently in some of the Alpide mountain ranges."
Within Option b. we would appear to have a choice between Cretaceous, Paleocene or Eocene!! The Nomination File is silent on these matters. No doubt further searches on the Web might discover something BUT -if the view is that Holocene is more appropriate a Timeline period for this WHS than the much earlier creation of the Basin then it doesn't seem worthwhile!

Any views regarding which of option a or b we should choose??

Author Assif
#10 | Posted: 26 Jul 2016 17:32 
I think A seems simpler and more convincing.

Author elsslots
#11 | Posted: 27 Jul 2016 06:34 | Edited by: elsslots 
I am inclined to opt for Holocene rather than Pleistocene as being the time of greatest aridity. A case could be made out for Pleistocene when all the geology was in place but than raises a problem over whether early/mid or late!!

Regarding Lut Desert:
I'd tend to go for (Late) Pleistocene. We need to have the first point in time where the aridity and the geomorphological features occur. Your links show that both were already present in the late(r) Quaternary. So that would be Late Pleistocene or Holocene. The nebkas seem to have been there in the Pleistocene (even mid) [BTW: are these the same nebkas that we see nowadays, or are they 'refreshed' due to furthergoing erosion or changing climatic conditions? - I guess the latter, so we would need to mark the start of the nebka occurrence]

Author elsslots
#12 | Posted: 27 Jul 2016 11:49 
I'll give one a try too:

Ennedi Massif
"Garden of Eden" / "an outstanding example of a very specific relict ecosystem and refugium harbouring a population of fauna and flora which testifies of a major climatic change in the Sahara Desert."
>> This seems to have originated in what is called the Neolithic Subpluvial or Holocene Wet Phase. The Neolithic Subpluvial began during the 7th millennium BCE and was strong for about 2,000 years. So Holocene?

Author elsslots
#13 | Posted: 29 Jul 2016 11:56 
Great Himalayan National Park

OUV = Western Himalayan biodiversity (plants and animals)

The rocks of Great Himalayan range are emplaced in approximately their current locations 19 to 21 million years ago (Miocene)
The Snow Leopard (flagship species of this park) evolved toward the end of the Pliocene (source and source 2).
So since when was this animal present in the area now covered by the GHNP? I haven't found any evidence of a reason why it would be later than the Pliocene. Choose that one?

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