Hong Kong National Geological Parks - there are roughly 8 large parks.
Ung Kong Group
North & South Coast of Tolo Channel
Tung Ping Chau
All of which are unique and beautiful in their own way. The parks that I have visited so far include High Island, Sharp Island, and the Ung Kong Group. The Ung Kong Group consists of Wang Chau, Bluff Island, and Basalt Island which all have columnar jointed volcanic rocks. Because of location, intense wave and wind erosion takes place, and the Ung Kong Group has some magnificent landforms such as sea caves, sea arches and steep cliffs. Wang Chau was the smallest of the islands that I visited just 80 meters above sea level and 500 meters wide. There was an amazing sea cliff on the Northern side of the island. Basalt Island had a lot of sea stacks, island reefs, and wave cut bays, it was absolutely beautiful. Bluff Island is a great place to go if you want to study rhyolite with a large sea cave that passes directly through the island, it is big enough for small boats to sail through. We did not get to, obviously, there were 40 of us on this boat. I don’t believe I mentioned it earlier, but Paul, my lab mate got an invite from a chemistry professor here at HKBU and she in turn invited me to join. It was an amazing trip and I got to see some of the most breathtaking geological formations and ate what I thought was amazing seafood. There was only a temple and a restaurant on this island that we stopped, the food was as fresh as it gets. We ate fresh scallops, flash fried octopus, crab, steamed fish, abalone, and a few other things I cannot even remember it all! It was delicious. The sangrias downstairs is in reference to the professor that invited us on the trip - she was a riot. We went with the entire chemistry department and their friends and families. They thought I was a professor and I went with it for the extent of the trip hah! Anyways, an amazing trip to say the least!
My other lab mate Sun Jin is working with some of the undergraduate students teaching them about the apple snail and it’s defense mechanisms. Shortly he is going to be doing some DNA sequencing and hopefully he’ll be allowed to let me observe along with the other students! A bit ago I helped him to check the juvenile snails which were all exposed to different concentrations of heavy metal. It was actually odd and this is what Sun Jin is trying to figure out; the juvenile snails were the most reactive to the low concentrations of copper. Their heart beats would almost diminish completely in 24 hours where the rest of the heavy metals used took more time and greater concentrations. Interesting. I just recently bought some soft coral to run preliminaries. I’ll do two 24 hour observational measurements, taken every 3 hours so LOTS of coffee and LOTS of shirts. I’ll be in the greenhouse as if it isn’t hot enough outside where there may be a breeze. Checking concentrations of chemicals in the water as well as temperature, pH, salinity, changing out the water constantly because the evaporation rates are exceedingly fast in the greenhouse, obviously. Then I’ll do the physical measurements - touch, contract, and measure. There are different techniques for different species and structures of corals. I’ll update as I go!
I have a million pictures that I took from the boat trip but here are a few. Now you can really understand what I am saying when I say truly amazing and beautiful geology & scenery in Hong Kong. Tomorrow I will be hiking the most famous mountain in all of Hong Kong & I’ll do the second portion of this blog when I get them loaded into the computer.
It is now JULY 4th in Hong Kong and I am in lab working. Today I cleaned the algae out of my tanks (which has to be done daily every day that I am working with them), I went to Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) today to get 8 more jugs of fresh seawater because that has to be changed every other day. Took some pH, Temperature, salinity, and chemical concentration readings. Nutrient levels were a bit high causing the excess of green/brown algae, but that is fixable. Right now I have two species of soft coral in the tanks, but they were purchased from the Red Market or “Fish Market” in Mongkok to test water quality and make sure that when it is time for Lobophytum depressum they will survive. I got my underwater camera and materials prepared to run the experiment on the temporary soft corals and I will re-run it again later in the week. Hopefully Sun Jin (lab-mate) will let me know when he does the DNA sequencing so that I can observe/participate. Very interesting stuff.
I went to the Hong Kong Museum of History yesterday (July 3rd) and loved it. They had a small but interesting exhibit on the formation of Hong Kong over the last 400,000,000 years. So LOTS of Geology : ), fun stuff. Actually, I went on a 30 kilometer hike on Saturday and discovered that continuous exposure to sun despite the caliber of SPF you are wearing (130) will result in awful sunburns. So I was able to rock climb, hike, walk a breathtakingly beautiful beach (the most secluded and remote beach in all of Hong Kong) and then hike some more, found a freshwater stream coming from a waterfall further up the mountain. I am telling you, the city is amazing here, but there are some absolutely stunning views, you just have to get up higher in elevation. I’m going to post some more of the pictures in a separate blog, most likely tomorrow. So if you are following this, you’ll be able to see a part of what I was able to see on Saturday.