A Geopark is a protected area for the preservation of geological heritage in a sustainable way. It aims to promote the economic well-being and education of the people who live in that area. Such Geoparks include: Global Geoparks and National Geoparks.
There are 111 members of Global Geopark Network spreading over 32 countries as of 2014. Amongst those, 8 Geoparks are in Japan. Beside those areas, Geoparks in 39 areas have been acknowledged by the Japan Geopark Committee, as of September 2015.
North Ibaraki Geoparks is one of the oldest if not the oldest amongst those. The geological heritage includes: the mountains with lashing greens, valleys of forest leaves, beaches filled with fossils from Cretaceous period (4.5 to 6.6 million years old), 500 million-year-old geologic strata, mines, and natural resources and cultural heritage based on the abundant food food resources both from land and ocean.
Hitachi-no-Kuni 500 million years ago
The purple part is Hitachi, where Hitachi mining was in operation, and is the oldest of this area which date close to 550 million years.
Chapter 0: Hitachi-no-Kuni in the Context of the Galactic System
There is milky way dividing the heavens into two segments. The earth belongs to the galactic system which we see as milky way. We live on a star that is only one of countless number of stars.
Chapter 1: Hitachi-no-Kuni 500 Million Years Ago
Hitachi-no-Kuni was born as a volcanic arc at the edge of Eastern Gondwana about 500 million years ago. Since its birth, it went through a period being attached to the continent or sunk under the ocean.
Chapter 2: Hitachi-no-Kuni 24 Million Years Ago
Hitachi-no-Kuni joined and became a part of Pangaea. In this period, sediments or rocks were transferred and accumulated on the Hitachi-no-Kuni.
Some of these sediments and rocks, experiencing the high heat and pressure, formed the foundation of the present day Japanese archipelago.