The Role and Conservation Plan of Gotjawal in Jeju

Biome of Gotjawal Forest, Geology and Eco-system of Gotjawal

Biome of Gotjawal Forest

The Gotjawal forest is formed on rocky terrain. As it was difficult to develop these areas for agriculture, the forest remained untouched even in the twentieth century. That’s why Gotjawal forest could maintain its original ecosystem generally unaffected by human activity.

Basaltic lava strata in the Gotjawal forest have no well-developed topsoil, while its depth is filled up with rocks and rubbles, making it difficult for plants to grow here. As the fauna of Gotjawal has been formed over eons, the formation of full-grown forest took a long time.

The terrain of Gotjawal forest turns and whips dramatically within the limited space, creating an ideal condition for the development of micro- weather system. This micro-weather system is responsible for the formation of the unique vegetations found here which are festooned with diverse plants and vegetation. Sunken volcanic hollows underground are sometimes linked together by a cave structure or connected further down with the bedrock in the depth. This unique geological feature created a micro-weather system here, an island of constant temperature throughout the

Geology and Eco-system of Gotjawal

Gotjawal forest is usually found on the volcanic terrain formed by lava flow, with its consisting rocks formed over time after going through varying processes. When a Aa lava stream with high viscosity flows down, the surface of the lava exposed to cold air hardens first before cracked by another rushing lava flow cascading from behind, leaving behind the volcanic sub-structure known as ‘clinker,’ which is conducive to the formation of Gotjawal forest.

On the other hand, Pahoehoe lava-flow with low viscosity cools down to form columnar joints along the lava surface, which would eventually break down into rocks and rubbles. Those chunks of rocks produced as such along the curtains of columnar joints also provide an ideal ground for Gotjawal to develop. Gotjawal is sometimes formed on oreums (volcanic cone), where scoria, volcanic shoots and spatters gather together after a volcanic explosion to form giant mounds. Erosion of the rim of lava domes with well-developed columnar joints would produce a field of volcanic rubbles as well, which is also an ideal site for Gotjawal to grow.

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