pISSN 0705-3797 eISSN 2586-1298
HOME Article View


Episodes 2024; 47(2): 295-310

Published online June 1, 2024


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Korean geoheritage: the volcanic landforms of the Jeju Island UNESCO Global Geopark

Yongmun Jeon1, Jinseok Ki2, Darren Southcott3*

1 Jeju National University, 102 Jejudaehak-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, 63243, Korea
2 World Heritage Office, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, Jeju 63341, Korea
3 Jeju National University, 102 Jejudaehak-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, 63243, Korea

Correspondence to:*E-mail: darrensouthcott@gmail.com

Received: January 8, 2024; Revised: May 7, 2024; Accepted: May 7, 2024

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Jeju Island, Korea, was formed through volcanic activity from approximately 1.8 million to 1,000 years ago. The island was designated a Global Geopark in 2010 in recognition of its diverse geoheritage. As part of a special edition for the International Geological Congress 2024, this article shares the latest scholarship on Jeju’s volcanic geoheritage sites to enhance public understanding of the island’s geoheritage as earlier misconceptions continue to spread through books, websites, and information boards, etc. Despite long being interpreted as a typical shield volcano, for example, Mt. Hallasan has been recategorized as a polygenetic and composite volcano that formed through Strombolian eruptions, lava effusions, and magma intrusions from 200,000 to 17,000 years ago. Moreover, although once interpreted as a single scoria cone that formed a thousand years ago, Biyangdo Island (Biyangbong) formed through subaerial volcanic eruptions 26,000 years ago that produced both a scoria cone and a spatter cone. This research is presented with the latest research on other volcano-related Jeju Island Global Geopark geosites, including Suwolbong Tuff Cone and Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Ring. Alongside regular research and monitoring, public awareness is essential to ensure sustainable protection due to increasing rockfalls caused by rising sea levels at coastal geosites and climate change-exacerbated freeze-thaw weathering at inland sites on Mt. Hallasan.