Fri, Oct 12, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Yehliu Geopark installs rock formation replicas

By Yu Chao-fu and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

A replica of the “Leopard” rock formation placed in the popular tourist attraction Yehliu Geopark in New Taipei City is seen in this photo taken on Wednesday. The original formation was damaged during a typhoon in 2010.

Photo: Yu Chao-fu, Taipei Times

Duplicates of rock formations named “Leopard (金錢豹)” and “Cute Princess Rock (俏皮公主)” were installed at the renowned tourist site of Yehliu Geopark (野柳地質公園) in New Taipei City (新北市) on Wednesday in an effort to attract more visitors.

Yehliu Geopark deputy general manager Tang Chin-hui (湯錦惠) said most people know about the iconic “Queen’s Head (女王頭)” rock formation at the park, but relatively few know about the “Leopard” rock formation.

“Due to tidal fluctuations, this [“Leopard”] unique feature was visible for only 18 days in a year,” she said, adding that it could usually be viewed on the first three days and also on the 15th to 17th days of the third, fourth and fifth months of the lunar calendar.

However, the Leopard rock formation collapsed amid pounding waves during a typhoon in 2010, she said, adding that the park management therefore decided to build a replica, along with a reproduction of the “Cute Princess” rock formation.

According to Tang, building the replicas was not a easy job, as workers had to carry computer equipment weighing more than 100kg along the seashore to the edge of the cape in order to perform laser scanning of the collapsed remnants of the Leopard rock. The data was then compiled to enable the construction of a 3D digital image, used to make polyurethane mouldings, she said.

These mouldings were then processed via a computer numerical control machine to produce a one-to-one replica of the original, which was augmented on the exterior with fiber reinforced plastic.

The replica then underwent a final treatment by craftsmen that included fine detailed finishing, paint coloring and imitation sandstone surface polishing, she said

Last year, the park also had a duplicate of the “Queen’s Head” made, Tang said, adding that it has proven to be popular with tourists, who like to have their pictures taken with it.

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