Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Some observations about man-made features on natural terrain in Hong Kong

K. A. Styles and M. H. Law
Some observations about man-made features on natural terrain in Hong Kong
Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology (May 2012) 45 (2): 131-138


Much of Hong Kong is currently undeveloped and consists of vegetated, relatively steep hillsides, which are considered to be natural terrain. However, in many of these areas there is evidence in old aerial photographs of man-made features, which for the last 30-40 years or so have been hidden by dense vegetation. Before the 1970s the vegetation was considerably less dense than today and much of the ground surface was bare and clearly apparent. Preliminary study of old aerial photographs indicates some 10 types of man-made features, including agricultural, military, mining, prospecting, and other activities. Some are fairly recent, but relatively surprising is the widespread evidence of old to ancient land management practices, particularly on the more remote, elevated steep terrain away from existing villages. These features include stone walls, stone structures and a variety of stone terraces and unsupported earthen step-form terraces, some of which may have their origins with pre-Chinese aboriginal hill tribes. Their distribution, nature and occurrence provide an insight into the history of human settlement in Hong Kong, which is generally unknown within the earth science and engineering communities. These man-made features occur over extensive areas, with many on steep slopes and in natural drainage lines, and with some stone walls and agricultural terraces in excess of 3 m in height. These features should be recognized during natural terrain landslide hazard assessments and other engineering geological and geotechnical studies.

ISSN: 1470-9236
EISSN: 2041-4803
Serial Title: Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology
Serial Volume: 45
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Some observations about man-made features on natural terrain in Hong Kong
Affiliation: Mapwell Land Resource Surveys, Yamba, N.S.W., Australia
Pages: 131-138
Published: 201205
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of London, London, United Kingdom
References: 14
Accession Number: 2012-054562
Categories: Engineering geologyGeomorphology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
N22°04'60" - N22°34'60", E113°49'60" - E114°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG), Civil Engineering and Development Department, CHN, China
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201228
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal