Planned new area geologically stable, has clean groundwater
Xiongan New Area has a stable geologic structure, good for ground construction and underground infrastructure, as well as vast farmland and groundwater resources, according to the first phase of a geological survey released on Wednesday.
China announced plans in April to establish Xiongan New Area, a new economic zone about 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing that covers Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin counties in Hebei province.
The plans include buildings, such as entertainment complexes and logistics and transportation hubs, some underground.
Experts from China Geological Survey, a research bureau under the Ministry of Land and Resources, started the first stage of their survey in June.
Over 1,700 experts have participated in the first phase of the survey, which covered 1,770 square kilometers in the region, collecting extensive data on water, soil and other geological information.
They concluded that 89.5 percent of the surveyed land is geologically stable and "suitable or relatively suitable for construction", but they warned authorities should be aware of the land subsidence.
There is no heavy metal pollution on 99.3 percent of the land, and 1,533 hectares is good farmland - 573 hectares, were found to be rich in selenium, an essential trace element that is good for human health.
"It's valuable, high-quality farmland without pollution in the region, and we suggest the authorities make better use of it and set it up as a special farmland zone with extra protection," Ma Zhen, head of the geological survey groups in Xiongan, said on Wednesday.
Xiongan also has good groundwater, said Hao Aibing, director of the research bureau's hydrogeological environment department. Seventy-eight percent of it in the shallow layer - up to 150 meters deep - and 95 percent from the deep layer could be drinkable immediately or after simple treatment.
The geologists also found that Xiongan New Area has rich geothermal energy resources in the shallow layer - up to 200 meters deep - which could make the area more ecologically sound.
Geological survey authorities intend to continue collecting data on the area.
By 2020, they will present comprehensive findings as the "transparent Xiongan" system, a compilation of multifaceted data from continuing surveys of space, resources, environment, and potential disasters, to fully support the city's growth.