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Jeju island is situated in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula and covers a lava plateau with a shield volcano at an elevation of 1,950 meters above sea level. The biosphere reserve is located at the center of the island, comprising in its core area Mt. Halla, two stream corridors and three islets.

 
Geology

The Jeju sheet is bounded between the latitude 33°00’ ~ 34°00’ and longitude 126°00’ ~ 127°00’. The Jeju island has an elliptical shape of 74 km in a long diameter and a short diameter of 32 km. The Mt. Halla, the highest peak located at the central part of the island, rises 1,950 m above sea level. The number of pyroclastic cones in Jeju sheet is about 360. The name of scoria cones is called Oreum in Jeju. Most of them are scoria cones and about 10 are tuff cones and rings. The former are largely concentrated in inland area, whereas the latter are distributed along the coastal regions.
Jeju island is a shield volcano, presently lying on a carbon 100m deep continental shelf off the Korean Peninsula. The island is composed mainly of basaltic lava flows and subordinate amount of pyroclastic and sedimentary rocks. The lavas of the Jeju island are known as basalt, trachybasalt, basaltic trachyandesite, trchyandesite and trachyte. The geochemical studies supported that the volcanic rocks have characteristics of oceanic island basalt and the eruption which is the hot-spot related to the mantle-plumes.

 
Vegetation

There are 2,001 kinds of subtropical, temperate, and polar plants, distributed vertically with Mt. Halla which is located in the center of the island and has a rich repository of plants.

 
Volcanic Ash Soil

Volcanic ash soils are generally named based on parent materials; ejecta of volcano. Major Soils in Jeju island are largely dark brown soils and black soils; dark brown soils are non-volcanic ash soil weathered by basalt, dark brown ash soil and black soils are volcanic ash soils from volcanic ash.
Jeju volcanic ash soils are more barren compared to ones of inland soils. Another innate characteristic of Jeju volcanic ash soils is greater P retention within soils. However, these problems have resolved by easy access to fertilizer. Moreover, Jeju volcanic ash soils become good soils to grow crops because of greater organic matter contents/CEC, better moisture retention and soil aeration. Dark color of the soil is drawn from organic matter in the soil. Darker soils that contain more organic matter tend to have lower allophone content and higher content of Al-organic matter complexes. The higher content of Al-organic matter complexes may cause problems to crops, but so far, research found that there is no Al toxicity to crops because of lower exchangeable Al content.

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