|Abstract:The danxia landscape was the most representative and named at the Mt. Danxia of Guangdong Province, which is a special type of landscape characterized by red cliffs. In recent years, with the rise of tourism development, it has become an important object of landscape geomorphology research. However, some basic issues of the danxia landscape are controversial. Based on the geological, geomorphological characteristics and regional geological evolution of the named place, this paper proposes a new definition and classification of danxia landscapes with emphases on the geomorphic features of prominent red cliffs, continental red bed foundation, and water erosion since the Yanshanian cycle. Moreover, the danxia landscapes are also widespread in NW China, which can be divided into two types: (1) the early Danxia landscape covered by the Quaternary loess, and (2) another is characterized by water erosion and deposited mud films. This paper puts forward the concept of danxianization, which indicates various geological processes such as water erosion, gravity collapse and weathering spalling of the Mesozoic - Cenozoic continental clastic rocks, resulting in the formation of danxia landscapes. The danxianization includes two special mechanisms of lithofacies control and vertical overflow erosion. The differences of red beds lithofacies control the development and type of danxia landscapes. Therefore, the danxia landscape evolution model is hereby revised as the function of lithofacies, structure, external force, and time. In the typical red beds basins of South China, the alluvial fan coarse-grained rocks at the basin margin have the early, middle, and late development stages. In contrast, the mudstones and siltstones deposited in the lake facies at the central basin are thought to have not experienced the development stage of prominent cliffs. The water erosion during the torrential rain on the cliff sides along the vertical trench is called the vertical overflow erosion. As a result, the vertical grooves and cavities are formed. The vortex action is formed by rotating and drilling by means of wind to generate cone-shaped cavities, beaded tafoni, which are then coalesced laterally to form flat cavities. Thus it is proposed that the ages of the beaded cavities are vertically consistent, whereas the cavities possibly form at different ages in the horizontal direction.