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Karst Processes and Landforms. Objectives Discuss processes producing karst landscapes and influencing environmental factors Analyze landscapes characterizing.

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Presentation on theme: "Karst Processes and Landforms. Objectives Discuss processes producing karst landscapes and influencing environmental factors Analyze landscapes characterizing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Karst Processes and Landforms

2 Objectives Discuss processes producing karst landscapes and influencing environmental factors Analyze landscapes characterizing karst landscapes and describe their formation Relate karst process to development of undeground cave systems

3 Introduction Through dissolution of rocks landscapes are formed Karst is name for landscapes and landforms produced and processes causing them Most karst landforms beneath ground – Limestone caves are examples

4 Karst Processes Rock must be soluble in water – Most karst develop in limestones Limestone must be less than 20-30% other minerals More porosity favors karst – Also in gypsum, dolomite, even sandstone

5 Role of Water and Climate Karst forms slowly in dry climates, faster in humid one Carbonation is important process – More CO2 in water favors dissolution

6 Relief Flat rocks slow underground drainage and karst development High relief causes more rapid water movement Deepening valleys lower water table causing varying levels of karst

7 Groundwater Karst forms large pathways for rapid groundwater flow Dyes can trace water flow Contaminants move quickly

8 Karst Landforms and Landscapes Temperate Karst Slower forming karst with: – Disappearing streams – Jagged rock masses – Solution depressions – Extensive cave networks

9 Karst Landforms and Landscapes Tropical Karst Rapidly forming karst characterized by: – Larger solution features – More vegetation cover More organic acids and biogenic action – Steep sided hills

10 Karst Landforms and Landscapes Caribbean Karst Forms in few locations such as Florida Hills feed water to flat lying limestones near sea level – Conduits form. Collapse form surface depressions

11 Disappearing Streams and Sinkholes Streams disappear in swallow holes – Holes formed by dissolution along fault or joint Solution sinkholes may be large and area may contain thousands Collapse sinkholes form through collapse of roof – Include collapse and suffusion sink – Two or more sinkhole coming together form large depression called uvala

12 Karst Towers Cone-shaped, steep-sided hill Main feature in tropical karst Maybe 100s of meters tall Form through lack of soil and vegetation cover on parts of limestone bedrock – Surrounding area lowered through dissolution

13 Karst and Caves Form through dissolution along joints/fractures – Consist of portal and termination – Cave network depends on stratigraphy, faulting, jointing – Large areas form chambers or rooms – Stalactites (hanging) and stalagmites (standing) form


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