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Karst Processes and Landforms

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Presentation on theme: "Karst Processes and Landforms"— 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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