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KARST PROCESSES & LANDFORMS

Photo: karst landscape A. Introduction

Photo: USGS http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/circ1182/pdf/15WCFlorida.pdf

Karst connotes an assemblage of landforms and a set of processes

Distribution of karst in the US

Map: distribution of karst in the US
Map source: USGS Open File Report 2004-1352

Learning outcomes: you should be able to:


Photo: Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy, Division of Geology and Mineral Resources, Sinkholes and Karst Terrain. http://www.dmme.virginia.gov/DMR3/sinkholes.shtml

Photo: karst landscape, VirginiaB. Driving Forces

Solution

Factors controlling the solution rate


Photo: sinkhole dye injection C. Resisting Framework

Photo: USGS Utah Water Science Center, Mammoth Spring Hydrology.
http://ut.water.usgs.gov/projects/mammothspring/

Lithology: ideal conditions requires limestone that is:

Structure: porosity and permeability


D. Karst Hydrology

Surface drainage

Map: sinking streams

Red line: karst basin boundary. Blue lines: sinking streams. Dashed purple lines: tracer inferred flow paths.
Image: USGS Kentucky Water Science Center, Ground-water Resources Program Karst Hydrology Initiative. http://ky.water.usgs.gov/projects/cjt_karst/index.htm

Subsurface drainage model 1

  • Q = KIA

    Q = discharge

    K = hydraulic conductivity

    I = hydraulic gradient

    A = cross-sectional area

Subsurface drainage model 2


E. Karst Landforms

Dolines (sinkholes)

Map: topographic map Florida sinkholes

Photo: Airphoto Florida sinkholes

Map and Image: http://terraserver-usa.com/

Diagram: solution sinkhole formation
Image: Tihansky (1999) USGS Circular 1182 http://fl.water.usgs.gov/Abstracts/c1182_tihansky.html

Diagram: cover subsidence sinkhole 
      formation
Image: Tihansky (1999) USGS Circular 1182 http://fl.water.usgs.gov/Abstracts/c1182_tihansky.html

Diagram: cover collapse sinkhole formation
Image: Tihansky (1999) USGS Circular 1182 http://fl.water.usgs.gov/Abstracts/c1182_tihansky.html

Photo: Sinkhole, Winter Park, FL
Winter Park, Florida
Photo: NGDC-NOAA Natural Hazards Slide Sets, Landslides Set 2. http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/nndc/struts/results?eq_0=7&t=101634&s=0&d=1

Photo: Pseudokarst on a stagnant glacier
Pseudokarst on stagnant Bering Glacier, Alaska.
Photo: Bruce Molnia, Terraphotographics. Earth Science World Image Bank image hgmzal. http://www.earthscienceworld.org/images/

Karst valleys

Cockpit karst, mogotes, and tower karst Link: cockpit karst photo

Image: cockpit karst in Jamaica; GoogleEarth
Cockpit karst, Jamaica. Image from GoogleEarth.
Image: mogotes in Puerto Rico; GoogleEarth
Mogotes, Puerto Rica. Image from GoogleEarth.
Image: tower karst in China; GoogleEarth
Tower Karst, China. Image from GoogleEarth.

Caves

More karst images


F. Summary

Driving and resisting forces

Karst hydrology

Karst landforms


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©Karen A. Lemke: klemke@uwsp.edu
Last revised November 4, 2014