What do you mean by karst topography?

Asked By: Benemerito Reulecke | Last Updated: 8th February, 2020
Category: science geology
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karst topography. [ kärst ] A landscape that is characterized by numerous caves, sinkholes, fissures, and underground streams. Karst topography usually forms in regions of plentiful rainfall where bedrock consists of carbonate-rich rock, such as limestone, gypsum, or dolomite, that is easily dissolved.

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Moreover, what are the characteristics of a karst topography?

Karst, terrain usually characterized by barren, rocky ground, caves, sinkholes, underground rivers, and the absence of surface streams and lakes. It results from the excavating effects of underground water on massive soluble limestone.

Also Know, why is karst topography important? High permeability of karst rocks enables fast infiltration of water from surface to the underground, and from there on a very rapid flow over long distances and through usually unknown paths. Together with water also the pollution spreads quickly and endangers water resources.

Simply so, where does karst topography occur?

Karst and potential karst areas in soluble rocks in the contiguous United States. These are areas where carbonate rocks are known to occur in the relatively shallow subsurface and where voids are known to propagate up through the cover of overlying sediment.

How does karst topography impact human activities?

Common geological characteristics of karst regions that influence human use of its land and water resources include ground subsidence, sinkhole collapse, groundwater contamination, and unpredictable water supply.

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How does Karst happen?

A karst fenster (karst window) occurs when an underground stream emerges onto the surface between layers of rock, cascades some distance, and then disappears back down, often into a sinkhole. Groundwater in karst areas is just as easily polluted as surface streams.

How are stalactites formed?

Stalactites form when water containing dissolved calcium bicarbonate from the limestone rock drips from the ceiling of a cave. As the water comes into contact with the air, some of the calcium bicarbonate precipitates back into limestone to form a tiny ring, which gradually elongates to form a stalactite.

How does a karst form?

Karst is associated with soluble rock types such as limestone, marble, and gypsum. In general, a typical karst landscape forms when much of the water falling on the surface interacts with and enters the subsurface through cracks, fractures, and holes that have been dissolved into the bedrock.

Which condition is required for the development of karst topography?

Conditions needed for the development of karst topography include: carbonate bedrock at a shallow depth and humid climate.

What factors control Karst?


The development of karst terrain depends on the interplay of at least seven important factors in varying degrees. These are: lithology, structure, relief, hydrology, climate, vegetation, and time. Lithology.

How would you recognize a karst landscape?

Features of karst landscapes include sinkholes, caves, large springs, dry valleys and sinking streams. These landscapes are characterized by efficient flow of groundwater through conduits that become larger as the bedrock dissolves.

Which is required for karst topography to form?

Karst topography needs the presence of each carbonate rock and water that's slightly acidic. This method of physical and chemical weathering creates karst topography, like evident in caverns.

What are speleothems made of?

Speleothems formed from salt, sulfur and other minerals are also known. Speleothems made of pure calcium carbonate are a translucent white color, but often speleothems are colored by chemicals such as iron oxide, copper or manganese oxide, or may be brown because of mud and silt particulate inclusions.

What does Karst look like?


Karst landscapes can be worn away from the top or dissolved from a weak point inside the rock. Karst landscapes feature caves, underground streams and sinkholes on the surface. Shilin got its name because the tall rocks that formed due to erosion look like stone trees.

Which rock types are prone to karst development and why?

Rocks especially susceptible to the development of karst topography are those containing a high amount of the mineral calcite, such as LIMESTONE. Through time, chemical weathering along some of these pathways of ground water has dissolved and removed rock material. These voids are called CAVERNS.

What causes sink holes?

Sometimes, heavy weight on soft soil can result in collapse of ground, resulting in a sinkhole. Sinkholes can also form when the land surface is changed. Areas that have a bedrock made of limestone, salt deposits or carbonate rock are most susceptible to erosion and the formation of such holes.

How are tower karst formed?

Karst topography is formed by the dissolution of minerals. But karst topography is the most common in limestone terrain. Tower karst is formed in tropical areas where solution cuts limestones into deep gorges. As they widen and convert into plains, isolated towers of limestones develop.

What reaction creates karst topography?

Karst Topography is a chemical reaction about the dissolution of layer(s) of soluble bedrock, clearly, carbonate rock like limestone or dolomite. Acidic water erodes the calcium in the bedrock, which is a main constituent of carbonate rocks in creating caverns.

Is the Grand Canyon a karst landscape?


In late Mississippian time, the Grand Canyon region was slowly uplifted and the Redwall was partly eroded away. A Karst topography consisting of caves, sinkholes, and subterranean river channels resulted but were later filled with more limestone.

What features are associated with karst regions?

Karst topography may contain sinkholes or funnel-shaped holes in the surface of the land, caverns, caves, and underground rivers. Karst topography varies greatly, from steep jagged cliffs to soft rolling hills; from microscopic in size to hundreds of square miles. Karst regions are found all over Earth.

Which areas of Britain have karst landscapes?

England
  • White Peak of the Peak District, around Matlock, Castleton (including Thor's Cave)
  • Mendip Hills including Cheddar Gorge.
  • Yorkshire Dales including Gaping Gill and the Three Counties System.
  • Forest of Dean including the Clearwell Caves and Mines.