Chapter 17

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Chapter 17: 

Solution Processes and Karst Topography Chapter 17

Solution Processes and Karst Topography: 

Solution Processes and Karst Topography Solution and Precipitation Caverns and Related Features Karst Topography Hydrothermal Features

Relative Solubility in Water: 

Relative Solubility in Water This diagram demonstrates the solubility of common rock forming elements Sodium and calcium are very soluble Aluminum is NOT


Caverns Large caves or chambers in caves Found anywhere there’s a massive limestone deposit at/near the surface Usually larger horizontally than vertically Connection to surface may be small or hidden May be very extensive system of “rooms” Stream may flow along floor

Cavern Formation: 

Cavern Formation Solution of underground water trickles along bedding planes and joint systems Water dissolves limestone bedrock and leaves holes Water leaves behind compounds it carried in solution

Cavern Features: 

Cavern Features Water dripping from roof forms stalactite – icicle Water hits floor and builds upward - stalagmite

Karst Topography: 

Karst Topography Karst Landforms Sinkhole Tower Karst

Limestone and Karst Regions: 

Limestone and Karst Regions

Development of Karst Topography: 

Development of Karst Topography

Tower Karst: 

Tower Karst

Karst Topography: 

Karst Topography Tower Karsts


Sinkholes Closed depressions in the land surface formed by dissolution of near-surface rocks or by the collapse of the roofs of underground channels and caverns. Natural, common geologic feature in places underlain by soluble rocks Natural conditions = they form slowly and expand gradually Unnatural = dredging, constructing reservoirs, diverting surface water, and pumping ground water can accelerate the rate of sinkhole expansion - resulting in the abrupt formation of collapse-type sinkholes, some of which are spectacular

Florida Sinkholes: 

Florida Sinkholes Most of central Florida underlain by limestone bedrock Population growth has drained ground water Sparse rainfall in the 70’s accelerated drawdown of water table Number of sinkholes increased Approx 1/d in 80’s

Hydrothermal Features: 

Hydrothermal Features Hot Springs Geysers Fumaroles

Hot Springs: 

Hot Springs Water heated below ground Sometimes due to proximity of magma Finds path of least resistance to surface

Geysers Fumaroles: 

Geysers Fumaroles

Yellowstone National Park: 

Yellowstone National Park Geyser Basins Travertine Terraces

Yellowstone Geyser Basins: 

Yellowstone Geyser Basins

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