K is for Karst

Welcome to another week of blogging through the alphabet. Amanda and I are delighted to have you join us (for this week or every week) with the Letter K.

You can read others in the series:

A: Sidney Altman, Canadian Scientist.
B: Beavers!
C: Chant National/O Canada.
D: Dog Sledding.
E: Edgewalk.
F. Tailed Frogs.
G: Greats of Canada.
H: Henry Hudson.
I: Igloos and Inukshuks Work

Karst is "a distinctive topography in which the landscape is largely shaped by the dissolving action of water on carbonate bedrock (usually limestone, dolomite, or marble)." (source)


source: http://www.cancaver.ca/docs/karst.htm

Karst is a geological process that takes a long time to form, it is the result of "the carbon dioxide cascade". The result of this process is the formation of sinkholes, vertical shafts, streams that disappear, and complex underground drainage and caves.

As rain falls through the atmosphere it picks up carbon dioxide, and when it lands on the ground it picks up more carbon dioxide... this causes it to form a weak acidic solution called carbonic acid.

This weak solution filters into cracks and crevices, naturally exploiting them.... overtime this leads to the formation of subsurface caves.

This happens in areas where there is a lot of limestone, dolomite and/or marble.

Karst is found in large quantities in Quebec at Ile d'Anticosti, the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island, large patches beneath glacial-lake clays like Lake Agassiz (Winnipeg area) and in the Northwest Territories.   Small patches can be found in Hamilton, Montreal and Ottawa.   The mountains in British Columbia can also host Karst. 

See this site for more information.




A protected cave system in British Columbia. It became protected because of vandalism issues. Cavers asked the government to help protect the cave system, thus leading to the guided tour system today.



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14 comments

  1. I sure do enjoy learning about and seeing caves. I grew up relatively close to some caves (Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico) and I dearly love visiting there. I have never heard the term karst until today, though. - Lori

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    1. I did a random hunt for "K" words for Canada and this one was one the first to pop up, I was unfamiliar with it so thought hey...others might not know the term either. :)

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  2. That's so cool! I knew how the caves formed, but I didn't know the name of it. :)

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  3. Interesting. I learned a lot.

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    1. Good, I live educating people

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  4. Makes me want to go caving again like I did in my younger days.

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  5. I've never been caving...

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  6. Always enjoy learning something new. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I have never heard of Karst before!

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    1. Cool! I wasn't the only one then!! we both learned! :)

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Hi! thanks for stopping by. I love comments, it's good to talk with each other eh?