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Question:

In what conditions are necessary for karst formation?

In what conditions are necessary for karst formation?

Answer:

Actually, it's very simple. Karst (karst topography) is just a landscape created by mildly acidic, but otherwise ordinary groundwater dissolving soluble sedimentary rock (usually carbonate rock) such as limestone or dolomite. The carbonic acid that causes these features is formed as rain passes through the atmosphere picking up CO2, which dissolves in the water. Once the rain reaches the ground, it may pass through soil that may provide further CO2 to form a weak carbonic acid solution: H2O + CO2 → H2CO3 (the acid). Recent studies of sulfates, in karst waters, suggests sulfuric acid and hydrosulfuric acid may also play an important role in karst formation. This mildly acidic water begins to dissolve the surface along with any fractures or bedding planes in the limestone bedrock. Over time, these fractures enlarge as the bedrock continues to dissolve. Openings in the rock increase in size, and an underground drainage system begins to develop, allowing more water to pass through the area, and accelerating the formation of underground karst features. Somewhat less common than this limestone karst is gypsum karst, where the solubility of the mineral gypsum provides many similar structures to the dissolution and redeposition of calcium carbonate. The eventual topography that we see can be anywhere from absolutely nothing (all of the rock dissolved away) to huge spires and extensive cave systems.
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