This essential book covers all physical, chemical, and geological aspects of karst science. It reviews current knowledge on hydrogeology, geomorphology and caves in karst, based on the vast existing literature and investigations carried out by the authors worldwide. The different topics are profusely illustrated with color figures and images from all continents and climates, showing the scientific and aesthetic appeal of karst environments.
Karst Hydrogeology, Geomorphology and Caves covers in a systematic way the significant features of karst rocks, the chemistry and kinetics of their dissolution, the rate and distribution of karst denudation, the unique hydrogeology of karst terrains, the landforms endemic to karst, the morphology of caves and their diverse sedimentary records, and the multiple processes that lead to the formation of underground voids. Overall, the work reflects the increasing recognition of karst as a fundamental part of the Earth's dynamic systems, and helps readers understand this multidisciplinary field from a holistic and nuts-and-bolts perspective. Some of the ideas discussed within the book include:
- How karst is gaining importance for human development, because of its valuable resources (groundwater) and associated environmental problems (impacts and hazards)
- The enormous technological developments achieved in recent years
- Recent major breakthroughs in the field and their influence on other scientific disciplines
- The central role played by karst science for understanding and mitigating global environmental issues (global warming, depletion of resources, human-induced hazards)
For all scientists working in karst, and for students and lecturers of karst-related programs, this book serves as a valuable all-in-one source. It is also a valuable resource for professional hydrogeologists, the petroleum industry, environmental geologists, and of course speleologists, the last true geographic explorers in the world.
1 Introduction to Karst 1
2 Karst Rocks 15
3 Dissolution of Karst Rocks 76
4 Denudation in Karst. Rates and Spatial Distribution 195
5 Karst Hydrogeology 260
6 Karren and Sinkholes 336
7 Other Karst Landforms 466
8 Special Features Associated with Evaporites 517
9 Cave Geomorphology 574
10 Cave Deposits 654
11 Speleogenesis: How Solutional Caves Form 762
Jo De Waele is a Full Professor in the Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Bologna, Italy. Francisco Gutierrez is a Full Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Zaragoza, Spain.