Highlighting the conditions conducive to Karst Topography, discuss its distribution around the world.

Limestone or calcium carbonate topography is also known as Karst topography. Karst Topography is the formation of landforms due to solution and deposition on any limestone or dolomitic region by the action of groundwater or surface water.

Conditions conducive to its formation:

  • Absence of surface drainage.
  • Presence of heavy rainfall, whose water seeps down through cracks. This water reemerges at a point where the water table reaches the surface.
  • Underground caves and caverns are formed by water action.
  • Presence of huge, dense, and massive soluble limestone, just above the non-porous bedrock.
  • Presence of sinkholes which are funnels shaped depressions.
  • Sinkholes become large enough to be called potholes.
  • Depositional forms may be of stalagmite, stalactites, or pillar type.

Distribution around the world:

  • Approximately 15% of the world’s land surface is karst.
  • The most extensive karst area is the Limestones of the Mississippian age in the USA.
  • Other areas are:
    • Appalachians
    • West Texas
    • Eastern Mexico
    • England and Ireland
    • Mediterranean region, i.e Greece, Turkey, Israel
    • Yugoslavia and Ukraine

Karst topography is formed by the chemical erosion and weathering of carbonate rocks. In India, Karst is present in the Vindhya region, the Himalayas, Panchmarhi, and areas near Bastar (Chhatisgarh).


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