|Engineering Aspects of Karst
What this map layer shows:
Areas of karst in the United States, as well as karst-like terrain produced by processes other than the dissolution of rocks.
"Karst" is the term commonly used to describe areas containing
distinctive surficial and subterranean features, such as fissures, tubes,
and caves, developed by solution of carbonate and other rocks. Karst
areas are characterized by closed depressions, sinking streams, and cavern
openings. When used in its broadest sense, the term karst encompasses
many surface and subsurface conditions that give rise to problems in
engineering geology. Most of these problems pertain to subterranean features
that affect foundations, tunnels, and diversion of surface drainage.
Subterranean openings may be the habitat of unique and, in some cases,
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geology
Discipline scientists conduct
research and studies on karst geology and karst-related geologic hazards,
as well as on the geologic framework of karst aquifers. Other USGS
scientists study karst-related water resources, contaminant transport
in karst aquifers, and biological habitat in caves, springs, and karst
wetlands. The results of these USGS studies are provided to other agencies
and to the general public and are used to educate the public and legislators
about karst issues and to provide a basis for karst research. Studies
of karst areas also allow Federal, State, and local land-use managers
to make informed decisions as they work to conserve unique environments
and landforms while protecting public health and safety. The USGS formed
a Karst Interest Group (KIG) in 1999 to encourage and support interdisciplinary
collaboration and technology transfer among USGS scientists working in
karst areas. Participation in the KIG and the workshops it sponsors has
expanded to include other Federal, State and local agencies, and private
groups. This map layer was compiled by the USGS Geology Discipline.
The Engineering Aspects of Karst data set shows areas of karst in the
United States, as well as features analogous to karst (sometimes referred
to as "pseudokarst", which is karst-like terrain produced by
processes other than the dissolution of rocks.) Also included are lines
showing the limits of areas of subsidence caused by karst-related problems.
This data set is a digital representation of USGS
Open-File Report 2004-1352, which is a PDF version of the 1984 USGS Engineering Aspects
of Karst map. Further information on karst is available from The
National Cave and Karst Research Institute, the National
Park Service Cave and Karst Program, and from the USGS
Ground Water Information Page on Karst. Information on subsidence is available from the USGS
Ground Water Information Page on Subsidence.