From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Geology (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon Karst is part of WikiProject Geology, an attempt at creating a standardized, informative, comprehensive and easy-to-use geology resource. If you would like to participate, you can choose to edit this article, or visit the project page for more information.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Caves
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Caves, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of caving and cave articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.


Might want to put a reference to Valvasor into the history as well.(17th century)

From the wiki page: Valvasor was a pioneer of study of karst phenomena. Upon the proposal of Edmond Halley, who was not only an astronomer but also a geophysicist, and in 1687 his extensive treatise on the hydrology of the intermittent Lake Cerknica won him a Fellowship of the Royal Society. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:10, 17 May 2011 (UTC)


I'm not actually sure if the region in the specific sense extends south from Slovenia. The krš in general certainly does, but Kras? --Shallot 15:46, 26 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Pictures from Italian Karst[edit]

I uploaded some pictures from Italian Karst into Commons:Category:Karst--Alex brollo 05:49, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Tower Karsts and Karst Formation[edit]

Not terribly knowledgeable about Karsts myself. I live in Cambodia, where we have many "tower karsts" throughout the southern part of the country. This article, however, largely only refers to the karst formations found in mid-latitude regions, and not to tower karsts and their formation (which you find only in Tropical zones I believe).

ANy experts out there want to try updating with information tower karsts?

  • Have slightly revised text to be a little more encompassing, but no one region really is featured. Perhaps the entire article needs expansion with sections on tropical karst, alpine karst, etc...? Ian mckenzie 20:50, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Move to plain old "karst"[edit]

There are topographic features that result from the development of karst, but anything below ground is out of the domain of "topography". If explainations of karst formations and caves are to be given, I reckon the page be moved to karst. Cheers, Daniel Collins 16:14, 20 March 2006 (UTC).

I agree, this article covers more than just the topography but also details about formation, features, and dangers within karst areas. good thought! GEO310Lindsey GEO310Lindsey (talk) 18:30, 7 October 2010 (UTC)


Isn't the Nullarbor Plain in Australia Karst? It is the worlds biggest hunk of limestone! It also has a lot of limestone caves.

I thought I'd ask here first rather than just putting possibly inaccurate information into the article.

more work needed[edit]

I've done some revising and rewriting, but more is needed. I took out some stuff that is more thoroughly examined elsewhere (in caves and speleothems, for example). Not sure whether explanations of karst pavement, clint/grike etc is appropriate here, or if separate pages for each makes more sense... Ian mckenzie 22:54, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

'karst' in other languages[edit], I've reverted your alterations back to the original, as your version put inordinate attention on pronouncing the Chinese word rather than the simple point that other languages have different terms for karst. Also, as this is an English site, it is relevant to point out that there is no equivalent word in English, as a prelude to the next sentence (the international usage of the German term). BTW, I took the spelling of the word 'yienjung' from Karst in China, an English language book published by the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in 1976. Ian mckenzie 18:03, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Nullarbor Plain[edit]

According to the Australian Wilderness Society, the Nullarbor Plain is indeed the world's largest Karst Landscape. I would suggest that perhaps whoever edits the information should add this information into the wiki. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:19, 25 February 2007 (UTC).

Chalk stream[edit]

Does the Chalk stream belong in this topographical classification? Verne Equinox 18:42, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Someone needs to find published material which states whether it belongs. -- SEWilco (talk) 15:51, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

dynamics missing[edit]

I would appreciate information on the dynamics of the hydrological systems in caves and tunnels, and on such dramatical events as the onset of the rainy season in, say, Guatemala, the sudden increase of the water flow, the visibility and audibility of the subterranean changes above, on the surface, etc. 17:40, 19 June 2007 (UTC)


I have removed the Gibraltar reference and excellent photograph, as a "monolithic limestone promontory" is not in itself a karst feature. Ian mckenzie 03:55, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Caves as the 'defining characteristic'[edit]

I have removed the statement that underground drainage is the 'defining characteristic' of karst landscapes. Although obviously very common, I have not read anywhere that this is essential to the definition. There are lots of recently-deglaciated limestones that exhibit surficial karst where underground drainage is unknown, unproven, or simply not present. In fact, one might argue that cavernous areas where surface karst is not evident is not a karst landscape.Ian mckenzie (talk) 18:43, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Process based definition of karst, as opposed to karst landscapes[edit]

Karstified geological formations do require internal drainage. The drainage channels however can be very small and do not need to be human-explorable caves. For karst landscapes, I would agree that recently exposed rocks can have surface dissolution features (ie rillen karren) but that is not an adequate definition for the landscape to be considered karstified.

I am wondering if some coordinated reorganization of this entry would clarify the global relationship between: - 'karst' from a PROCESS based geomorphological understanding which does implicitly require increased permeability by dissolution opening up internal drainage channels (which can be mm in diameter and therefore not necessarily human enterable caves. - 'karst topography' based on observation of individual FEATURES independent of how they formed, or what they will form into. In this case, karst topography could only include unconfined geological settings, and/or landscapes with surface dissolution features even though below the surface there might not be any existing or potential for internal drainage.

The issue with feature based definitions is that multiple processes can give rise to morphometrically indistinguishable features, there is no consideration of landscape evolution, and in the absence of observation of the feature then there is a misclassification. Two good examples of why feature based definitions are not defensible are: a very large area over Mammoth Cave in Kentucky has no karst topography, and therefore would not be karst despite the cave underneath ( a false negative classification); lava tubes are cave like holes and therefore are karst even though they form by categorically distinct hydrogeochemical processes (a false positive classification). We do however call lava tubes pseudo-karst because they can function as hydrogeological conduits, and their internal climate and biology can be broadly parallel.

I suggest that a re-organization of the entry on karst might be able to provide a clear process based definition of karst, but also do justice to the role of karst landscapes and surface features. Opinion? Ideas? Feedback? It would be really nice to have some discussion on this since I suspect there are a large number of karst and cave loving Wikipedians. I will confess that I am relative new to Wikipedia and so I hope this is the right place to get a discussion going. Cheers. Trish Beddows Ggpab (talk) 01:53, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Hi Trish; fancy meeting you here! Not sure I'd agree that rillen karren on its own is not 'karst topography'. But, this can be resolved simply by including a credible citation or two for the notion that there must be underground drainage in order for topography to be 'karst'. Or, simply remove (as I have) the word 'definitive' if there's no such citation available. Ian mckenzie (talk) 05:08, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
  • We don't create definitions, we report what the definitions are. Find sources which define karst. -- SEWilco (talk) 15:47, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

image resizing[edit]

I have reverted the thumbnail resizing by Attilios, because I felt it detracted from the article... but am willing to be corrected if in fact there is a 'standard' size that (s)he is trying to adhere to. Ian mckenzie (talk) 03:12, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Grouping karst and pseudokarst[edit]

If my addition of "List of notable pseudokarst areas" is OK, I think it would be better to group the general karst discussion with the "List of notable karst areas" and move the "Pseudokarst" area down below that, grouping it with it's list of notable areas. JulianDave (talk) 19:21, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Driftless Area[edit]

Disappearing streams and disappearing valleys (among other red-links) need to be mentioned.--Ace Telephone (talk) 05:55, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Karst area in Estonia[edit]

There is a karst area in Tuhala, Estonia. I've added it to the link and can fix pictures if anyone wanna fix a stub/article. CarlJohanSveningsson (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 16:54, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

List of karst/pseudokarst areas -- separate articles?[edit]

Related to the section #Grouping karst and pseudokarst above, I think that the lists in this article should be separated and given their own article(s). Given that there are countless regions in the world that can be considered notable karst areas, the list could get big enough to swamp the article and detract from its content; in fact I think it's already gone so far as to do this.

Would anyone have any objections to the creation of a separate List of karst regions and List of pseudokarst regions? Or should the list of pseudokarts regions be included as an additional heading on the list of karst regions page? Fattonyni (talk) 13:41, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that is a good idea. Lists of areas will only become more unmanageable. JulianDave (talk) 23:18, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Initial pictures[edit]

I think that one of the photographs in the leading paragraph should be of the original Slovene/Triestine Karst (well not exactly original but original in the sense that this is where the term originates). The Karst/Kras/Carso is one of the defining features of western Slovenia and Trieste and maybe its importance should be highlighted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

West Virginia[edit]

Given the WV page ( says it is one of the most karistic areas in the world, shouldn't there be some mention of it here?

20:55, 7 January 2012 (UTC)Matt — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Fenglin and Fengcong karst[edit]

This chinese terminology appears to be quite common, particularly when describing karsts in the tropical zone. Is there a reason why the terms are not mentioned in the article? Mikenorton (talk) 17:20, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Ripping off other websites[edit]

So, did UT Austin give Wikipedia permission to copy the first paragraph on this page verbatim from their website, or does that kind of plagiarism just go unnoticed here in the land where anyone can edit? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:59, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

Non-terrestrial karst formations[edit]

According to [1] there are karsts on Titan. This might do for some section about off-Earth formations -- (talk) 07:37, 21 June 2015 (UTC)