groundwater and karst topography
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Groundwater and karst topography. #1 factor in geoenvironmental problems of the Nittany Valley. Karst topography: dissolution of limestone along fractures. CO 2 + H 2 O = H 2 CO 3 (acid) H 2 CO 3 + CaCO 3 = Ca 2+ + 2 HCO 3 -

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groundwater and karst topography

Groundwater and karst topography

#1 factor in geoenvironmental problems of the Nittany Valley

slide2

Karst topography: dissolution of limestone along fractures

  • CO2 + H2O = H2CO3 (acid)
  • H2CO3 + CaCO3 = Ca2+ + 2 HCO3-
  • Produces 50-100 mg/L Ca & HCO3 ions dissolved in groundwater; these are carried away, perpetuating the dissolution.
  • Collapse of land surface above caverns forms a KARST topography
slide6

Two possible scenarios of sinkhole subsidence

  • (a) collapse above caves
  • (b) washout of plugs above chimneys to cave systems
  • Almost always, sinkhole collapse is NOT a problem if the underground caverns are below the water table or if groundwater flow is not downward. And in all cases, the caves are preexisting.
slide17
k is permeability (ability to transport water). Note last column, and relatively rapid transport in karst limestone
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