3 Hydrogeologic Characteristics of Karst Aquifers

In general terms, a karst aquifer can be identified as an aquifer in which permeability, flow, recharge, and storage characteristics have been created or modified as a result of dissolution by naturally occurring acidic fluids, such as rainwater that combined with carbon dioxide to form a weak carbonic acid. To many, the term “karst aquifer” is virtually synonymous with limestone aquifer due to the latter’s susceptibility to dissolution and widespread geographical occurrence, but other carbonate rocks such as dolostone, chalk, marble, and soluble non-carbonates (evaporites) such as gypsum and anhydrite, are also subject to varying degrees of karstification and may exhibit hydrogeological characteristics typical of karst aquifers.


Introduction to Karst Aquifers Copyright © 2022 by Eve L. Kuniansky, Charles J. Taylor, and Frederick Paillet. All Rights Reserved.