What features would you expect to find in this landscape? How do they form?Suppose you are a geologist traveling in a region that has limestone bedrock and plenty of rainfall.

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bandmanjoe | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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Due to the fact limestone has calcium carbonate (CaCO3) as a principle ingredient, you would expect to not see too many areas with visible signs of groundwater, such as rivers, streams, ponds, or lakes.  The water dissolves the calcium carbonate over time, causing cracks to appear in the bedrock formation, through which groundwater escapes.  This type of land topography is referred to as "karst" topography, meaning visible signs of surface water are limited, or appear to be nonexistent, even in heavy rainfall areas.  Caves, which are large areas underground, are usually a result of limestone bedrock being dissolved over long periods of time as well.  The Carlsbad caverns are a great example of the erosion caused by the dissolving of limestone by water, resulting in huge underground caverns full of stalgmite and stalactite calcium carbonate formations.


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