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Document Type

Research

Keywords

Karst, Iowa geology, northeast Iowa, caves, sinkholes, landuse hazards

Abstract

Karst landforms of northeastern lowa have developed on Silurian and Ordovician carbonate rocks through processes of dissolution and collapse. The karst areas are characterized by rapid infiltration, direct runoff into sinkholes, underground drainage through solution-enlarged fractures, bedding planes and caves, and groundwater discharge at springs. Mechanically induced karst is found along the Silurian Escarpment and in close proximity to major valleys, but the majority of northeastern Iowa's karst features are solutional in origin. Collapse of rock and surficial deposits into solutional openings in underlying rock pose safety and engineering problems in the area. The direct connection of surfacewaters with shallow bedrock aquifers through sinkholes, swallows in streams, and rapid infiltration has resulted in degradation of the groundwater quality, posing possible health hazards to inhabitants of this region. These environmental problems can be reduced through recognition of the hazards posed by the presence of karst and through reasoned approaches to land management.

Publication Date

March 1984

Journal Title

Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science

Volume

91

Issue

1

First Page

12

Last Page

15

Copyright

© Copyright 1984 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf

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