Karst Landforms YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Karst Topography (By Underground Water) - Formation, 8 Erosional and 9 Depositional Landforms

Karst Landforms

Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves.

It includes erosional and depositional landforms as explained below in the diagrams. For complete details refer the video lecture at the link above.

Variations in Karst Landforms
Variations in Karst Landforms


  • Grooved
  • Fluted


  • Underground cave formed by water in a limestone.
  • Penck, Weller and Dane considered mechanical action by rock debris
    • Water table too low for solution.
  • Davis and Piper made solution action of water responsible for cavern excavation

Arch and Natural Bridge

  • Part of the cavern collapses
  • Sink Holes
  • Funnel-shaped depressions
  • Three to nine metres
  • One square metre to more
  • Enlargement of the cracks
  • Continuous solvent action of the rainwater.

Swallow Holes

  • Swallow holes are cylindrical underneath the sink hole.
  • Streams sink disappear underground
  • Linked with underground caves

Karst Window

  • Adjoining sink holes collapse
  • Open, broad area called a karst window.

Sinking Creeks or Bogas

  • Water gets through cracks and fissures.
  • Tops are open- bogas.


  • Small depressions


  • Adjoining dolines come together
  • Large depression

Polje and Blind Valley

  • Uvalas coalesce - valley called polje
  • A flat-floored depression
  • Blind valleys- surface streams

Dry Valley and Bourne

  • A stream cuts impermeable layer to reach limestone bed
  • Water table is lowered.
  • Tributaries start serving the subterranean drainage and dry up
  • Lack of water leaves them hanging


  • Curved relicts of limestone rocks after erosion

Stalactite and Stalagmite

  • Limestone in solution seeps into roofs of caverns as drops
  • Evaporation of water
  • Deposit of limestone forms stalactite, growing downwards
  • Drop falls to the floor evaporates to form limestone stalagmite on floor
  • Stalactite and stalagmite join into a complete column
Karst Landforms in Ceiling
Karst Landforms in Walls
Karst Landforms in Deep Well
Kalpsar Project Image-5
Kalpsar Project Image-6
Pillars Stalegtites and Stalegmites
Karst Landforms in Caves with Ceiling Formation
Pillar Karst Landforms in Caves
Thin Karst Landforms in Caves
Karst Landforms in Caves
Karst Landforms in Caves with Ice