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Karst topography is a three-dimensional landscape shaped by the dissolution of a soluble layer or layers of bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite.Cave - natural opening underground > 0.5 cm created from dissolving rock. If smaller than 0.5 cm water clings to the sides instead of flowing. A cave is a small ecosystem. Usually formed limestone or marble. The chemical process is adding acid to rock to form calcium, water and carbondioxide: The process works both ways.
CaCo3 + 2H+ <---->Ca+ + H2O +CO2
rock ...... acid .......... ion .. water ... gas
make caves <-----> form speleothems
Steps in the formation and demise of a desolution cave:
1. Formation and demise
b. rock dissolves rock along surfaces of cracks
c. Some holes (tunnels) continue to grow and form sponge works while others are abandoned It depends on water flow. This is a complex step, it and steps 4 & 5 can happen simultaenouusly in the same cave.
e. death - the cave becomes open to the surface and begins to die from the results of changing temperatures, atmospheric conditions, and animal/human polution.
2. speleothems - cave forms
2) stalactite - descends from cave ceiling
3) stalagmite - grows up from cave floor. This form cannot exist unless a straw forms first.
4) column - a stalactite and stalagmite that have joined
b. flow stone
2) draperies- folds hanging from sides of cave