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A Glossary of

Karst Terminology
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY WATER-SUPPLY PAPER 1899-K
A Glossary of
Karst Terminolog)'
Compiled by WATSON H. MONROE

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

GEOLOGICAL SURVEY WATER-SUPPLY PAPER 1899-K

A contribution to the International


Hydrological Decade

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON : 1970


UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

ROGERS C. B. MORTON, Secretary

GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

V. E. McKelvey, Director

Library of Congress catalog-card No. 75-607530

First printing 1970


Second printing 1972
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATE."

A GLOSSARY OF
KARST TERMINOLOGY

Compiled by WATSON H. MONROB

ABSTRACT
This glossary includes most terms used in describing karst geomorpho'ogic
features and processes. The terms are primarily those used in the literature of
English-speaking countries, but a few of the more common terms in Fronch,
German, and Spanish are included, with references to the corresponding Enrlish
terms where they are available. The glossary also includes simple definitions of
the more common rocks and minerals found in karst terrain, common terms of
hydrology, and a number of the descriptive terms used by speleologists. The
glossary does not include definitions of most biospeleological terms, geologic
structure terms, varieties of carbonate rock that require microscopic techniques
for identification, or names describing tools and techniques of cave exploration.

INTRODUCTION
This glossary of karst terminology has been compiled mainly from
published definitions and suggestions made by the following investi-
gators in karst geomorphology: Keuben Frank and Joseph N. Jen-
nings, Australia; Marjorie M. Sweeting, England; Paul Fenelon,
France; Paul W. Williams, Ireland; David Wozab, Jamaica, TTest
Indies; Victor R. Baker, Eugene Borax, Eeginald P. Briggs, William
E. Davies, John J. Fisher, L. A. Heindl, Harry LeGrand, C. L.
McGuinness, George W. Moore, James P. Quinlan, Zane Spiegel, and
V. T. Stringfield, United States.
The terms are primarily those used in the literature of EngMsh-
speaking countries, but a few of the more common terms in French,
German, Spanish, and Slavic languages are included, with references
to the corresponding English terms. The existing glossaries of geology,
geography, and speleology listed in the references have been para-
phrased or quoted freely. Authorship has not been cited because the
origin of most terms has not been determined.
Although the glossary was originally intended to include only
definitions of karst geomorphologic features, it was soon found desir-
able to include definitions of the more common rocks and minerals
found in karst terrain, common terms of hydrology, and a number of
the descriptive terms used by speleologists; most biospeleological
Kl
K2 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

terms have been omitted. Also omitted are definitions of geologic


structure terms, which are defined in most dictionaries; varieties of
carbonate rocks that require microscopic techniques for identification;
and names describing tools and techniques of cave exploration,
GLOSSARY
anentolite. A helictite in vhich the eccen-
tricity is ascribed to the action of air
abime. (French.) 1. Abyss. 2. Wide, deep currents.
shaft, in limestone, the walls of which anthodite. A cave formation composed
are vertical or overhanging. of feathery or radiating- masses of long
abris sous roche. (French.) See rock needlelike crystals of gj-psum or arago-
shelter. nite, which radiate ortward from a
active cave. 1. Cave containing a running common base. See also cave flower.
stream. 2. Cave in which speleothems apron. A smooth bulging mass of flow-
are growing. (Less common and less stone covering sloping projections from
desirable usage.) Compare live cave. walls of caves or limestone cliffs.
aeolianite. See eolian calcarenite. aquifer. A ground-water reservoir. Pervi-
aeration, zone of. See zone of aeration. ous rock that is completely saturated
aggressive water. Water having the abil- and will yield water to a well or
ity to dissolve rocks. In the context of spring.
limestone and dolomite, this term refers aragonite. A mineral composed of calcium
especially to water containing dissolved carbonate, CaCOa, like calcite but dif-
carbon dioxide (carbonic acid) or, fering in crystal form.
rarely, other acids. arete and pinnacle karat. A landscape of
aguada. (Spanish for watering place.) In naked reticulated saw-topped ridges
Yucatan, shallow depression generally having almost vertical slopes and a
covering several hectares used for relief of as much as 120 meters. The
water supply. ridges rise above forest-covered corri-
air pocket. An enclosed air space between dors and depressions. Found in New
the water surface and the roof of a Guinea at elevations o* 2,000 meters
cave. and more.
aisle. An elongated high narrow traversa- aven. 1. (French.) A vertical or highly
ble passage in a cave. See also crawl, inclined shaft in limestone, extending
crawl way; corridor; passage. upward from a cave passage, generally
alternative. Adjective used to designate to the surface; smaller than an abtme.
an intake or resurgence operating only Commonly related to enlarged vertical
during rainy seasons; in some areas joints. Compare cenote; natural well;
reversible; equivalent to intermittent pothole. 2. (British.) A vertical exten-
Used also as a noun. sion from a shaft in a passage or cham-
alveolization. (From the Latin word ber roof that tapers upward rather like
"alveolatus," meaning hollowed out.) a very elongate cone. Compare dome
Pitting of a rock surface produced by pit.
wind loaded with sand, by water B
charged with carbonic acid, or by plant
roots. backflooding. Temporarily rising water
anastomosis. A network of tubular pas- level in a cave caused I* downstream
sages or holes in a cave or in a solution- passage being too small to pass an ab-
sculptured rock. A complex of many normally high discharge. The excava-
irregular and repeatedly connected pas- tion and reexcavation of some caves is
sages. Synonym, labryrinth. ascribed to the enlargement of a pas-
A GLOSSARY OP KARST TERMINOLOGY K3

sage at or near the water table by blowing cave. A cave out of which or
gravity flow alternating with periods into which a current of air f aws inter-
of calcite precipitation. mittently.
bacon. Thin, elongated, translucent flow- blowing welL A well into T7hich and
stone having parallel colored bands on from which air blows with noticeable
or projecting from roofs and walls of force owing to changes in barometric
some caves. See also blanket; curtain; pressure or tidal action on the under-
drapery. lying aquifer.
balcony. Any projection on the wall of a blue hole. 1. (Jamaica.) A m^jor emer-
cave large enough to support one or gence where water rises from below
more persons. without great turbulence. See also
bare karst. See naked karst. boiling spring. 2. (Bahamas.) A
base level, karst. See karst base level. drowned solution sinkhole.
beachrock. A friable to indurated rock bogaz. (Slavic.) A long narrow chasm
consisting of sand grains of various enlarged by solution of the limestone.
minerals cemented by calcium carbon- See also corridor; struga; rinjon.
ate; occurs in thin beds dipping sea-
ward at less than 15. Also known as boiling spring. (Jamaica.) A Irrge turbu-
beach standstone. lent spring. See also blue hole.
bed. A layer in sedimentary rocks; a bone-breccia. Cave breccia including
stratum. much bone.
bedding plane. A plane that separates botryoid. A grapelike deposit of calcium
two strata of differing characteristics. carbonate generally found on walls of
caves. Synonyms, clusterite; grape
bedding-plane cave. A passage formed
formation.
along a bedding plane, especially when
there is a difference in susceptibility to bourne. (British.) Intermittent stream
corrosion in the two beds. in a normally dry valley in chalk
bicarbonate. A salt containing the radi- country.
cal HCOs'1, such as Ca(HCOs) 2. boxwork. Network of thin blades of cal-
biospeleology. The study of subterranean cite or gypsum etched out ii relief on
living organisms, particularly in caves the limestone walls and ceiling of a
in limestone regions. cave.
blade. In a cave, a thin sharp projection branchwork. A dendritic system of sub-
jutting out from roof, wall, or floor, of terranean watercourses having many
which it is an integral part; generally incoming branches and no risible out-
the remains of a partition or bridge. going ones.
blanket. A thick layer of dripstone, not breakdown. See cave breakdown.
translucent, see also bacon; curtain; bridge. In a cave, a residual rock span
drapery. across a passage. See also natural
blind valley. A valley that ends suddenly bridge
at the point where its stream disap- buried karst. Karst topography buried
pears underground; some blind valleys by younger sediments. See also cov-
have no present-day streams. See also ered karst; paleokarst.
half-blind valley; marginal polje. C
blowhole. 1. A hole on land near the calanque. (French.) 1. Cove or small bay.
shore through which air and water are 2. A valley excavated in limestone or
forced by incoming waves. 2. (Austra- formed by collapse of the roof of a cave
lia. ) A small hole in the surface of the and subsequently submerged by a rise
Nullarbor Plain through which air in sea level.
blows in and out with observable force, calc-. Prefix meaning limy; containing
sometimes audibly. calcium carbonate.
K4 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

calcarenite. Limestone or dolomite com- sloping wall projection and forming a


posed of coral or shell sand or of grains fringe of shawls or stalactites on the
derived from the disintegration and outer edge.
erosion of older limestones. Size of canyon. 1. A steep-walletf chasm, gorge,
particles ranges from 1/16 to 2 mil- or ravine cut by running: water. 2. A
limeters. chasm that has been formed by a cave
calcareous. Containing calcium carbon- stream. 3. A valley forned by collapse
ate. of the roof of a long fairly straight
calcareous tufa. See sinter. cave; a karst valley.
calcification. Replacement of the original capillary stalagmite. Hollow stalagmite
hard parts of an animal or plant by formed by saturated karst water
calcium carbonate. pushed up through capillaries and small
calcilutite. Clastic limestone or dolomite cracks in a sinter crus"; covering per-
in which the grains have an average meable fluvial deposits on the floor of
diameter of less than 1/16 millimeter; a cave; first reported from Cuba, where
calcareous mudstone. such stalagmites are composed of
aragonite.
calcirudite. A fragmental limestone in
which the particles are generally larger carbonate. 1. A salt or es*er of carbonic
than 2 millimeters. acid; a compound containing the radi-
cal COs"2, such as calcrum carbonate,
calcite. A mineral composed of calcium CaCOs. 2. A rock consisting mainly of
carbonate, CaCOs, like aragonite but carbonate minerals, suc*> as limestone
differing in crystal form; the principal or dolomite.
constituent of limestone.
causse. (French.) A limestone plateau in
calcite bubble. A hollow sphere formed the southeastern part of the central
by the deposition of calcite around a massif of France chrracterized by
gas bubble; the interior is smooth, and closed depressions, caves, and avens;
the exterior consists of small jagged a number of such plrteaus in and
crystals. around the basin of t^e river Tarn
calcite flottante. (French.) See floe cal- constitute Les Grandes Gausses. This
cite. region was considered by CvijiC to ex-
calcrete. (South Africa.) See caliche. emplify karst development intermediate
caliche. 1. (Chile and Peru.) A natural between holokarst and merokarst.
deposit of nitrates and other salts cave. 1. A natural underground room or
precipitated at the soil surface. 2. series of rooms and passages large
(Mexico and Southwestern United enough to be entered b7 a man; gen-
States.) Indurated calcium carbonate erally formed by solutio^ of limestone.
and other salts found in the soil at the 2. A similar artificial opening.
surface in arid and semiarid regions, cave blister. A small pimpMike cave for-
generally formed by evaporation of mation, roughly oval in shape, gener-
lime-bearing waters drawn to the sur- ally loose, and having a core of mud.
face by capillary action. 3. In some cave breakdown. 1. Enlargement of parts
areas, refers to hardpan resulting from of a cave system by fall of rock masses
concentration of carbonate in the soil from walls and ceiling. 2. Heaps of rock
by downward leaching and reprecipta- that have collapsed froir the walls and
tion. See also kankar, kunkar. ceiling of a cave, generally called cave
canalc. (Italian.) Long drowned valley breccia.
on the Dalmatian coast. Some canali cave breccia. Angular fragments of rock
may be drowned poljes. forming a fill in a cave, either cemented
canopy. A compound cave formation con- together by dripstone or in a matrix of
sisting of flowstone hanging from a cave earth. Sec also solution breccia.
A GLOSSARY OF KAKST TERMINOLOGY K5

cave coral. A rough, knobby growth of cal- 2. The caves in a given area related to
cite resembling coral in shape, gen- each other hydrologically, whether
erally small; found on floor, walls, or continuous or discontinuous from a sin-
ceiling of a cave. Synonym, coral for- gle opening. See also cave grrnp, cave
mation. See also knobstone. series.
cave earth, cave fill. Insoluble deposits of caver. One who explores caves as a sport.
clay, silt, sand, or gravel flooring or fill- Synonyms, potholer; spelunker.
ing a cave pa.ssage. In a more restricted cavern. A cave, often used poetically or to
sense, cave earth includes only the finer connote larger-than-average size.
fractions: clay, silt, and fine sand cavernous. Containing numerous1 cavities
deposits. or caverns.
cave flower. An elongate curved deposit caving. The sport of exploring caves.
of gypsum or epsomite on a cave wall Synonyms, potholing; spelurking. 2.
in which growth occurs at the attached A method of mining in whicl the ore
end. Synonyms, gypsum flower; oulo- is allowed to cave or fall.
pholite. ceiling block. Roughly cubical joint-
cave formation. Secondary mineral de- bounded large block, which h^s fallen
posit formed by the accumulation, drip- from the ceiling of a cave. See also cave
ping, or flowing of water in a cave. See breakdown; ceiling slab.
also speleothem. ceiling cavity. Solutional concav'ty in the
cave group. A number of caves or cave ceiling of a cave. The orientat'on is de-
systems, not interconnected but geo- termined by joints or a bedding plane.
graphically associated in some relief ceiling channel. Sinuous channel devel-
feature or particular geological out- oped in the ceiling of a cave, presuma-
crop. See also cave series. bly during the phreatic phase of cave
cave guano. Accumulations of dung in development.
caves, generally from bats; in some ceiling meander. A winding upside-down
places partially mineralized. channel in a cave ceiling.
cave ice. Ice formed in a cave by natural ceiling pocket. See pocket.
freezing of water. Loosely but incor- ceiling slab, roof slab. A thin bnt exten-
rectly applied to calcium carbonate sive piece of rock that has fallen from
dripstone and flowstone. the ceiling of a cave in roughly hori-
cave-in. The collapse of the ceiling or side zontal limestone. See also cave break-
walls of a cave or of the land surface down ; ceiling block.
into a subterranean passage as a result ceiling tube. A half tube remaining in the
of undermining or of pressure from ceiling of a cave.
above. cenote. (Spanish, after Mayan tzouet or
cave marble. Banded deposit of calcite or dzonot.) Steep-walled natural well that
aragonite capable of taking a high extends below the water tabl?; gener-
polish. See also flowstone; onyx ally caused by collapse of a cave roof.
marble. Term used only for features in Yucatan.
cave onyx. See onyx marble. See also natural well.
cave pearl. Small concretion of calcite or chalk. Soft poorly indurated limestone,
aragonite formed by concentric precipi- generally light in color; commonly com-
tation around a nucleus. Synonyms, posed of the tests of floating microor-
pisolite, pisolith. ganisms in a matrix of veT finely
cave series. A group of caves of similar crystalline calcite.
morphology in a particular district. chamber. 1. (America.) The largest order
See also cave group. of cavity in a cave or cave system; it
cave spring. A spring rising in a cave. has considerable length and breadth
cave system. 1. An underground network but not necessarily great lieight. 2.
of passages, chambers, or other cavities. (England.) A room in a cave.
K6 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

chasm. 1. A deep, fairly narrow breach in limestone or dolomite that has formed
the earth's surface; an abyss; a gorge; as the result of the collapse of the roof
a deep canyon. 2. A deep, wide, of a cave, of an underlying cave, or of
elongated gap in the floor of a cave. an overhanging ledge. See also solution
chert. Light-cream or gray to black rock breccia.
composed of silica, found occurring as collapse sink. A closed depression formed
nodules or layers in limestone, or as a by the collapse of tie roof of a cave.
replacement of limestone. See also doline.
chimney. A narrow vertical shaft in the column. A flowstone formation, generally
roof of a cave, generally smaller than .cylindrical, formed l^ the union of a
an aven; a dome pit. stalactite and stair ^rnite. See also
chockstone. A rock wedged between the pillar.
walls of a cave passage. conduit. A subterranean stream course
choke. Rock debris or cave fill completely filled completely with water and always
blocking a passage. under hydrostatic pressure. See also
chute. An inclined channel or trough in a siphon.
cave, cone karst. A type of karst topography,
clay fill. Dry or wet clay that fills a cave common in the tropicr. characterized by
passage. star-shaped depressions at the feet of
clay filling. According to Bretz (1942), many steep-sided cor ^-shaped hills. A
variety of Kegelkarst. See also cockpit
time interval between end of phreatic
karst.
solution of a cave and beginning of
deposition of flowstone. conical wall niche. See meander niche,
clint. (England.) ialabs of limestone, par- constructive waterfall. A large rimstone
allel to the bedding, forming a pave- dam on a surface stream.
ment. Widened joints, or grikes, iso- conuiite. A hollow, cone-shaped speleo-
late individual clints. Synonym, them formed when a conical depression
Flachkarren. is drilled in cave muc1 by falling water.
closed depression. A general term for any Subsequent erosion may remove the
enclosed topographic basin having no mud, isolating the calcite lining of the
external drainage, regardless of origin depression.
or size. corrasion. Mechanical erosion performed
clusterite. See botryoid. by such moving agents as water, ice,
cockpit. (Jamaica.) 1. Any closed depres- and wind, espe' ' Jly when armed with
sion having steep sides. 2. A star-shaped rock fragments. See also corrosion,
depression having a conical or slightly corridor. 1. Relatively narrow passage-
concave floor. The surrounding hill way permitting travel between two
slopes are steep and convex. Cockpits larger areas. 2. A fairljy level and
are the common type of closed depres- straight passage that links two or more
sions in a Kegelkarst. rooms or chambers in a cave. 3. Inter-
secting linear depressions on the sur-
cockpit karst. Tropical karst topography
face of the land, related to joints or
containing many closed depressions
surrounded by conical hills. Divided by dikes. See also bogaz; struga; zanjon.
French and German geographers into corrosion. Erosion by solution or chemi-
several types depending on shape of cal action. See also corrasion.
hills. See also cone karst; Halbkugel- coupole. (French.) C "oola or hemis-
karst; Kegelkarst; Spitzkegelkarst; pheric hill.
tower karst. cove. (Southern Appalachians.) Narrow
collapse breccia. A mass of rock composed steep-sided karst val>y flanking lime-
of angular to rounded fragments of stone plateaus.
A GLOSSARY OF KARST TERMINOLOGY K7

covered karst. A terrane of karst fea- D


tures, usually subdued, resulting from
the development of solution features daylight hole. A hole in the roof of a
in limestone covered by soil; contrasted cave, reaching the surface.
with naked karst, which is soil free. dead cave. A dry cave in which all so-
See also buried karst. lution and precipitation has ceesed.
dead end. See cul-de-sac.
crawl, crawlway. A cave passage that
must be negotiated on hands and knees. decalcification. Removal of calcium car-
bonate from a rock, leaving a residuum
crescentic wall niche. See meander niche,
of noncalcareous material.
crevice karst. An intricate irregular crev-
Deckenkarren. (German.) Solutional
ice system that has formed by solution
widening of closely spaced joints. Crev- pendant features in cave ceilir^s.
decoration. Cave features due to second-
ices may be as much as 6 meters across
and 20 meters deep. Especially well ary precipitation of calcite, aragonite,
developed near rivers in lowland New gypsum, and other rarer minerals.
Guinea. diffuse circulation. Circulation of ground
crust stone. A fragile layer of flowstone water in karst aquifers under condi-
covering portions of walls of caves; tions in which all, or almost all, open-
looks like a flaky crust. Found in some ings in the karstified rock intercom-
municate and are full of water in the
Kentucky caves.
zone of saturation.
cryokarst. European equivalent of ther-
dissolution. See solution.
mokarst.
dog-tooth crystal, dog-tooth spar. A
crystal cave. A cave in which much of
variety of calcite in the form of sharp-
the surface of the roof, walls, and floor
pointed crystals.
is covered with well-formed mineral
doline. A basin- or funnel-shaped hollow
crystals.
in limestone, ranging in diameter from
crystal pool. In caves a pool, generally
having little or no overflow, containing a few meters to a kilometer and in
depth from a few to several hundred
crystals.
cueva. (Spanish.) Cave, especially one meters. Some dolines are gentle grassy
hollows; others are rocky cliff-bounded
that is horizontal or nearly so.
basins. A distinction may be made be-
cul-de-sac, dead end. A subterranean pas-
tween those formed mainly by direct
sage having only one entry.
solution of the limestone surface zone,
cupola. A hemispheric hill of limestone. solution dolines, and those formed by
(French.) Cupole. (German.) Halb- collapse over a cave, collapse dolines,
kugel. but it is generally not possible to estab-
current marking. Shallow asymmetrical lish the origin of individual eramples.
hollows, caused by turbulent waterfiow, Closed depressions receiving >a stream
that are distributed in rather regular are known as swallow holes or stream
fashion over limestone surfaces. See sinks. In America most dolinesr are re-
also scallop. ferred to as sinks or sinkholes
curtain. A wavy or folded sheet of flow- doline lake. A small karst lake occupy-
stone hanging from the roof or pro- ing a doline.
jecting from the wall of a cave; often dolomite. 1. A mineral composed of
translucent and resonant. See also calcium magnesium carbonate,
bacon; blanket; drapery, CaMg(CO)*. 2. Rock chiefly composed
cutter. 1. (Tennessee.) Solution crevice of the mineral dolomite. Also called
in limestone underlying residual phos- dolostone.
phate deposits. 2. A Karren-like groove dolomitization. The process whereby
formed beneath the soil, more com- limestone becomes dolomite by the sub-
monly referred to as subsoil Karren. stitution of magnesium carbonate for
See also Karren. part of the original calcium carbonate.

489-369 O - 72 - 2
K8 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

dome pit. "Mammoth Cave possesses sev- effluent cave. See outflow cave.
eral extraordinary vertical cavities of emergence. Point at which an under-
which the arched tops are called domes ground stream comes to the surface.
and the deep bottoms are called pfts. See also exsurgence; resurgence; rise.
The combined names, dome pits, is here eolian calcarenite. A terrestrial lime-
used for them." (Davis, 1930, p. 600.) stone formed by the cementation by car-
drapery. A thin sheet of dripstone, equiv- bonates of calcareous coastal dune
alent to curtain. See also bacon; sand. Often shortened to eolianite. Syn-
blanket. onym, dune-limestone. Compare beach-
driphole. 1. Hole in rock or clay pro- rock.
duced by fast-dripping water. 2. Hol- epiphreas, epiphreatic zone. The zone in
low space surrounded by precipitated a cave system, immediately above the
material, such as the bottom of a phreatic zone, affected morphologically
stalactite. and hydrologically br floods too large
dripstone. Calcium carbonate deposited for the cave to absort at once.
from water dripping from the ceiling estavelle. (French.) An intermittent re-
or wall of a cave or from the overhang- surgence or exsurgeroe, active only in
ing edge of a rock shelter; commonly wet seasons. May ac*: alternatively as
refers to the rock in stalactites, stalag- a swallow hole and as a rising accord-
mites, and other similar speleothems; ing to ground-water conditions.
in some places composed of aragonite etched pothole. See solution pan.
or gypsum. See also flowstone.
evorsion. Mechanical erosion by whirl-
dry cave. A cave without a running ing water that may carry sand and
stream. See also dead cave. gravel; pothole erosion.
dry valley. A valley that lacks a surface exhumed karst. Karst features reexposed
water channel; common in the chalk of by erosion from beneath former cover-
southern England. ing strata.
duck-under. 1. A place where water exsurgence. Point at which an under-
reaches the cave roof for a short dis- ground stream reaches the surface if
tance and can be passed by quick sub- stream has no knovn surface head-
mergence without swimming. 2. In cave waters. See also emergence; resur-
diving, a longer stretch of passage gence.
where the water is so close to the roof F
that crawling or swimming beneath the
water surface is needed to pass. facet. See scallop.
dune limestone. (Australia.) see eolian fault cave. A cave developed along a fault
calcarenite. or fault zone.
Durchgangshohle. (German.) See fissure cave. A narrow vertical cave or
through cave. cave passage along a fissure. Fissures
E widen out to become wells or shaft
caves.
ebb and flow spring, ebbing and flowing flattener. A cave passage, which though
well. A spring or flowing well exhibit- wide, is so low that movement is only
ing periodic variation in volume of possible in a prone position. See also
flow; the periodicity, which is often crawl.
irregular, is attributed to siphonic floe calcite. Very thin film of pure cal-
action. cium carbonate floating on the surface
eccentric. Adjective or noun implying ab- of a subterranean pool of very calm
normal shape in speleothems, such as water.
helictites. floor pocket. See pocket.
A GLOSSARY OF KARST TERMINOLOGY K9
flowstone. Deposits of calcium carbonate, glade. 1. (Jamaica.) An elongate depres-
gypsum, and other mineral matter sion, having steep sides, in v^hich a
which have accumulated on the walls generally flat floor is divided into small
or floors of caves at places where water basins separated by low divides. 2.
trickles or flows over the rock. See also (Tennessee.) Limestone pavement hav-
dripstone. ing extensive growth of cedar trees.
fluorescein. A reddish-yellow crystalline globularite. Small crystals of calcite
compound that imparts a brilliant tipped with spheres composed of radiat-
green fluorescent color to water in very ing fibers.
dilute solutions; used to label under- gour. See rimstone barrage, r'nistone
ground water for identification of an barrier, rimstone dam.
emergence. grape formation. See botryoid.
flute. See scallop. grike, gryke. (England.) A vertical or
fluviokarst. A predominantly karst land- subvertical fissure in a limestone pave-
scape in which there is much evidence ment developed by solution along
of past or present fluvial activity. a joint. Synonym. (German.)
foiba. (Italian.) 1. A deep wide vertical Kluftkarren.
cavity or the swallow point of a river at grotto. 1. A small cave, natural or arti-
the beginning of its underground course. ficial. 2. A room, in a cave system, of
2. A natural vertical shaft in soluble moderate dimensions but richly
rock, tending toward cylindrical shape; decorated.
it may or may not reach the surface. A ground air. See soil air.
dome pit. ground water. 1. The part of the sub-
formation. 1. The fundamental unit in surface water that is in the zone of
rock-stratigraphio classification, con- saturation. See also phreas, phreatic
sisting of a distinctive mappable body water. 2. Used loosely by some to refer
of rock. 2. See cave formation; speleo- to any water beneath the surface.
them. gryke. See grike.
fossil karst. See paleokarst. guano. See cave guano.
free-surface stream. In a cave, a stream gulf. Steep-walled closed depression hav-
that does not completely fill its passage. ing a flat alluviated bottom; in some
fresco. A half-section of a stalactite on gulfs a stream flows across the bottom.
the wall of a cave. gushing spring. See vauclusian spring.
fungling. (Chinese.) Isolated limestone gypsum. A mineral composed of hydrous
hill in alluvial plain, probably similar calcium sulfate, CaSO^H-O.
to mogote. ?ypsum flower. See cave flower.
G
H
gallery. A rather large, nearly horizontal
passage in a cave. Halbhbhle. (German.) See rock shelter.
geode. Hollow globular bodies varying in Halbkugelkarst. (German.) Tropical
size from a few centimeters to several karst topography containing dome-
decimeters, coated on the interior with shaped residual hills surrounding de-
crystals. pressions, a kind of Kegelkarst. Also
geological organ. A group of solution called Kugelkarst
pipes best seen in the walls of quarries. half-blind valley. Blind valley in which
glacier cave. Cave in ice formed within the stream overflows in floodtirae when
or at the base of a glacier. the swallow hole can not accept all the
glaciokarst. A glaciated limestone region water.
possessing both glacial and karst half tube. Trace of a tube remaining in
characteristics. the roof or wall of a cave. See also tube.
K10 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

hall. In a cave, a lofty chamber which is inflow cave, influent cave. Cave into
much longer than it is wide. See also which a stream flews or formerly
gallery. entered.
hanging blade. A blade projecting down intake area, recharge area. The surface
from the ceiling. See also blade. area in which water is absorbed into
hardness. Property of water that prevents an aquifer eventually to reach the zone
lathering because of the presence of of saturation.
cations, mainly calcium and magne- inverted siphon. See wa*.er trap.
sium, which form insoluble soaps.
haystack hill. (Puerto Rico.) In the
tropics, rounded conical hill of lime- jama. 1. (Slavic.) Verbal or steeply in-
stone developed as a result of solution.
clined shaft in limestone, known as
Term being replaced by mogote.
abime or aven in France and as pothole
helictite. A curved or angular twiglike in England. 2. Any crve.
lateral projection of calcium carbonate joint-plane cave. A cavity high in relation
having a tiny central canal, found in
to width developed along steeply dip-
caves. Synonym, eccentric stalactite.
ping joint planes.
heligmite. An eccentric growing upward
from a cave floor or from a shelf in
a cave. A curved or angular thin stalag-
mite. Kamenitza. (German, possibly of Slavic
holokarst. Cvijitf's term for a karst area origin; plural, Kamer'ce.) See solution
like that of the Dinaric Karst of pan.
Slovenia. Such areas have bare sur- kankar, kunkar. (Australia.) See caliche.
faces on thick deposits of limestone Karren (German) Channels or furrows,
that extend below sea level, well- caused by solution on massive
developed Karren, dolines, uvalas, bare limestone surfaces; they vary
poljes, deep ponors, and extensive cave in depth from, a few millimeters
systems; they have little or no surface to more than a meter and are
drainage. Contrast merokarst. separated by ridges. In modern usage,
hoya, hoyo. (Spanish.) A very large the terms are general, describing the
closed depression. Used in Puerto Rico total complex of superficial solution
for doline, in Cuba for polje. forms found on compact pure limestone.
hum. Karst inselberg. Residual hill of Classified by B6gli (1960) into several
limestone on a fairly level floor, such kinds, of which the most common are:
as the isolated hills of limestone in Rillenkarren, shallow channels sepa-
poljes. In some tropical areas, used rated by sharp ridge? 2-3 centimeters
loosely as synonym for mogote. apart; Rinnenkarren, flat-bottomed
hydraulic conductivity. The ability of a grooves several centimeters apart;
rock unit to conduct water under Kluftkarren, joints enlarged by solu-
specified conditions. tion; Spitzkarren, large deep grooves
extending down frorr steep spires or
pinnacles; MSanderkarren, small wind-
ing or meandering channels; Rund-
ice cave. 1. A cave, generally in lava or karren, Karren having rounded chan-
limestone, in which the average tem- nels and intervening rounded ridges,
perature is below 0C., and which probably reexhumed after formation
ordinarily contains perennial ice. Ice under soil or peat; FTachkarren, equiv-
may have the form of stalactites, sta- alent to English clint; Bodenkarren,
lagmites, or flowstone. 2. See glacier Karren formed beneath the soil. Syno-
cave. nym, lapie's.
A GLOSSARY OF KARST TERMINOLOGY Kll

Karrenfeld. (German.) An area of lime- karst river. A river that originates from
stone dominated by Karren. a karst spring.
karst. (Internationally used term, origi- karst spring. A spring emerging from
nally the German form of the Slavic karstified limestone. See also emer-
word kras or krs", meaning a bleak gence; exsurgence; resurgent; rise.
waterless place; it is the German name karst topography. Topography dominated
for a district east of Trieste having by features of solutional origin.
such terrain.) A terrain, generally karst valley. 1. Elongate solution valley.
underlain by limestone, in which the 2. Valley produced by collapse of a
topography is chiefly formed by the dis- cavern roof.
solving of rock, and which is commonly
characterized by Karren, closed depres- karst window. 1. Depression revealing a
sions, subterranean drainage, and part of a subterranean river flowing
caves. See also buried karst; cone across its floor, or an unroofed part of
karst; covered karst; exhumed karst; a cave. 2. A small natural l~idge or
Halbkugelkarst; holokarst; Kegel- arch which can be seen through.
karst; merokarst; microkarst; naked karstic. Occasionally used as the adjec-
karst; paleokarst; pseudokarst; Spitz- tive form of karst.
kegelkarst; subjacent karst; synge- karstification. Action by water, mainly
netic karst; thermokarst; tower karst. chemical but also mechanical, that pro-
karst barre. (French.) A karst of limited duces features of a karst toroeraphy,
area completely surrounded by rocks of including such surface features as
low permeability. dolines, Karren, and mogotes and such
karst base level. Level below which subsurface features as caves and
karstiflcation does not take place. shafts.
karst breccia. See also collapse breccia; karstland. A region characterized by
solution breccia. karst topography.
karst bridge. A natural bridge or arch in Karstrandebene. (German.) S*e karst
limestone. margin plain.
karst fens. Marshes developed in sinkhole katavothron. (Greek.) A closed depres-
terrain; swampy solution fens. sion or swallow hole.
karst fenster. See karst window. Kegelkarst. (German.) A general term
karst hydrology. The drainage phenom- used to describe several types of tropi-
ena of karstified limestones, dolomites, cal humid karst characterized by
and other slowly soluble rocks. numerous, closely spaced con-, hemi-
karst lake. A large area of standing water spherical-, or tower-shaped hills having
in extensive closed depression in intervening closed depressions and nar-
limestone. row steep-walled karst valleys or pas-
karst margin plain. A plain generally on sageways. See also cockpit ka^st; cone
limestone between higher country of karst; Halbkugelkarst; tower karst.
limestone on one side and of less per- keyhole. A small passage or opening in a
vious rocks on the other, but having a cave; in cross section, rounded at the
cover of impervious detritus, which top, constricted in the middle, and rec-
allows surface drainage. Synonym, tangular or flared out below.
Karstrandebene. knobstone. Speleothem, larger, more pro-
karst plain. A plain on which closed de- nounced, and more widely separated
pressions, subterranean drainage, and than cave coral.
other karst features may be developed. kras, krs. A Slavic word meaning bleak,
Also called karst plateau. waterless place, from which the term
karst pond. Closed depression in a karst karst is derived. See also karst.
area containing standing water. Kugelkarst. See Halbkugelkarst.
K12 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

marginal polje. Flat limestone plain


which is surrounded by higher country
labyrinth. See network. but is bordered on one side by im-
lake. As used in speleology, a body of pervious rock. Compare blind valley.
standing water too deep to walk across. marl. Unconsolidated sedimentary rock
lapies. (French; sometimes spelled consisting largely of calcium carbonate
lapiaz.) See Karren. and clay; usage varies from calcareous
lava cave. A cave in a lava flow, generally clay to earthy limestone, and in some
formed by gas blistering the surface parts of the United States, the term
or by lava flowing out from beneath a has been used for any unconsolidated
solidified crust, forming a tube or tun- sedimentary rock containing fossil
nel. See also pseudo karst. shells.
level. 1. Within a cave, a group of pas- maze cave. See network.
sages developed in the same horizontal meander. In a cave, an arcuate curve in
plane. 2. The altitudinal relation of a a channel formed by Irteral shifting of
cave floor to an outside surface. a cave stream. See ceiling meander;
light hole. (Jamaica.) Fossil or aban- meander niche.
doned swallow hole. meander niche. A coni'al or crescent-
lime. Calcium oxide, CaO; used loosely shaped opening in the wall of a cave,
and incorrectly in referring to lime- formed by the downward and lateral
stone. erosion of a stream o^ the floor of a
lime sink. See sinkhole. passage.
limestone. A sedimentary rock consisting merokarst. Defined by C-ijic" to indicate
chiefly of calcium carbonate, CaCOs. imperfect karst topogrr phy as found on
limestone pavement. A bare plane surface thin, impure, or chalky limestone where
of limestone, parallel to the bedding, surface drainage and dry valleys are
commonly divided into blocks (clints, present in addition to s ome karstic fea-
Flaehkarren) by solutionally widened tures. Contrast perfectly formed holo-
joints (grikes, Kluf tkarren), and pitted karst.
by solution pans. Mexican onyx. See onyy marble.
limestone sink. See sinkhole. microkarst. Karst topography in which
live cave. Cave in which there is river all surficial features ar? small; an area
action or active deposition of speleo- dominated by minor krrst features.
thems. Compare active cave. minor karst features. See Karren; rill;
localized circulation. Circulation in karst solution pan.
aquifers in which the water moves in Mischungskorrosion. (Grerman.) Dissolv-
certain preferred zones and does not ing of limestone by water derived from
occupy all or most of the openings the mixing of two saturated waters that
below this level. differ in carbon dioxide partial pres-
lost river. In a karst region, a surface sure. Such a mixture is undersaturated
stream that enters an underground because a nonlinear re^tion exists be-
course. tween calcite solubility and the partial
lycopodium spores. Spores of lycopoaium pressure of carbon cUoxide. (Bogli,
claratum, which can be used in natural 1964)
or dyed color as a label in studying
mogote. A steep-sided hill of limestone,
ground-water movement in karst areas.
generally surrounded by nearly flat al-
M luviated plains; karst inselberg. Orig-
inally used in Cuba in referring to
marble. 1. Limestone recrystallized and residual hills of folded limestone in the
hardened by heat and pressure. 2. Sierra de los Organos but now used
Commercially, any limestone that will internationally for kar^t residual hills
take a high polish. in the Tropics.
A GLOSSARY OF KARST TERMINOLOGY K13
moonmilk. A white plastic calcareous cave
deposit composed of calcite, huntite, or
paleokarst. A karstified rock or area that
magnesite. From Swiss dialect moon-
has been buried by later sediments; in
milch, elf's milk. Corrupt spelling
some places, ancient caves lave been
mondmilch is common.
completely filled by the later sediments.
mud stalagmite. Stalagmite composed
palette. In a cave, a more or less flat
principally of clay or sandy clay and
protruding sheet of crystalline calcium
commonly less than 30 percent calcium
carbonate spared during solution of the
carbonate.
rock on each side of it. See also blade;
N
shield.
naked karst, bare karst. Karst topog- panhole. See solution pan.
raphy having much exposed bedrock. park. (Arizona.) Shallow broad solution
natural arch. A rock arch or very short depression.
natural tunnel; contrasted with natu- partition. 1. A nearly vertical residual
ral bridge, which spans a ravine or rock mass in a cave. 2. A continuous
valley. rock span across a cave.
natural bridge. A rock bridge spanning a passage. In a cave, the opening between
ravine and not yet eroded away. rooms or chambers.
natural tunnel. A nearly horizontal cave pendant, rock pendant. One of a group
open at both ends, generally fairly of isolated similarly proportioned proj-
straight in direction and fairly uni- ections surrounded by a complex of
form in cross section. connected cavities in the bedrock ceil-
natural well. (Jamaica.) A vertical shaft ing of a cave.
in limestone, open to the surface and pepino hill. (Puerto Rico.) 1. Rounded
having water at the bottom; similar to or conical-shaped hill resulting from
a cenote. tropical humid karst action. Term
generally replaced in Puerto Rico by
nested sinkholes. (American.) See uvala.
mogote. 2. Elongate hill or ridge
network. A complex pattern of repeatedly capped by mogotes.
connected passages in a cave system. permeability. The ability of a rock or soil
Synonym, labyrinth. to permit water or other fluids to pass
nip. An undercutting notch in rock, par- through it. See also hydraulic con-
ticularly limestone, along a seacoast ductivity.
between high and low tide levels, pro- phreas, phreatic water. (From the Greek
duced by erosion or solution. word meaning well.) Water in the zone
of saturation; water below the water
O table.
phreatic surface. See water table.
ojo, ojo de agua. (Spanish.) An artesian phreatic zone. The region below, the
spring in limestone regions, especially water table, in which rock is satu-
one forming a small pond; a vauclusian
rated with water.
spring. piezometric surface. The imaginary sur-
onyx marble. Translucent layers of cal- face to which water from a given aqui-
cium carbonate from cave deposits, fer will rise under its full static head.
often called Mexican onyx or cave Also called potentiometric surface.
onyx; used as an ornamental stone. pillar. 1. A column of rock remaining
Opferkessel. See solution pan. after solution of the surrounding rock.
oulopholite. See cave flower. See also rock pillar. 2. A stalactite-
outflow cave. Cave from which stream stalagmite that reaches from roof to
flows out or formerly did so. Synonym, floor in >a cave; more properly termed
effluent cave. a column. 3. A tall thin stalagmite that
ouvala. (French.) See uvala. does not reach the roof of a cave.
K14 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

pipe. Small cylindrical hole in uncon- porthole. A nearly circular natural open-
solidated sediments, caused by removal ing in a thin rock wall in a cave. See
of fine material by water. also window.
piping. Formation of a passage by water pothole. 1. A small rounded hole worn into
under pressure in the form of conduits rock in a streambed, at a waterfall, or
through permeable materials when the near sea level by sand, gravel, and
hydraulic head exceeds a certain criti- stones being spun around by force of
cal value. the currents; a naturr 1 mill. 2. Term
pisolite, pisolith. See cave pearl. used in England for vertical or steeply
pit. A deep hole, generally circular in inclined shaft in limestone. See also
outline, having vertical or nearly verti- pit; shaft.
cal walls. See also pothole (definition potholer. (British.) /Seec'ver.
2) ; shaft. potholing. 1. The process of scouring holes
piton. (French.) Limestone hill having in rock in stream beis or near the
sharply pointed peak. strand line by rapid rotation of trapped
pitted plain. Plain having numerous pebbles or cobbles; evorsion. 2. (Brit-
small closely spaced closed depressions. ish. ) See caving.
pocket. Solution cavity in ceiling, floor,
or walls of a cave, shaped like the in- pozo. (Spanish.) See simr
terior of a round-bottomed kettle; un- pseudokarst. Karstlike terrain produced
related to joints or bedding. by a process other than the dissolving
polje. (Slavic word for field.) In areas of of rock, such as the rourh surface above
karst topography, a very large closed a lava field, where the ceilings of lava
depression, in some places several kilo- tubes have collapsed Features of
meters long and wide, having a flat pseudokarst include la^a tunnels, lava
floor either of bare limestone or covered tubes, lava stalactites, and lava
by alluvium, and surrounded by gen- stalagmites.
erally steep walla of limestone. B
Synonym, interior valley.
Randpolje. An enclosed p'ain at the edge
polygonal karst. A karst area where the of a karst area receiving surface water
surface is completely pitted with closed from the nonkarstic area. The water
depressions, the divides of which form
drains out through underground pas-
a crudely polygonal network. Especially sages in the karst are-*. The plain is
common in humid tropical cone-karst
thus completely enclosed by higher
terrain, but also found in well-formed
ground. Compare blin<* valley; karst
temperate doline-karst terrain.
margin plain.
ponor. (Slavic.) Hole in the bottom or
side of a closed depression through recharge area. See intake area.
which water passes to or from an un- residual clay. Clay or san^y clay remain-
derground channel. Compare swallet, ing on a rock surface after removal of
swallow hole. calcium carbonate by solution. Compare
pool deposit. Crystalline material de- terra rossa.
posited in an isolated pool in a cave. resurgence. Point at wl Ich an under-
pore deposit. Mineral matter deposited ground stream reaches the surface and
on the interior of a cave from water becomes a surface stream. In European
entering the cave so slowly through literature, the term is reserved for the
pores and cracks that it does not form reemergence of a strean that has ear-
drops. lier sunk upstream; tl term exsur-
porosity. The ratio of the aggregate vol- gence is applied to a stream without
ume of interstices in a rock or soil to its known surface headwaters.
total volume; generally stated as a rice paddy. In a cave, a terraced rimstone
percentage. pool.
A GLOSSARY OF KABST TERMINOLOGY K15

rift. A long narrow high cave passage


controlled by joints or faults.
rill. Small solution groove on surface ex- sand pipe. See solution pipe.
posures of limestone; most common sand stalagmite. A stalagmite formed on
in arid or semiarid areas. sand and made of calcite cemented
Rillenstein. (German.) Microsolution sandstone.
grooves and pitting on rock surface. saturation, zone of. See zone of satura-
rimstone. Calcareous deposits formed tion.
around the rims of overflowing basins, scaling chip. A thin small rather irregular
especially in caves. piece of limestone, commonly crumbly,
rimstone barrage, rimstone barrier, rim- which has fallen from the ceiling or
stone dam. A wall-shaped deposit that wall of a cave. A form of cove break-
impounds pools of water in caves, down.
around springs, and in cascades of scaling plate. A small flat pie?e of rock
streams saturated with calcium bicar- of rectangular or polygonal shape, that
bonate. Synonym, gour. has fallen to the floor of a cave. A form
rimstone pool. Pool kept in place by a of cave breakdown in thin-lMded im-
rimstone dam. pure limestone cut by closely spaced
rise. (Jamaica.) Spring rising from frac- joints.
tures in limestone. Point at which an scallop. Oval hollow having an asymmet-
underground stream comes to the ric cross section along its main axis.
surface. Scallops form patterns on tt i walls of
rising. See emergence; exsurgence; re- caves and in streambeds and were used
surgence. by Bretz to determine direct'on of flow
rock fall. See cave breakdown. of turbulent water, since they are
rock pendant. See pendant. steeper on the upstream pide. Com-
rock pillar. A residual isolated mass of monly called flutes in America.
bedrock linking the roof or overhang- scar. (Northern England.) f^eep rock
ing wall and floor of a cave, in contrast cliff in limestone country.
with a column, which is composed of sea cave. A cave or cleft in a sea cliff
dripstone or flowstone. See column; eroded by waves or currerts or dis-
pillar. solved by water. Compare ni>
rock pinnacle. A tall sharp projection of shaft. 1. A cylindrical tube generally
bedrock rising from the floor of a cave. steep sided, that forms by solution and
rock shelter. Shallow cave under an over- (or) collapse. 2. A vertical passage in
hanging rock ledge. Many sea caves are a cave. See afoopit; pothole (definition
rock shelters. Also found in limestone 2).
and other rock types where streams shake, shakehole. (England; sometimes
have undercut their banks at bends, or spelled shackhole.) 1. T^rm used
where there has been abrasion by blow- mainly by cavers to indicate a doline,
ing sand. Common in tropical areas at especially one formed by sul Mdence. 2.
places where a secondarily hardened Hole formed by solution, subsidence,
layer of limestone forms a ledge that and compaction in loose drift or allu-
projects over unindurated limestone. vium overlying beds of limestone.
roof crust. Flowstone deposited on ceil- shawl. Simple triangular-shap?d curtain.
ings of caves from thin films of water, sheet. A thin coating of calc'um carbo-
which have crept over the rock from nate formed on walls, shelves, benches,
pore or crack sources. and terraces by trickling water.
roof slab. See ceiling slab. shield. A disk-shaped speleothem stand-
room. A part of a cave system that is ing edgewise at a high angle.
wider than a passage. Synonym (Eng- sima. (Spanish.) Natural we11 that has
land.), chamber. vertical sides.
K16 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

sink, sinkhole. (American.) General solution pipe. A vertical cylindrical hole


terms for closed depressions. They may attributable to solution, often without
be basin, funnel, or cylindrical shaped. surface expression, filled with debris,
See also closed depression; doline; such as sand, clay, rock chips, and
swallet, swallow hole. bones. Synonym, sand pipe. See also
sinkhole plain. (American.) Plain on geologic organ.
which most of the local relief is due to solution scarp. Escarpment formed by
closed depressions and nearly all more active solution of lower area or
drainage is subterranean. by corrosional undercutting of the base
sinkhole pond. (American.) Small lake in of the escarpment.
closed depression in limestone, due to solution subsidence. Any subsidence due
an impervious clay floor or to inter- to solution of underlying rock but par-
section of depression with the water ticularly the subsidence of parts of a
table. formation into hollows or pockets of
an immediately underlying soluble
sinking creek. A small stream that dis- formation.
appears underground. See also lost sotano. (Spanish for cellar or basement.)
river; swallet, swallow hole. Term used in Mexico for deep vertical
sinter. A mineral precipitate deposited shafts in limestone, which may or may
by a mineral spring, either hot or cold. not lead to a cave.
Siliceous sinter, consisting of silica, is spelean. Of, pertaining to, or related to
also called geyserite and fiorite; cal- caves.
careous sinter, consisting of calcium speleogen. A secondary cave structure
carbonate, is also called tufa, traver- formed by dissolving, s ich as a dome
tine, and onyx marble. pit or a scallop.
siphon. In speleology, a cave passage in speleologist. A scientist engaged in the
which the ceiling dips below a water study and exploration of caves, their
surface. See also water trap. environment, and their biota.
slump pit. A hollow in the clay fill of a speleology. The scientific study, explora-
cave floor caused by erosion beneath tion, and description of caves and re-
the fill. lated features.
soil air. The air that fills soil and rock speleothem. A secondary nineral deposit
interstices above the zone of saturation. formed in caves, such as stalactite or
solution. 1. The change of matter from stalagmite. Synonym, cave formation.
a solid or gaseous state to a liquid spelunker. See caver.
state by combination with a liquid. 2. spelunking. See caving.
The result of such change; a liquid Spitzkegelkarst. (Germrn.) Tropical
combination of a liquid and a non- karst topography contrining sharply
liquid substance. pointed residual limestone hills.
splash cup. The shallow concavity in the
solution breccia. A mass of rock com-
top of a stalagmite.
posed of angular to rounded fragments spongework. A complex o^ irregular in-
of rock that have accumulated by solu- terconnecting cavities with intricate
tion of surrounding or underlying car- perforation of the rock. The cavities
bonate. See also collapse breccia. may be large or small.
solution lake. A lake whose origin is spring. Any natural discharge of water
attributed largely to solution of under- from rock or soil onto the surface of
lying rock. the land or into a body of surface
solution pan. Shallow solution basin water.
formed on bare limestone, generally squeeze. A narrow passage or opening
characterized by flat bottom and over- just passable with effort. Differs from
hanging sides. Synonyms, Kamenitza ; flattener in that there is little spare
Opferkessel; panhole; tinajita. space in any direction.
A GLOSSARY OF KARST TERMINOLOGY K17

stagmalite. A general term including sta- sumidero. (Spanish.) 1. A swallow hole.


lactite and stalagmite. Superseded by 2. In Latin America, any closed de-
dripstone. pression caused by solution.
stalactite. A cylindrical or conical de- sump. 1. A water trap. 2. A poo1 of under-
posit of minerals, generally calcite, ground water or point on an under-
formed by dripping water, hanging ground stream that has a submerged
from the roof of a cave, generally hav- extension, the nature of whih has not
ing a hollow tube at its center. From been determined.
Greek word meaning exude drops. suspended water. See vadose vater.
stalagmite. A deposit of calcium carbon- swallet, swallow hole. (England.) A place
ate rising from the floor of a limestone where water disappears underground
cave, formed by precipitation from a in a limestone region. A swallow hole
bicarbonate solution through loss of generally implies water loss in a closed
CO2. The water drops on the stalagmite depression or blind valley, whereas a
from above. From Greek word meaning swallet may refer to water loss into
drip. See also dripstone. alluvium at a streambed, even though
stalagmite, capillary. See capillary sta there is no depression. See also ponor;
lagmite. sink, sinkhole; stream sink.
steephead. A deeply cut valley, generally syngenetic karst. Karst developed in
short, terminating at its upslope end eolian calcarenite where lithification of
in an amphitheater, at the foot of dune sands and productior of karst
which a stream may emerge. phenomena occurred simultaneously.
straw stalactite. Thin tubular stalactite,
generally less than a centimeter in
diameter and of very great length (ex-
amples as long as 4 meters) ; also called terra rossa. Reddish-brown soil mantling
soda straw. limestone bedrock; may be residual in
stream sink. Point at which a surface some places.
stream sinks into the ground. See also terraced flowstone. Shallow rimstone
ponor; swallet, swallow hole. pools on outward-sloping walls. See also
streamtube. A cave passage completely rimstone barrage, rimstone barrier,
filled, or formerly filled, with fast-mov- rimstone dam; constructive waterfall.
ing water and whose ceiling and walls thermokarst. A pitted periglacial or
normally possess scallops. former perigiacial svrface in super-
struga. (Slavic.) A corridor formed along ficial deposits, produced by settling or
a bedding plane in karst country. caving of the ground after melting of
subjacent karst. Karst landscape in non- ground ice. Synonym, cryokarst.
carbonate rocks due to presence of thermokarst pit. Steep-walled depression
karstified rocks beneath the surface formed by thermokarst processes.
formation. threshold. That part of a cave system to
submarine spring. Large offshore emerg- which light penetrates in so^ne degree.
ence, generally from cavernous lime- through cave. Cave through which a
stone, but in some areas from beds of stream runs from entrance to exit or
lava. formerly did so. Synonym, (German.)
subsidence. Lowering of the surface of Durchgangshohle.
the ground because of removal of sup- tidewell. See ebb and flow spring, ebbing
port. Caused in karst areas by sub- and flowing well.
terranean solution or collapse of caves. tinajita. (Spanish.) See solution pan.
subterranean river. Underground stream torca. (Spanish.) Large closed depres-
of flowing water, not necessarily large. sion, more or less circular; a doline.
K18 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

torricellian chamber. A submerged air- tufa. See sinter; travertine.


filled chamber of a cave at a pressure tunnel. See natural tunnl.
below atmospheric pressure, sealed by turlough. (Ireland.) A depression in
water, having an air-water surface limestone or in glacial drift over lime-
above that of adjacent free air-water stone that is liable to flood either from
surfaces. excess surface runoff or from rising
tourelle. (French.) A little tower; ap- ground water. From tvi Irish words
plied to small flat-topped buttes of tuar loch, meaning drj- lake.
limestone in karst areas. Contrasted Turmkarst. (German.) See tower karst.
with pitons, which have pointed tops,
and with coupoles, which have rounded U
tops.
tower karst, Turmkarst. Karst topog- underground river. See subterranean
raphy characterized by isolated lime- river.
stone hills separated by areas of allu- upside-down channel. See ceiling channel.
vium or other detrital sand; towers are uvala. Large closed depression formed by
generally steep-sided forest-covered the coalesence of severrl dolines; com-
hills, and many have flat tops. pound doline. See also canyon; karst
tracers. Materials, such as chemicals, valley; valley sink.
dyes, radioactive salts, and light in-
soluble solids introduced into under-
ground waters to determine points of
vadose water. Water ir the zone of
egress of the water and its velocity.
aeration; water abov^ the zone of
trap* See siphon; water trap. saturation.
travertine. Calcium carbonate, CaCO,
light in color and generally concretion- valley sink. (American.) An elongated
ary and compact, deposited from solu- closed depression or series of inter-
tion in ground and surface waters. connecting depressions forming a val-
Extremely porous or cellular varieties leylike depression. Compare karst
are known as calcareous tufa, cal- valley; uvala.
careous sinter, or spring deposit. Com- vauclusian spring. A larp> spring or ex-
pact banded varieties, capable of taking surgence of an underground river, gen-
a polish, are called onyx marble or cave erally from limestone, that varies
onyx. greatly in output and is impenetrable
troglobite. An animal living permanently except with diving aprmratus. Syno-
underground in the dark zone of caves nym, gushing spring.
and only accidentally leaving it. vug. A small cavity in rock usually lined
troglodyte. A human cavedweller. with crystals. Adjective, vuggy. See
troglophile. An animal habitually enter- also geode.
ing the dark zone of a cave but neces- W
sarily spending part of its existence
outside such as some species of bats. wall block. A roughly cubical joint-con-
troglophobe. An animal or person unable trolled large block of limestone or dolo-
physically or psychologically to enter mite, which has rotatec1 outward from
the dark zone of a cave or other under- a cave wall. See also crve breakdown;
ground area. wall slab.
trogloxene. An animal entering a cave wall pocket. See pocket.
for various reasons but not living there wall slab. A thin but larg<> block of rock,
permanently. which has fallen outward from the
tube. A smooth-surfaced cave passage of wall of a cave in limestone in which the
elliptical or nearly circular cross dip is nearly vertical. See also cave
section. breakdown.
A GLOSSARY OF KARST TERMINOLOGY K19
wang. Malayan name for polje. Z
water table. The upper boundary of an
zanjon. (Spanish.) In Puerto Pico, solu-
unconfined zone of saturation, along tion trench in limestone. Zanjones
which the hydrostatic pressure is equal range from a few centimeters to about
to the atmospheric pressure. 3 meters in width and from rbout 1 to
water trap. A place where the roof of a 4 meters in depth. Apparently they
chamber or passage of a cave dips form by the widening and deepening of
under water but lifts again farther on. joints by solution. See also bc<raz; cor-
Synonym, trap. ridor; struga.
well. 1. A shaft or hole sunk into the zone of aeration. The zone in permeable
earth to obtain water, oil, gas, or min- soil or rock that is above the zone
erals. 2. A deep vertical rounded hole saturated with water; the zone of
or shaft in the floor of a cave or at vadose water.
zone of saturation. The zone in permea-
the bottom of a closed depression.
ble soil or rock that is saturated with
window. 1. In speleology, a natural open- water; the phreatic zone.
ing above the floor of a passage or a Zwischenhohle. (German.) Cave in
room, giving access to an adjoining which a river passage, or former river
cavity or to the surface; larger and passage, is entered from above or lat-
less symmetrical than a porthole. 2. The erally and which can be for owed up-
opening under the arch of a small nat- stream and downstream som? distance
ural bridge. 3. See karst window. but not to daylight
CLASSIFICATION OF TERMS
Caves, depositional features
anemolite flowstone
anthodite formation
apron fresco
bacon gour
balcony grape formation
blanket gypsum flower
bone breccia helictite
botryoid heligmite
breakdown knobstone
calcite bubble moonmilk
calcite flottante mud stalagmite
canopy onyx marble
capillary stalagmite oulopholite
cave blister pillar
cave breakdown pisolite, pisolith
cave breccia pool deposit
cave coral pore deposit
cave earth, cave fill rice paddy
cave flower rimstone barrage, r'Tistone barrier,
cave formation rimstone dam
cave marble rimstone pool
cave onyx rock fall
cave pearl roof crust
ceiling block roof slab
ceiling slab sand stalagmite
chockstone scaling chip
choke scaling plate
clay fill shawl
clusterite sheet
column shield
conulite speleothem
crust stone splash cup
crystal pool stagmalite
curtain stalactite
decoration stalagmite
drapery stalagmite, capillary
driphole straw stalactite
dripstone terraced flowstone
eccentric wall block
floe calcite wall slab
K20
A GLOSSARY OP KARST TERMINOLOGY K21

Caves, erosional and solutional features


anastomosis hanging blade
blade keyhole
boxwork palette
canyon partition
cave-in pendant
ceiling cavity pillar
ceiling channel pocket
ceiling meander porthole
ceiling pocket rock pendant
ceiling tube rock pillar
collapse breccia rock pinnacle
conical wall niche scallop
crescentic wall niche
current marking
Deckenkarren speleogen
dome pit spongework
driphole tabe
facet upside-down channel
floor pocket wall pocket
flute well
half tube window
Caves, kinds
abime Halbhohle
abris sous roche ice cave
active cave jama
aven joint-plane cave
bedding-plane cave labyrinth
blowing cave lava cave
cave live cava
cave group maze.cave
cave series natural tunnel
cave system network
crystal cave rock shelter
cueva sea cave
dead cave shaft
dry cave sima
Durchgangshohle sotano
fault cave through cave
fissure cave tunnel
glacier cave Zwischenhb'hle
K22 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

Caves, parts
air pocket flattener
aisle foiba
aven gallery
branchwork grotto
bridge hall
cavern lake
cavernous level
chamber light hole
chasm meander
chimney meander niche
chute passage
corridor rift
crawl, crawlway room
cul-de-sac shaft
daylight hole siphon
dead end squeeze
dome pit streamtube
duck-under threshold

Chemical, mineral, and rock terms


aeolianite eolian calcarenite
aggressive water floe calcite
aragonite fluorescein
beachrock geode
bicarbonate globularite
calc- guano
calcarenite gypsum
calcareous hardness
calcareous tufa kankar, kunkar
calcilutite karst breccia
calcirudite lime
calcite limestone
calcite flottante marble
calcrete marl
caliche Mexican onyx
carbonate moonmilk
cave guano onyx marble
cave ice residual clay
cave marble rimstone
cave onyx sinter
chalk solution breccia
chert terra rossa
collapse breccia tracers
dog-tooth crystal, dog-tooth spar travertine
dolomite tufa
dune limestone vug
A GLOSSARY OF KARST TERMINOLOGY K23

Hydrotoffic terms
aeration, zone of permeability
aggressive water phreas, phreatic water
alternative phreatic surface
aquifer phreatic zone
blowing well piezometric surface
blue hole ponor
boiling spring porosity
cave ice recharge area
cave spring resurgence
conduit rise
diffuse circulation rising
doline lake saturation, zone of
ebb and flow spring, ebbing and flow- sinkhole pond
ing well sinking creek
effluent cave soil air
emergence spring
epiphreas, epiphreatic zone stream sink
estavelle submarine spring
exsurgence subterranean river
free-surface stream sump
ground air suspended water
ground water swallet, swallow hole
gushing spring tidewell
hydraulic conductivity torricellian chamber
inflow cave, influent cave trap
intake area
underground river
inverted siphon
karst hydrology vadose water
karst river vaudusian spring
karst spring water table
localized circulation water trap
lost river well
ojo, ojo de agua zone of aeration
outflow cave zone of saturation
Karst, depression features
aguada doline
blind valley dry valley
bogaz etched pothole
bourne geological organ
calanque glade
canale gulf
canyon half-blind valley
cave-in hoya, hoyo
cenote Kamenitza
closed depression Karrenfeld
cockpit karst bridge
collapse sink karst fens
corridor karst fenster
cove karst lake
K24 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OF THE UNITED STATES

karst margin plain Randpolje


karst pond rill
karst valley Rillenstein
karst window rock shelter
Karstrandebene shake, shakehole
katavothron sima
lapie"s sink, sinkhole
lime sink sinkhole plain
limestone sink sinkhole pond
lost river solution lake
marginal polje solution pan
minor karst features steephead
natural arch stream sink
natural bridge struga
natural tunnel sumidero
natural well swallet, swallow hole
nested sinkholes thermokarst pit
^ , tinajita
Opferkessel
ouvala, torca
panhole tunnel
park turlough
pit uvala
polje valley sink
ponor wang
pothole window
pozo zanj<5n
Karst, httl features
constructive waterfall rnogote
coupole pepino hill
cupola piton
fungling scar
haystack hill solution scarp
hum tourelle

Karst, kinds
arSte and pinnacle karst Halbkugelkarst
bare karst holokarst
buried karst karst
causse karst barre"
cockpit karst karst plain
cone karst karst topography
covered karst karstland
crevice karst Kegelkarst
eryokarst limestone pavement
exhumed karst merokarst
fluviokarst microkarst
fossil karst naked karst
glaciokarst paleokarst
A GLOSSARY OF KARST TERMINOLOGY K25

pitted plain syngenetic karst


polygonal karst thermokarst
pseudokarst tower karst
Spitzkegelkarst Turmkarst
subjacent karst
Karst forms, minor
bogaz Karren
clint lapis
corridor limestone pavement
current marking Opferkessel
cutter rill
Deckenkarren sand pipe
etched pothole scallop
facet solution pan
flute solution pipe
grike tinajita
gryke zanjfin
Kamenitza

Miscellaneous terms
base level, karst kras, krs"
bed limestone pavement
bedding plane lycopodium spores
biospeleology pipe
blowhole potholer
blowing well potholing
calc- sand pipe
cave solution pipe
cave-in spelean
caver speleologist
cavernous speleology
caving
spelunker
clay filling
fluorescein spelunking
formation troglobite
Karrenfeld troglodyte
karst troglophile
karst base level troglophobe
karstic trogloxene

Processes
alveolization evorsion
backflooding karstification
calcification Mischungskorrosion
corrasion piping
corrosion potholing
decalcification solution
dissolution solution subsidence
dolomitization subsidence
K26 CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HYDROLOGY OP THE UNITED STATES

SELECTED REFERENCES
American Geological Institute, 1957, Glossary of geology and related sciences:
Washington, Am. GeoL Inst, Natl. Acad. of ScL-NatL Research Council
Pub. 501,825 p.
1960, Supplement to the glossary of geology and related sconces: Wash-
ington, Am. Geol. Inst, 72 p.
Bogli, Alfred, 1960, Kalklosung und Karrenbildung, in Internationale Beitrage
zur Karstmorphologie: Zeitschr. Geomorphologie, Supp. 2, p. 4-21.
1964, Mischungskorrosion, ein Beitrag zum Verkarstungsproblem:
Erdkunde, y. 18, no. 2, p. 83-92.
Bretz, J Harlan, 1942, Vadose and phreatic features of limestone caverns: Jour.
Geology, v. 50, no. 6, p. 675-811.
Cullingford, C. H. D., ed., 1953, British caving an introduction to speleology:
London, Boutledge and Kegan Paul, Ltd., 468 p. (2d ed., 1962.)
Davis, W. M., 1930, Origin of limestone caverns: GeoL Soc. America Bull., v. 41,
p. 475-628.
Fenelon, Paul, 1968, Vocabulaire f rangais des phenomenes karstiqr^s: Memoires
et Documents, Centre de Rechercb.es et Documentation CartCTaphiques et
G6ographiques, Nouvelle S6rie, v. 4, p. 13-68.
Muma, M. H., and Muma, EL E., 1944, A glossary of speleology: NatL Speleol.
Soc. Bull. no. 6, p. 1-10. Also in Pinney, Roy, 1962. The complete book of cave
exploration: New York, Coward-McCann, Inc., p. 207-233.
Stamp, L. D., ed., 1961, A glossary of geographical terms: New Yor*:, John Wiley
and Sons, Inc., 539 p.
Trimmel, Hubert, 1965, Spelaologiscb.es Fachworterbuch (Fachw"rterbuch der
Karst-und Hb'hlenkunde) : Vienna, Landesverein fiir Hohlenl-uide in Wien
und Niederdsterreich, 109 p.

U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE : 1972 O - 489-369

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