Karst mapping in the United States: Past, present and future

GSA Special Papers
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Abstract

The earliest known comprehensive karst map of the entire USA was published by Stringfield and LeGrand (1969), based on compilations of William E. Davies of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Various versions of essentially the same map have been published since. The USGS recently published new digital maps and databases depicting the extent of known karst, potential karst, and pseudokarst areas of the United States of America including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (Weary and Doctor, 2014). These maps are based primarily on the extent of potentially karstic soluble rock types, and rocks with physical properties conducive to the formation of pseudokarst features. These data were compiled and refined from multiple sources at various spatial resolutions, mostly as digital data supplied by state geological surveys. The database includes polygons delineating areas with potential for karst and that are tagged with attributes intended to facilitate classification of karst regions. Approximately 18% of the surface of the fifty United States is underlain by significantly soluble bedrock. In the eastern United States the extent of outcrop of soluble rocks provides a good first-approximation of the distribution of karst and potential karst areas. In the arid western states, the extent of soluble rock outcrop tends to overestimate the extent of regions that might be considered as karst under current climatic conditions, but the new dataset encompasses those regions nonetheless. This database will be revised as needed, and the present map will be updated as new information is incorporated.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Karst mapping in the United States: Past, present and future
Series title GSA Special Papers
DOI 10.1130/2015.2516(04)
Volume 516
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
Description 15 p.
First page 177
Last page 211
Country United States
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N