Karst of the Mid-Atlantic region in Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia

By: , and 
Edited by: David K. BrezinskiJeffrey Halka, and Richard A. Ortt Jr.

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Abstract

The Mid-Atlantic region hosts some of the most mature karst landscapes in North America, developed in highly deformed rocks within the Piedmont and Valley and Ridge physiographic provinces. This guide describes a three-day excursion to examine karst development in various carbonate rocks by following Interstate 70 west from Baltimore across the eastern Piedmont, across the Frederick Valley, and into the Great Valley proper. The localities were chosen in order to examine the structural and lithological controls on karst feature development in marble, limestone, and dolostone rocks with an eye toward the implications for ancient landscape evolution, as well as for modern subsidence hazards. A number of caves will be visited, including two commercial caverns that reveal strikingly different histories of speleogenesis. Links between karst landscape development, hydrologic dynamics, and water resource sustainability will also be emphasized through visits to locally important springs. Recent work on quantitative dye tracing, spring water geochemistry, and groundwater modeling reveal the interaction between shallow and deep circulation of groundwater that has given rise to the modern karst landscape. Geologic and karst feature mapping conducted with the benefit of lidar data help reveal the strong bedrock structural controls on karst feature development, and illustrate the utility of geologic maps for assessment of sinkhole susceptibility.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Karst of the Mid-Atlantic region in Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia
DOI 10.1130/2015.0040(11)
Volume 40
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
Description 60 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Tripping from the Fall Line: Field Excursions for the GSA Annual Meeting, Baltimore, 2015
First page 425
Last page 484