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2.0 Erosion byGroundwater

What resources does a coastal city need?

Tulum is a walled city the was once occupied by the Maya people. Tulum is ~ above the Yucatan Peninsula the Mexico. The beautiful blue Caribbean supplied the Maya with numerous fish. What else would certainly the Maya civilization have needed? new water is found in cenotes, sinkholes the are typical in the Yucatan limestone.

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Groundwater Erosion

Some water soaks into the ground. It travels down through tiny feet in soil. That seeps through cracks in rock. The water moves slowly, pulled deeper and deeper through gravity. Water in an underground absent or sediment layer is groundwater. Underground water can additionally erode and deposit material.

Rainwater absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) together it falls. The CO2 combines with water to type carbonic acid. The contempt acidic water is especially good at dissolving the rock limestone. Groundwater creates landforms by dissolving away rock.

Florida is unique for underground water erosion. The state is very flat and is made greatly of limestone. As result of the wet climate, groundwater surfaces in numerous locations. In the Everglades, rivers create a vast floodplain and also groundwater comes to the surface (See Figure below).


A cypress forest in Everglades nationwide Park requirements water come thrive. <2>


Caves are one of the varieties of landforms produced by underground water erosion. Working gradually over numerous years, groundwater travels along tiny cracks. The water dissolves and also carries far the hard rock. This slowly enlarges the cracks. Eventually, a cave, favor the one watched in the Figure below may form.


Water flows with a limestone cave. <3>

You can discover a wonderful cave, Kartchner Caverns, in Arizona, by the town hall this video: http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/science/earth-sci/exploring-kartchner-sci.html.


As erosion by groundwater continues, the ceiling the a cave may collapse. The rock and soil over it sink into the ground. This forms a sinkhole on the surface. Some sinkholes are large enough to swallow increase a residence or several homes in a neighborhood.

THE neighborhood TIE IN: did you understand that throughout the karst sink of Chester and Montgomery Counties, sinkholes occur. Proof of previous sinkholes in ~ the park have the right to be discovered on the cool Parade grounds. The many notable sinkhole occurance within the park occurred during the an excellent Ice Age, about 750,000 year ago.


Caves and KarstBone CaveBone cavern is a vertical 12-m-deep (40-ft-deep) solution cavity (paleo-sinkhole) in the Cambrian Ledger formation that was briefly opened up to the surface, developing a natural trap for the accumulation of continues to be (Santucci et al. 2001; Daeschler et al. 2005). An ext than 1,200 fossils native the cave are held at the Academy of natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The Bone cavern site is just one of the most significant Middle Pleistocene (approximately 600,000 come 670,000 years ago) vertebrate fossil find in phibìc America. The fossiliferous deposit was not exhausted prior to flooding groundwater inundated the cavern in 1896. The quarry was later filled with 9–12 m (30–40 ft) of industrial waste indigenous a adjacent factory (Daescher et al. 2005).Edward Drinker cope was amongst the leading paleontologists explicate fossils from the cave in the so late 1800s. Numerous fossils were recovered, representing 14 tree species, ripe coleopterid insects, 5 reptiles (four turtles, one snake), one bird, and also 33 mammal varieties (Daeschler et al. 1993; Santucci et al. 2001; Baughman et al. 2006). Significant fossils include the only recognized representatives the a skunk (Osmotherium spelaeum) and a muskrat species (Ondatra hiatidens). The diluvian fisher (Martes diluviana) is additionally only well-known from the site. Other notable fossils incorporate ground sloths, mammoths, the earliest record of American black bear
(Ursus americanus), the form locality that the gracile sabertooth (Smilodon gracilis) (fig. 6), and the only population sample of huge North American Pleistocene tapirs (fig. 7) (Baughman et al. 2006; Santucci et al. 2001).

A description of all the fossil continues to be and history of excavation of Bone cave is beyond the border of this report. Prior to its rediscovery in 2005, Daeschler et al. (1993) presented a thoroughly review and geologic contextualization the the Bone cave fauna and also flora.

Karst Processes

Bone cave is one example of the action of karst procedures on the landscape at Valley build National historic Park. The absence of streams in areas underlain through dolostone, such together those clearly shows from Inner heat Drive, County heat Road, and Gulph Road, is usual of karst topography (Wiswall 1993). Karstic dissolution occurs when acidic water reacts through carbonate absent surfaces along cracks and also fractures. Most meteoric water is of fairly low pH as result of the reaction between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and also water. The product that this reaction is carbonic mountain (Palmer 1984). Groundwater may become more acidic together it flows v decaying plant debris and also soils. The acid dissolves calcium carbonate, creating soluble ions (Palmer 1984). Many of the carbonaceous limestones and also dolomites in southeastern Pennsylvania are naturally porous, consist of of voids and also underground drainage systems.Many huge surface karst features, including sinkholes developed by mechanical procedures such as collapse, were motivated by subsurface solution. Sinkholes are produced by the collapse of overlying rock and also soil into a void. They might also kind where cracks in the basic limestone are widened by dissolution, so the soil and also pieces of radical subside into the enlarging solutional openings (Palmer 1981). Castle are frequently funnel- shame topographic depressions that are elliptical come circular in landscape check out (Palmer 1981; Drumheller 1985). A sinkhole arising in a streambed may catch the water flow to develop a disappearing stream.

Active karst processes in the Valley create area incorporate limestone dissolution, secret cavity development, spring activity, sinkhole collapse, and erosion (fig. 8). The dominant carbonate-bearing systems in the region include the Cambrian-age Ledger and Elbrook formations. These systems contain thick deposits of dissolve limestone and dolostone interlayered through shales, siltstones, and sandstones (quartzites). The rocks record a old marine container on the subsiding margin that the continent during the Cambrian Period. Detrital sand, silt, and also mud were deposited on this margin, followed by the deepening the the basin and the deposition of

carbonate chemistry sediments about 500 million years back (Bechtel et al. 2005).Caves in Valley build National historic Park likely formed by both vadose (above the water table) and also phreatic (at or below the water table) solution. Such development occurs as soon as a nascent i conducts water with the vadose zone to the phreatic zone, and also solutional enlargement that the conduit occurs concurrently in both zones. The local water table is highly irregular and discontinuous. Features characteristic that both solution varieties are present in a conduit described by Palmer (1984, 1990); this references could be an important for researcher attempting to translate the cavern features at Valley create National historic Park.


groundwater: fresh water that moves with pore spaces and also fractures in soil and rock in ~ the floor surface.sinkhole: Circular hole in the ground that creates as the roof the a cavern collapses.


Groundwater erodes absent beneath the ground surface. Limestone is a carbonate and is most conveniently eroded.Groundwater dissolves minerals and carries the ion in solution.Groundwater erosion creates caves and sinkholes.

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Use this source to answer the inquiries that follow.

Kartchner Caverns State Park, Arizona at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF75q4vzbAY (3:11)

What is under Arizona?When to be they discovered?When go this area become a state park?How lengthy did it take it the caverns come form?What provides caves interesting?


How walk groundwater erode rock?Why is groundwater acidic?How walk a cave come to be a sinkhole?