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doline in SloveniaKarst

The term karst is derived from the Slovenian word kras, which is the name of a mountain range on the border between Slovenia and Italy. The term karst is most often applied to the distinctive landforms found on limestone and dolostone bedrock. These include sinking streams (streams which disappear underground into sinkholes or caves), caves, karren (bedrock that has been sculpted by solution), and dolines or sinkholes (round depressions). The image shows a doline in Slovenia which has been bisected by quarrying. A surface with karst landforms is always underlain by a karst aquifer.

Much of the northern U.S. and almost all of Canada was covered by ice as recently as 15,000 years ago. When the ice melted it left glacial deposits which cover the bedrock, and so no karst features are visible at the surface. However, dissolution processes in underlying carbonate aquifers have still produced channel networks just the same as in unglaciated areas.