Where is Karst Found?
Carbonate bedrock underlies approximately 10% of British Columbia,
providing an extensive area for potential karst development.
Is all carbonate rock in BC potential karst?
No, the level of karst development across the province is highly
variable, because it depends on the type and purity of bedrock, physiographic location
and biogeoclimatic settings. Glaciation
has played a major role in the karst formation process in BC by
exposing, eroding and burying earlier developed karst. The
associated with the Interior likely mask significant areas of buried
BC karst on a global scale
Much of the karst in BC is comparable to karst terrain in other
parts of the world (e.g., Europe, Norway, Alaska, Tasmania, Chile,
New Zealand). Timber harvesting concerns in BC have focused primarily
on the karst on Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands,
and the mainland coast where the karst contributes to a rich growing
environment for timber. These areas have very steep surface
slopes and subsurface hydraulic
These characteristics contribute to making these among the most
dynamic karst terrains on earth, as they are evolving and
changing more rapidly and abruptly than karst areas in more moderate
Run your mouse over the map to find areas where
karst is known to occur.
Figure 1-3: The
orange areas show the approximate distribution of carbonate
bedrock in BC. These are areas of potential karst development.
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