This paper analyzes different types of karst landforms and their relationships with fracture systems, sedimentary bedding, and fluvial processes. We mapped karst features in the Cretaceous carbonates of the Jandaíra Formation in the Potiguar Basin, Brazil. We used high-resolution digital elevation models acquired using LiDAR and aerial orthophotographs acquired using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). We grouped and described karst evolution according to scale and degree of karstification. These degrees of karst evolution are coeval. Fractures are opened by dissolution, forming vertical fluid conduits, whereas coeval dissolution occurs along horizontal layers. This conduit system acts as pathways for water flow. The enlargement of conduits contributes to the collapse of blocks in sinkholes and expansion of caves during an intermediate degree of karstification. Propagation of dissolution can cause the coalescence of sinkholes and the capture of small streams. Fluvial processes dominate karst dissolution at an advanced degree of karstification. Comparisons with previously published ground-penetrating radar (GPR), borehole and seismic surveys in sedimentary basins indicate that these structures can be partially preserved during burial.
Geomorphology – Elsevier
Published: Oct 15, 2017
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