Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms
Based on "A Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology with Special to Environmental Karst Hydrology" EPA/600/R-02/003, 2002, EPA: Washington, DC., Speleogenesis Glossary includes 2699 cave & karst terms
tower karst, towerkarst, turmkarst
1. A spectacular variety of karst landscape dominated by steep or vertical sided limestone towers each 30-300m high. By far the most extensive and best developed tower karst is the Guangxi province of southern China. Towers originate as residual cones and are then steepened by water table undercutting from surround alluviated plains. Tectonic uplift matched by karst erosion then increases tower heights, but if uplift exceeds surface lowering the towers are raised to hillside locations and the landscape is rejuvenated to form a new generation of dolines and cone karst. Many towers are riddled with relict caves at high levels, and with active caves through their bases . 2. Karst topography characterized by isolated residual limestone hills displaying numerous shapes (e.g., cone shaped, steep-sided) separated by areas of alluvium or other detrital sand; towers are generally forest-covered hills, and many have flat tops. They may form as isolated hills or in groups. 3. A type of karst topography, common in the tropics, in which the residual hills rise in steep-sided but flat-topped mounds (resembling towers) from intervening depressions or dolinas (sinkholes) . Synonyms: (French.) karst a tourelles, karst a tours; (German.) Turmkarst, Kegelkarst; (Italian.) carsismo con forme residuali a torre; (Spanish.) karst de torres; (Turkish.) kuleli karst. See also cone karst; cupola karst; pinnacle karst; fengcong; fenglin.