Karst of the Belfast and Sugar Tree Ridge 7.5-minute quadrangles, Ohio

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Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Karst terrain forms by dissolution of carbonate rocks, such as limestone or dolostone, or evaporites, such as gypsum or salt, and is characterized by features including sinkholes, disappearing streams, caves, and springs. Sinkholes (or sinks) are enclosed depressions that do not usually hold water and often have a “throat” or opening at the bottom that drains to the subsurface. A stream that flows into a sinkhole is known as a disappearing stream or losing stream. Water flowing into the ground can cause solution enlargement of natural fractures in the rock; these fractures eventually can grow into caves. The Ohio Revised Code defines a cave as “…a naturally occurring void, cavity, recess, or system of interconnecting passages beneath the surface of the earth or within a cliff or ledge…” (State of Ohio, 1989). When water exits these solutional features, a spring is formed. Passageways formed in karst terrain allow for high connectivity between the land surface and the water table. These passageways permit water to bypass soil and rock layers that can filter contaminants. Consequently, when compounds such as fertilizers, pesticides, and waste enter sinkholes, they are rapidly transported to the water table and can quickly pollute water wells, streams, springs, and rivers. Karst features may pose infrastructure complications; roads, utilities, houses, and other facilities built in karst areas are at risk of subsidence, collapse, or other damage. In order to provide a reference for future planning on both the local and regional scale, the Ohio Geological Survey has produced this map book identifying the known and suspected karst areas in the vicinity of Belfast, Ohio (fig. 1). This effort is among several other karst mapping projects (fig. 1) undertaken by the Ohio Geological Survey in recent years to document karst terrain throughout Ohio.
karst, Belfast Quadrangle, Sugar Tree Ridge Quadrangle, Ohio, sinkhole, cave, spring, disappearing stream, map
Aden, D.J., 2016 Karst of the Belfast and Sugar Tree Ridge 7.5 Minute Quadrangles, Ohio: Columbus, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016-4, 7 p., 68 maps.
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