Editors: Joshua M. Feinberg, Yongli Gao, and E. Calvin Alexander Jr.
Appreciation, knowledge, and understanding of cave and karst systems have evolved dramatically since the creation of the Geological Society of America in 1888. Caves are now widely recognized as important geological features and karst as a distinctive and significant geologic system that covers about 20% of the planet's land surface. Karst aquifers are the world's most productive yet vulnerable groundwater systems, serving as the sole or primary water supply for more than one billion people worldwide. Karst systems have evolved dynamically across time, reflecting changes in climate and regional tectonism, and the subsequent crustal scale hydrologic responses invoked by these processes. We are now aware of the complexity of groundwater flow within karst and epikarst systems, and are striving to link our understanding of such heterogeneous flow processes to contamination studies and hazard assessment. This Special Paper highlights the changes in the study and application of cave and karst systems since GSA's origin, while looking ahead to future advancements.
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ISBN Number: 978-0-8137-2516-1
Product Category: Special Papers