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Federal and State agencies, the speleological community, and academia have repeatedly expressed the need for an accurate and detailed national karst map to better understand the distribution of soluble rocks in the United States. Maps at a variety of scales are needed to educate the public and legislators about karst issues, to provide a basis for cave and karst research, and to aid Federal, State, and local land-use management. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will produce a national karst map in digital form, and link that map on a web-based network to State and local scale maps and related data. The National Cave and Karst Research Institute (NCKRI) is a partner in this project. The national map will consider the distribution of carbonate and evaporite units, intrastratal karst, karst beneath surficial overburden, and percentage of area covered by karst. The USGS is supplying programmatic funding for the national karst map via the FEDMAP and indirectly, STATEMAP, components of the ongoing National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (NCGMP)

Image of draft compilation of karst areas of the U.S.l
A preliminary compilation of potentially karstic areas in the Unied States over ecologic
Domains. Blue, green, and purple areas are carbonate rocks, Orange areas are underlain
by evaporite rocks.


Digital version of the Davies and others (1984) Engineering aspects of karst, National Atlas karst map and GIS data (1:7.5 million scale)

NEW!: Preliminary map of potentially karstic carbonate rocks in the central and southern Appalachian states

Thumbnail image of Google Earth with karst areas overlain

Click here to see the publication website and access data

Click here to download a compressed data file that will display in Google Earth TM* (Decompress and open from Google Earth*)


National Cave and Karst Research Instititute (NCKRI) website
Karst Information Portal (KIP)

Return to the KARST Project mainpage

*Any use of trade or product names does not constitute endorsement by the U.S. Geological Survey