Underground rivers, also known as subterranean rivers, flow at least partly beneath the surface of the Earth. Many underground rivers are part of a karst landscape, where eroded limestone often creates caves. Underground rivers may emerge at sinkholes or above ground, as the karst landscape gives way to soil.
Karst is an area of land made up of limestone. Limestone, also known as chalk or calcium carbonate, is a soft rock that dissolves in water. As rainwater seeps into the rock, it slowly erodes. Karst landscapes can be worn away from the top or dissolved from a weak point inside the rock.
Karst landscapes feature caves, underground streams and sinkholes on the surface. Where erosion has worn away the land above ground, steep rocky cliffs are visible.
Shilin is a karst formation in southern China. In Chinese, shilin means stone forest. Shilin got its name because the tall rocks that formed due to erosion look like stone trees. Shilin is part of a larger karst landscape called the South China Karst, which spreads across the Chinese provinces of Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan.
In Mexicos Yucatn Peninsula, you can find cenotes, which are karst sinkholes that have filled with water. Sometimes, cenotes connect to waterways underground. Mexicans and tourists use the cenotes as cool, pristine swimming pools.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry calcium carbonate Noun
chemical compound (CaCO3) found in most shells and many rocks.
underground chamber that opens to the surface. Cave entrances can be on land or in water.
natural sinkhole or reservoir where groundwater is available.
a soft mineral. Also called limestone and calcium carbonate.
steep wall of rock, earth, or ice.
Encyclopedic Entry: cliff dissolve Verb
to break up or disintegrate.
to wear away.
landscape made of limestone.
Encyclopedic Entry: karst landscape Noun
the geographic features of a region.
Encyclopedic Entry: landscape limestone Noun
type of sedimentary rock mostly made of calcium carbonate from shells and skeletons of marine organisms.
natural substance composed of solid mineral matter.
to slowly flow through a border.
karst formation in southern China. Also called the Stone Forest.
hole formed in a rock or other solid material by the weight or movement of water.
Encyclopedic Entry: sinkhole stream Noun
body of flowing water.
Encyclopedic Entry: stream