Earth Science Education
Karst (sinkholes, caves, chemical weathering) key links
- Karst Information. Kentucky Geological Survey. Information and research page concerning karst. Contains information on karst, karst locations in Kentucky, frequently asked questions, groundwater, construction risks, flooding, cover-collapse sinkholes, pollution issues, links to maps and online resources, speleology websites, and a glossary of terms.
- Living with Karst. American Geological Institute, Environmental Awareness Series. AGI provides a colorful, easy-to-read booklet which defines karst and outlines the environmental issues in karst landscapes. Comes with a poster. Check out the Environmental Awareness Series Page for more details. Powerpoint slide shows and images are available to supplement the booklet. Most information is free or discounted to teachers.
- Kentucky is karst country: What you should know about sinkholes and springs. Jim Currens, Kentucky Geological Survey. Colorful, easy-to-read booklet about karst in Kentucky. Available through KGS or can be downloaded from the website: http://kgs.uky.edu/kgsweb/olops/pub/kgs/ic04_12.pdf <caution large file size>
- Sugar cube karst. Barb Mieras, Geological Society of America. This activity uses a pile of sugar cubes and warm water to simply show solution karst formation. For grades K-3. Comes with goal, objective, background materials, and procedures.
- Caves. Scholastic.com Online Theme Unit. Provides introduction to caves, caves in the United States, around the world and cave animals. Provides brief ideas for exploration of caves on the web and in the classroom including a sugar-cube and clay activity. Students place sugar cubes in clay that will become a cave when they dissolve with warm water.
- Exploration into solution caves. Judeen Bachura, Units of Practice, 5th grade Earth Science, Morris County Schools, Kansas. Activity designed for three class periods with tools, process/tasks/skills, and assessment. In the main activity, students shape a clay ball around sugar cubes and then dissolve the sugar to model cave formation. The third day is a link to a virtual solution cave.
- Create a cave Cave of the Winds. Provides information on how to make a cave with sugar cubes, modeling clay, and warm water and work sheets.
- Karst, caves, and groundwater contamination. Debra Butler Mayers, Watershed Connection. Students observe how water percolates through soil, and compare to how water percolates through soil mixed with sugar. Provides background, materials list, procedure, wrap up, and ideas for extension.
- Create a classroom cave. Are you batty? Chris Lundberg. National park Service. Provides instructions on how to construct a cave with brown craft paper or paper bags and tape in the corner of the classroom to look like a cave. Has paper bat patterns to hang in the cave and extension ideas. Preschool to kindergarten.
- Make stalactites and stalagmites. Science kids.com. Activity in which students use a glass jar, thread, baking soda or Epsom salts to make stalactites and stalagmites.
- Reaction rates. NASA. Students measure rates of dissolving crushed and uncrushed antacid tablets. This can be used as an analogy to cave and karst formation.
- The effect of temperature on the rate of dissolving. Texas Instruments. Middle School lab activity in which students collect data on sugar cube dissolution in boiling water as an analogy to chemical weathering. Provides full activity with data sheets, lab design, etc. This can be used as an analogy to cave and karst formation.
See also Caves (Speleology)
See also Water cycle
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