Journal of Earth Sciences and Geotechnical Engineering

Karst Forms in Iraq

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  • Abstract

    Iraq is one of the countries where karst forms are densely formed in different forms, sizes and shapes. Each physiographic province has its own form(s), except the Mesopotamia Plain, which is covered by Quaternary sediments; mainly of river flood plain sediments and their enclosures. Moreover, the extreme northeastern parts, which are covered by igneous and metamorphic rocks, are also free from karst forms. Karst forms developed in limestone beds are quite different from those developed in gypsum beds, the formers are more extensive, larger in size and depth and diverse in types than the latter. The main types are sinkholes and collapses, less abundant are caves. Each of these forms has a name indicating a geographical location or explaining the form. Among them are: Nuqrat Al-Salman; in the Southern Desert, Um Chaimin; in the Western Desert, and Shanidar in the northern part of Iraq.