Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2006, Vol. 16 ›› Issue (4): 472-478.doi: 10.1007/s11442-006-0411-9

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Karst subzone division in vertical cycle zone and its significance

ZHAO Jingbo1,2, CHEN Baoqun1, YUE Yingli1, DU Juan1   

  1. 1. Department of Geography, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an 710062, China|
    2. State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, CAS, Xi’an 710075, China)
  • Received:2005-12-18 Revised:2006-03-20 Online:2006-12-25 Published:2006-12-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40571004; Project of Key Karst Dynamics Laboratory, MLR, No.2004-05; Project of State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, CAS, No.SKLLQG0504


Vertical cycle karst zone has been studied for more than 100 years, however karst subzones in the zone have never been divided and affected depth of CO2 from rainwater in the zone has never been studied. On the basis of field observation, survey and chemical analysis, the difference of karst processes indicated by CaCO3and pH values in fine and loose sedimentary strata as well as limestone strata, and the vertical cycle zone ascertained by predecessors can be divided into three subzones, that is, the upper first subzone, characterized by unsaturated water solution and strong dissolution processes, the middle second subzone, characterized by supersaturated water solution and precipitation, and the lower third subzone, characterized by unstable water solution and weak dissolution or weak precipitation. The three subzones can indicate the vertical co2 cycle. In fine and loose sediment strata, the bottom of the first subzone is the lower boundary strongly influenced by co2 from rainwater, soil and air; all co2 from rainwater, soil and air is almost exhausted in the second subzone. In the early developmental period of karst process in limestone strata, karst funnels and vertical caves do not form, vertical seeping of rainwater and soil water is very slow, and co2 from soil, rainwater and air almost can reach the third subzone, but in the middle and late developmental periods, karst funnels and vertical caves occur, co2 from soil, rainwater and air can reach deep seasonal change zone and horizontal cycle zone and quicken development of karst morphology. Deep karst morphology near groundwater level under vertical cycle zone develops better in the middle and late periods of karst process.

Key words: vertical cycle zone, karst subzone division, three subzones, dividing signs, co2 cycle