Caves and Karst Landscapes

Hidden deep inside old growth forests, students have the opportuity to explore incredible karst landscapes and gain an understanding of how they are formed. We will visit an area of Vancouver Island rich in limestone, where students will measure areas of limestone pavement, view sinkholes where small rivers disappear undergound, and even explore a local cave system, viewing first hand the power of water erosion and solution.

Our studies will include mapping areas of karst, examining rock structures, landforms, solution pits, grooves and runnels. We will investigate the affect of carbon dioxide and solution of the limestone with the resulting caverns and cave passages that form. Students will examine a karst landscape and visit an area where old caverns have collapsed and are now overgrown, showing how the landscape has changed over thousands of years.

In our followup session, we will overlay our study areas with geological and satellite maps and disucss our findings with the group.

Program Outline

Caves & Karst Landforms
8am - 9am Breakfast
9am - 5pm Field study excursion to Northern Vancouver Island
  A full day of field studies in one of Vancouver Islands' many karst landscapes. We study several limestone formations and visit a local cave to understand the power of erosion through hydraulic action and solution (lunch provided)
5pm - 6pm Dinner
6pm - 8pm Followup Session - Classroom
  A review of data collected in the field and comparison to satellite imagery and maps
8pm - 9pm Free Time
9pm - 11pm Campfire & Mug-up
11pm Bedtime