Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 31 Number 1: 1-17 - January 1969

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Karst and Caves in Poland
Marian Pulina


Karst phenomena including caves are rather well developed in Poland, but carbonate and gypsiferous rocks comprise only about 2000 square kilometers. The largest karst areas lies under thick Pleistocene covers. The three best-known karst areas in Poland are (1) the Cracow-Czestochowa upland of about 1800 square kilometers; (2) the Tatra Mountains of about 50 square kilometers; and (3) the Sudeten Mountains of about 15 square kilometers. These and other minor karst regions differ widely in geomorphic characteristics.

Three main types of karst relief are distinguished in Poland: (1) young Alpine karst in the Tatra Mountains; (2) old karst along bedding planes in the Cracow-Czestochowa upland; and (3) the fossil "island" karst in the Sudeten Mountains. The most intense karst development is in the Tatra Mountians were the quantitative value of chemical denudation reaches 20 to 100 cubic meters er year. Most caves in Poland are not large because of destructive continental glaciation during the Pleistocene.

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