Engineering Issues on Karst
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The design and construction of engineering structures in karst regions must deal with such challenges as difficulty in excavating and grading the ground over pinnacled rockheads, instability of ground surface, and unpredictable groundwater flow conditions. Detailed subsurface investigation using boring exploration, geophysical techniques, tracer testing, and groundwater monitoring helps optimize foundation designs and minimize uncertainties inherent in their construction. Based on the maturity of karst landscapes, depth and dimension of karst features, and vulnerability of groundwater contamination, methods that have been established to control surface water and groundwater and minimize sinkhole development include relocating structures to a safer site, filling voids/fractures with concrete, soil reinforcement, constructing deep foundations, and remediating sinkholes.