George Veni



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Publication Date

January 1994


The southwestern Edwards Plateau is delimited to the east by the Nueces River, to the south by the Rio Grande and Balcones Escarpment, to the west by the Pecos River, and to the north by 30°N latitude, the approximate northern extent of the Nueces River basin. The Plateau is comprised of predominantly undeformed Cretaceous carbonate rocks. Subsidence sinkholes and caves are the major karst features. The subsidence sinkholes occurred as early as the Miocene and resulted from the collapse of large conduits formed by slowly circulating phreatic waters in massive limestone beds. The uncollapsed or partially collapsed segments of these caves include the largest passages in Texas. They occur where the Del Rio Clay is absent from above the Edwards Limestone and downgradient from that area. The absence of the Del Rio allowed diffuse, undersaturated recharge to slowly develop the conduits. Despite the significance of the known karst features, most have not been geologically examined. Field research is needed to better reconstruct the karst evolution of the Plateau and to better determine how that evolution relates to modern processes.


Hydrogeology, Evolution Of Caves, Caves, Karst, Texas, United States, Texas, Edwards Plateau, Texas

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