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Factsheet 02 | 2009

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January 2009

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Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey Factsheet 02 | 2009 Carbonate bedrock, rock formations composed primarily of limestone or dolomite, underlie the southern third of Wisconsin in a V-shaped belt (see map on other side). These rocks are commonly fractured, with the fractures provid- ing primary pathways for ground- water movement. Carbonate rocks are soluble, and percolating surface water can enlarge fractures to form conduits, caves, and sinkholes that are the hallmarks of a karstsystem and its related karst landscape. In Wisconsin, karst landscapes are direct evidence of underlying shal- low, fractured carbonate bedrock. But the lack of classic karst features in a landscape does not mean that shallow fractured carbonate bedrock is absent, or that the groundwater is potentially any less vulnerable to contamination. Open Access See Extended description for more information.

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K26-02163

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