Carbonate rocks, such as limestone and dolomite, form about 12 % of the global land surface. Most of these rocks are karstified, i.e., a part of the fractures are enlarged by chemical dissolution to a network of conduits and caves that are crucial for water circulation. It is estimated that 25 % of the global population are supplied by drinking water from karst.
The goal of this project is to establish the first karst aquifer world map that will not only display carbonate rock outcrops but also deep and confined karst aquifers, as well as important karst springs and caves. This map will complement the existing groundwater resources world map.
This project is a joint effort of the IAH karst commission. Several international karst experts contribute as project advisors, such as Michel Bakalowicz (France), George Veni (USA), Zoran Stevanovic (Serbia), David Drew (Ireland) and Alexander Klimchouk (Ukraine), as well as members of the WHYMAP team and Jens Hartmann and Nils Moosdorf who created the global lithological map.