Protecting Karst in Coastal BC

Karst is a landscape that is created by water dissolving limestone over many thousands of years, forming an intricate three-dimensional topography with shafts, sinkholes, caves, disappearing streams and springs. About 10 percent of BC, primarily in mountainous parts of the coast and interior, has bedrock that is suitable for karst formation. The abundance of water in BC’s coastal temperate rain forests causes karst to develop more rapidly there than in other karst areas. The worldwide scarcity of temperate rainforests such as those on Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlottes, combined with the rapid development of karst features in such forests, make BC’s coastal karst landscapes among the most dynamic on earth.

January 2007


Natural Resource Region

West Coast