Groundwater also reacts chemically with the surrounding rocks; it may deposit minerals and cement together grains, causing a reduction in porosity and permeability, or form features like stalagtites and stalagmites in caves. In other cases, particularly when acidic water moves through limestone, it can dissolve the rock, forming caves and underground tunnels. sinkholes form where these dissolution cavities intersect the surface of the Earth.
Groundwater dissolution leads to the development of a distinctive class of landforms called karst terranes where caves can collapse, leaving sinkholes and valleys on the surfaces, and eventually evolve into spectacular towers and pinnacles of nondissolved rock surrounded by the former cave passageways. South China is famous for highly evolved karst ter-ranes, whereas parts of the U.S. Midwest are known for well-developed underground cave systems.
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