UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
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Glossary

Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

fenglin; fenglin karst
(Chinese.) 1. A karst, conspicuous in China, that is identified by its isolated limestone hills. Fenglin (pronounced 'funglin') translates from Chinese as 'peak forest', and is distinguished from fengcong. Both fenglin and fengcong are mature karst normally only developed by long uninterrupted periods of rapid dissolution in wet tropical environments with high levels of biogenic soil carbon dioxide. The Chinese classify karst by the hill or peak density, in contrast to the Western classification by hill shape. Fenglin is therefore almost the equivalent of tower karst; its hills have very steep or vertical walls, and may have a height/width ratio greater than four. The limestone hills rise above level, alluviated plains, and the finest fenglin karst around Yangshuo, Guangxi, in southern China, is one of the world's most dramatic landscapes. The classification by hill density means that low residual cones scattered across a plain are also referred to as fenglin by the Chinese [9]. 2. Tower karst characterized as peak forest because the individual towers appear as isolated groups on a plain. Dry valley networks separate individual towers [4]. See also fengcong; fungling; mogote; tower karst.