Subterranean/Sink Class

Photo by Jesse M. Lincoln

The Subterranean/Sink class includes natural communities that occur in karst landscapes below the general land surface. These karst features form from the underground dissolution of limestone, dolomite, or gypsum. The Subterranean/Sink class includes one ecological group, Karst. This ecological group includes two natural community types, cave and sinkhole, which are distinguished based on their distinct landscape settings. A cave is a cavity that has formed beneath the earth’s surface, and a sinkhole is a subsidence or depression in the earth’s surface caused by the dissolution of the surficial bedrock.


Cohen, J.G., M.A. Kost, B.S. Slaughter, D.A. Albert, J.M. Lincoln, A.P. Kortenhoven, C.M. Wilton, H.D. Enander, and K.M. Korroch. 2020. Michigan Natural Community Classification [web application]. Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Michigan State University Extension, Lansing, Michigan. Available (Accessed: July 13, 2024).