Karst Areas of Romania

Romainia Map

This map is an overview of karst areas in Romania. As far as we know, this map is based on a "historic" publication from the Emil Racovita Institute of Speology in Cluj. It may give a basic info on the geological structure of the country.

The country is divided into three different geographic parts. The central of Transilvania (Siebenbürgen) is hillcountry. It is surrounded by the mountain chain of the Carpatian Mountains. Outside the mountain range are mostly plains, Moldova to the east, Walachia along the Danube river to the south and the Pannonic Plain in the west, which starts at the border to Hungary.

The central depression of Transilvania is flat or sometimes hillcountry, which is not composed of soluble rock and thus not karstified. There are no caves.

The Carpatians are a complex series of mountain ranges, forming a sort of U on the map. They are generally divided into three mayor sections:

Like many mountain regions, this mountains are composed of many different rocks, among them are several kinds of limestones. The geology is complicated, the rocks are folded, and sometimes show metamorphic alterations (marble). The limestone regions are numerous but very small, only 1.5% of the surface of Romania is covered by limestone.

Most karst areas are found in the Apuseni Mountains and in the western part of the Carpati Meridionali, a hill country part of the Banat. Really alpine mountains can only be found in the center of the Carpati Meridionali, with some alpine caves.

A much different karst can be found at the eastern border, along the coast of the Black See. A range of limestone hills of moderate height contains few small caves, among them the world famous Movile cave.