Karren

Karren

Karren is a general term, originating from German, to describe a number of small-scale solution features on the surface of limestone.

Karren are frequently found on limestone pavements, and formed subaerially (beneath the soil). Some are ancient, predating the last ice ages, and some may even be millions of years old.

There are several types including:

  • rillenkarren: small channels with sharp crests between them — these are the most commonly found karren
  • rundkarren: larger and deeper rounded runnels with rounded crests between them, which formed beneath a soil cover — common in the Pennines
  • rinnenkarren: rounded channels that have sharp rims, deepening down-slope — good examples on the Rakes of Hutton Roof, Cumbria
  • kamenitzas: round or elongated solution hollows or pans on level surfaces