VII. BOOK REVIEW
<<KARST OF CHINA>>
This book edited (and mostly written) by Yuan Daoxian is a contribution to the IGCP 299 on Geology , Climate , Hydrology and Karst Formation. It is a very good book and very comprehensive. It covers every aspect of the karst of China. The Institute of Karst Geology in Guilin and the Geological publishing House in Beijing are to be congratulated on its production.
It is hard to find fault with the book , both in its content and in its presentation. Its many tens of diagrams , maps and tables are clearly drawn and well integrated into the text and there are ome good illustrating photographs.
The book discusses the geological, tectonic and climatic background to the development of the karst. The main karst types are divided into three--the tropical and subtropical type of S. China ; the plateau and alpine type of W. China and Tibet; and the sub-humid , semi-arid karst of N. China . This is probably good division of types; many former works on Chinese karst have treated to over-classify into several types ---but the simpler division is the more useful. Perhaps the most interesting are the chapters on karst water resources and karst minerals; these are areas of study of which , Chinese scientists have made substantial contributions. Caves are dealt with in separate chapter in very clear manner. There is also detailed appreciation of the environmental problems of karst areas. This together with a chapter in karst scenic resources makes in a very complete study of the karst of China.
Each chapter could be expended into a much large work and I am sure this will come. All the authors and particularly Yuan Daoxian , are to be commended for writing this first book in English on the karst of China. The English is generally good and comprehensible --though there are occasional lapses --but these are very few. The book is packed with information , which will be standard for some time to come. All workers interested in the Chinese karst will welcome the reference list , if an index could be added it would improve the use of the book.
<<Karst of China>> shows the depth and knowledge of Chinese work in karst. At last this is becoming available to western scholars. The importance of karst and karst resources to China is high-lighted throughout. This book will be lead all over the world by people interested in karst. It is fitting beginning to the IGCP project 299.