Criteria for the identification and interpretation of paleokarstic surfaces in ancient carbonate sequences are discussed and two examples of such surfaces are described from the Lower Carboniferous of South Wales. One type is compared to Kavornossen karren, a type of tropical karst well developed today on Puerto Rico. The second example, a mammillated paleokarstic surface of a type common in the Lower Carboniferous, is interpreted as a deckenkarren, formed beneath a vegetation cover and similar to the Makondo karsts of South Africa. Paleokarsts can provide information on the paleoclimates, paleohydrology, and vegetation cover existing at the time of their formation.

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