Web Page Research & Design

Minnha Tran and Paris Rogers

The Windsor Research Centre tell us that, “the formation of Cockpit Country started about 12 million years ago with a faulted limestone plateau when Jamaica emerged from the sea. The plateau rose to about 600 m above sea level. Erosion of this plateau formed the regular array of round-topped, conical hills and sinks.” (Windsor Research Centre)  They also say that, “karst landscapes consist of limestone areas that have been sculpted by a combination of erosion and chemical dissolution,” which happens after passing through limestone, the water becomes saturated with calcium carbonate to form dramatic topographies such as that of the Cockpit Country. (Windsor Research Centre)


Cockpit Karst landscapes is common in the tropical area. There are a least two theories as to how cockpit karst form, 1: The solution theory states, “the heavy tropical rainfall washing through fissured limestone plateau over millions of years.”  2. The collapse theory states, “that the formation and subsequent collapse of cave systems is the primary mechanism in its formation.” (Webster Research Centre)


 Webster describes this landscape as, “a series of cone-liked hills with irregular elevations.  Cockpit slopes are basically between 30 degrees to 40 degrees and are covered by weather debris but some are bare and cliff–like in higher altitudes about 70 degree.” (Webster Research Centre) and the terrain is described by, “using attributes calculated from general morphometry and by assemblage of the landforms that makes up the landscape.”  (Lyew et.al) What he is saying is that there are distinct differences between the cockpit country and other areas of the island.  One morphological difference is that of the polje/tower karst terrain, here in this karst landscape a presence of faults of a different geological formation is at work here, which does not support cockpit karst development  Lyew tells us that, “Cockpit karst is found predominantly in the pure White Limestone lithologies of the study area, with less development of cockpit karst in the impure Yellow Stone.  It is proposed here that any landscape with greater than 75 percent cockpit karst may be considered to be a cockpit karst landscape.  In the polje/tower karst areas, the depression are more interconnected, with isolated towers scattered throughout the terrain.” (Lyew et. al)


In Cockpit Country hills dominate the landscape and WRS states that, “they cover more than 60% of the terrain and that the area is said to have a greater degree of relative relief than the surrounding non-cockpit karst area.” Underneath the Cockpit Plateaus is ground-water drainage which  is through enlarged joints and rubble zones. Webster research states, “Many of these separate passages coalesce to produce master conduits.” (Webster Research Centre)

Topographical View

Of Cockpit Country 

View of Landscape

 of Karst

View of Landscape

 of Polje/Tower Karst

Pictures taken  from