The selectivity, material removal rate, and the residual subsurface damage of colloidal silica (CS) chemi-mechanical polishing (CMP) of silicon carbide substrates was investigated using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and plan view transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Silica CMP, in most process conditions, was selective. In the damage region surrounding remnant scratches, the vertical material removal rate exceeded the planar material removal rate, which resulted in an enhancement of the scratches over the duration of the polishing process. The material removal rate was low, about 20 nm / hr. In addition, the selectivity leads to a slow removal of residual subsurface damage from mechanical polishing. The silica CMP polished surface exhibits significant subsurface damage observed by plan view TEM even after prolonged polishing of 16 hours.