Graduate School

Karstification processes

This course is part of the programme:
Karstology (Third Level)

Objectives and competences

Karst is dynamic system conditioned by solubility of rocks in natural waters. It is shaped by different geochemical and transport processes. Sound understanding of these processes is key for understanding the evolution and functioning of karst system. This course offers an in-depth understanding of karst from the viewpoint of basic processes.



Content (Syllabus outline)

  • Equilibrium chemistry
  • Chemical kinetics
  • Transport processes
  • Dissolution in system H2O-CO2-CaCO3
  • Groundwater hydraulics in karst
  • Processes of speleogenesis
  • Morphogenesis of different karst features
  • Precipitation of sinter and the growth of stalagmites and stalactites
  • Modelling of karst processes

Intended learning outcomes

Student recognizes karst as a dynamic system shaped by physical and chemical processes. Sound understanding of these processes is a key to any independent reserch of karst as a natural system.


  • Appelo, C.A.J. and Postma, D., 1993. Geochemistry, groundwater and pollution. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam; Brookfield, VT, xvi, 536 pp.
  • Dingman, S.L., 2002. Physical hydrology. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J., 646 pp.
  • Dreybrodt, W., 1988. Processes in karst systems: physics, chemistry, and geology. Springer-Verlag, Berlin; New York, xii, 288 p. pp.
  • Freeze, R.A. and Cherry, J.A., 1979. Groundwater. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., xvi, 604 p. pp.
  • White, W.B., 1988. Geomorphology and hydrology of karst terrains. Oxford University Press, New York, ix, 464 pp.
  • Ford, D.C., Williams, P., 2007. Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.
  • Palmer, A.N., 2007. Cave geology. Cave Books, Dayton, Ohio.
  • Lecture notes and materials provided by the lecturer.


Oral examination, where student demonstrates knowledge and understandingof the topics given at lectures (70%). Condition to enter examination is a written report on a particular topic based on a literature search, individual or group work (30 %).

Lecturer's references

Adjunct Professor of Karstology.


University course code: 3KR006

Year of study: 1

Semester: 1

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 50 hours
  • Exercises: 10 hours
  • Seminar: 30 hours
  • Individual work: 90 hours

Course type: elective

Languages: slovene; english

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures • seminar/individual or group project • excercises