Graduate School

Carbonate rocks

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

Objectives and competences

“Karst” is the term applied to landscapes that develop on carbonate rocks. Carbonate rocks cover about 20% of the Earth’s surface. Some 43% of the surface of Slovenia is composed of carbonate rocks, around 35% limestones and 8% dolomites. To better understand the processes of karstification, a good understanding of the properites of carbonate rocks is necessary. Students will study in detail the origin of sedimentary rocks, which includes carbonate rocks. They will learn the specific special conditions for the development of carbonate rocks and become familiar in more detail with the general lithostratographical characteristics, composition, and classification of carbonate rock and the distribution of carbonate rocks in Slovenia and around the world. Special attention will be devoted to the rocks of southwestern Slovenia. Basic methods of studying carbonate rocks, the use of geological maps, geological compass, and electron microscope, and the operation and use of geological equipment in the field will be covered.



Content (Syllabus outline)

  • Igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks
  • Origin of sedimentary rocks
  • Properties of sedimentary rocks
  • Origin of carbonate rocks
  • Properties and composition of carbonate rocks
  • Minerology of carbonate rocks
  • Stratigraphical characteristics of carbonate rocks
  • Limestone and dolomite and their classification
  • Micrite and sparite
  • Texture and structure of limestone
  • Karstification of carbonate rocks

Intended learning outcomes

Student will gain detailed knowledge about the origin of carbonate rocks and their relationship to igneous and metamorphic rocks. Student will learn the origins and types of biochemical and clastic carbonate rocks. And will learn to identify carbonate rocks on geological maps and to recognize them in nature. Special attention will be devoted to the carbonate rocks occurring in Slovenia. Student will become familiar with the basic methods of studying carbonate rock and with the fundamental literature on carbonate rocks.


  • Jurkovšek, B., Toman, M., Ogorelec, B., Šribar, L., Drobne, K., Poljak, M. & Šribar, L. 1996: Formacijska geološka karta južnega dela Tržaško-Komenske planote. Kredne in paleogenske karbonatne kamnine 1 : 50 000.- IGGG Ljubljana, 143 str., Ljubljana.
  • Palmer, A.N., 2007: Cave Geology.- Cave books, 454 str., Dayton.
  • Tišljar, J. 1987: Petrologija sedimentnih stijena.- RGN Fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, 242 str., Zagreb.
  • Tišljar, J. 2001: Sedimentologija karbonata i evaporita.- RGN Fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, 375 str., Zagreb.
  • Tucker, M.E. 2001: Sedimentary petrology, An Introduction to the Origin of Sedimentary Rocks (3rd edition).- 262 str., Blackwell science, Oxford.
  • Tucker, M.E. & Wright, V.P. 1990: Carbonate Sedimentology.- Blackwell Scientific Publ., 482 str., Oxford, London.
  • Selected articles from scientific journals.


The examination will be written or oral and will cover the entire course content. It is intended to assess the knowledge the students have gained by the lectures and their ability to understand, articulate, and present the acquired knowledge. To sit the examination, students must attend at least 50% of the se¬minars and submit a short paper (5–10 pages) discussing a specific topic in the field of carbonate rocks or on a selected reference work linked to their seminar work or doctoral thesis. 50/50

Lecturer's references

Associate professor of Karstology.


University course code: 3KR011

Year of study: 2

Semester: 2

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 50 hours
  • Seminar: 30 hours
  • Field exercises: 10 hours
  • Individual work: 90 hours

Course type: general elective

Languages: slovene, english

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures • field lectures • individual consultations • written work on selected topic • presentation of results of written work