Graduate School

History of karst theories (hydrology)

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

Objectives and competences

Object history of theories of karst (karst hydrology) is a kind of continuation and deepening of the object history karstology. It is primarily intended for students who would be the doctoral selected historical theme or more students would be focused on the hydrology of karst more from a theoretical point of view and should be familiar with the development of theories that explain the emergence and development of karst hydrological network and karst aquifers – the karst hydrology. Students must master theories and explanations of the development of karst hydrological network on the surface as well as in the karst underground, above all, the theory of karst aquifers. Must be able to properly compare the modern understanding of the karst hydrology of the older theories and be able to follow the development of the theory of the development of karst water network on the surface and underground. Theoretical knowledge in hydrology are of great importance in helping to solve practical tasks, such as providing safe drinking water, pollution prevention and research techniques themselves.



Content (Syllabus outline)

  • Knowledge and perception of karst waters and their specificities and characteristics in different historical periods, from antiquity to the Enlightenment
  • The first theory of the development of karst hydrology and karst water phenomena
  • B. Hacquet and its importance for karst hydrology
  • The importance of research Slovenian Dinaric karst karst hydrology of karst
  • Integration of knowledge from different types of karst in the world of karst hydrological theory


Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge of older works (from antiquity to the Middle Ages) on karst waters (springs, sinkholes, underground water connection), works predecessors karstology (from Da Vinci via Valvasor to Hacquet) and the development of the modern theory of karst hydrology. Students are familiar with research Dinaric karst, which contributed substantially to the understanding of karst hydrology as well as contemporary perspectives and methods in further developing theoretical models of water flow in karst.


  • Bögli, A., 1978: Karsthydrographie und physische Speläologie. 292 str., Springer-Verlag, Berlin etc.
  • Herak, M. & V. T. Stringfield, eds, 1972: Karst, Important karst regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Elsevier 25–83.
  • Kraus, F., 1894: Höhlenkunde.- Carl Gerold’s Sohn, 308 pp. Wien.
  • Kyrle, G., 1923: Grundriss der teoretischen Speläologie. –Speläol. Monographien, B. I, str. XVIII + 353, Wien.
  • Pfeiffer, D., 1963: Die geschichtliche Entwicklung der Anchaunngen über das Karstgrundwasser. Beih. geol. Jb., 57, 1-111.
  • Sweeting, Marjorie M. (edit.), 1981: Karst geomorphology.- Benchmark Papers in Geology, 59, 427 pp., Hutchinson Ross Publ. Comp., Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Trimmel, Hubert, 1968: Höhlenkunde.- Die Wissenschaft, Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn, 126, VIII + 300, Braunschweig.


Oral or written examination is intended to control the knowledge attained by a student through a lecture as well as his capacity od understanding. A student can apply for the examination if requiring 50 % presence at seminars and after making short written report (5-10 pages) on a narrow question of the basis of karstology or on a source touching his seminar or doctoral work.

Lecturer's references

Full Professor Emeritus of Karstology.


University course code: 3KR016

Year of study: 2

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 • written seminar work • individual work upon a specific question • detailed knowledge of a part of student's doctoral thesis, according to its content