Graduate School

Tectonic structures and karstification

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

Objectives and competences

Karst is one of the most recognized areas for Slovenia. Because Slovenia is situated on the contact between Africa and Eurasia plates, the Karst suffered numerous tectonic events as well. Karst features and water in karst mostly follow tectonic structural characteristics. It is thus important to recognize the rules for the formation of tectonic structures and origin and formation of karst features regarding these structures. All our bigger karst systems are showing bigger dependence on tectonic structures that formed during thrusting, folding and faulting. In this sense the student has to understand the theory of the formation of tectonic structures, as well as their connection with karst features and kartification.



Content (Syllabus outline)

  • Plate tectonics
  • Type of tectonic deformations
  • Knowledge of important tectonic structures in the World
  • The methods for determination of tectonic structures
  • Slovene karst caves and tectonic structures
  • Surface karst features and tectonic structures
  • Tectonic structures and karst in the World’s scale
  • Active tectonics and karst

Intended learning outcomes

The student is capable to recognize between different tectonic structures on the field. Student is aware of concrete examples about influence of tectonic structures on karstification, especially for examples of Postojna Cave, Predjama and Škocjan Caves. At the same time student has knowledge about other important Worldwide cases as from south China, USA and European countries. With gained knowledge the student is capable, with the help of literature and own field studies, to evaluate tectonic structures and their influence on karstification.


  • Čar, J. & Gospodarič, R., 1984, O geologiji krasa med Postojno, Planino in Cerknico.- Acta Carsologica 12 (1983), 91-106, Ljubljana.
  • Ford, D. & Williams, P. 2007: Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology.- 576 pp., Wiley.
  • Palmer A.N., 2008: Cave Geology.- 454 pp., Cave Book, Ohio.
  • Placer, L., 1981, Geološka zgradba jugozahodne Slovenije.- Geologija 24/1, 27-60, Ljubljana.
  • Placer, L., 1999: Prispevek k makrotektonski rajonizaciji mejnega ozemlja med Južnimi Alpami in Zunanjimi Dinaridi.- Geologija 41, 223-255 (1998), Ljubljana.
  • Šebela, S.: Tektonska zgradba sistema Postojnskih jam.- Zbirka ZRC 18, 112, Ljubljana.
  • Moores E.M, & Twiss R.J, 1995: Tectonics.- 415 pp., W.H. Freeman and Company, New York.
  • Twiss R.J. & Moores E.M., 1992: Structural geology.- 532 pp., W.H. Freeman and Company, New York.
  • Zang A. & Stephansson, O. 2009: Stress Field of the Earth’s Crust.- 240 pp., Springer


Exam is oral or written and includes whole content of the course. The exam’s aim is that student’s knowledge that is gained at course is evaluated, as well as student’s capacity of understanding, articulation and presentation of gained knowledge. Conditions for taking the exam are at least 50 % of the student’s presence at seminars and shorter written product (5-10 pages), which represents student’s work related to selected subject about influence of active tectonics on karstification or represents determined source, which is connected to student’s seminar work or doctoral thesis. 50/50

Lecturer's references

Adjunct Professor of Karstology, geologist, Fulbright post-doctoral grant holder in 1998


University course code: 3KR033

Year of study: 1

Semester: 2

Course principal:




  • Lectures: 50 hours
  • Exercises: 5 hours
  • Seminar: 30 hours
  • Field exercises: 5 hours
  • Individual work: 90 hours

Course type: elective

Languages: slovene, english

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures • exercises under supervision of the the lecturer responsible for the course • field work • individual work under supervision of the lecturer responsible for the course • presentation and interpreation of results, which students present as seminar work