Graduate School

Karst hydrogeology

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

Objectives and competences

Student becomes familiar with some basic terms and phenomena connected with the occurrence of water in karst, and with the structure of karst water systems. It is very important that student understands their specific structure and functioning and that she/he is able to apply obtained knowledge in their study. Through different examples the characteristics of karst waters in Slovenia and abroad are described. Special emphasis is on the importance and vulnerability of karst aquifers. They are important natural heritage. As important quantities of groundwater are stored in karst aquifers, they have a great economic significance as well. Due to their structure and characteristics of functioning karst aquifers are very vulnerable to different human impacts, and in order to protect them properly it is important to understand and consider these specific characteristics. Student becomes familiar with different research methods used in the study of karst waters.


Student can accede to an examination after reaching 50% presence at the seminar and exercises, and preparing a short written work (5 to 10 pages) treating specific topic of karst hydrology or some publication in connection with her/his seminar or doctoral work.

Content (Syllabus outline)

  • Basic concepts and definitions of karst hydrology
  • Conceptual model of karst system
  • Recharge of karst aquifer
  • Flow in saturated zone
  • Discharge of karst aquifers
  • Karst hydrological objects
  • Research methods in karst hydrology
  • Use and protection of karst water resources

Intended learning outcomes

  • student knows basic concepts of karst hydrology
  • student understands specific characteristics of the structure and functioning of karst water systems
  • student becomes familiar with basic research methods of karst hydrology
  • student understands the importance of karst water sources and knows the principles of their proper protection
  • student is capable of autonomous review and assessment of literature and sources


  • Bakalowicz, M., 2005: Karst groundwater: a challenge for new resource. Hydrogeology Journal, 13: 148-160.
  • Bonacci, O., 1987: Karst Hydrology. Springer-Verlag, 184 pp, Berlin, Heidelberg.
  • Ford, D.C., P.W. Williams, 2007: Karst Geomorphology and Hydrology. Unwin Hyman, 601 pp, London.
  • Krešić, N., Stevanović, Z. (Eds.), 2010: Groundwater hydrology of springs: engineering, theory, management, and sustainability. Burlington, MA, 592 pp, Butterworth-Heinemann,
  • Petrič, M., 2006: Foundations of karstology, Foundations of karst hydrology = Osnove hidrologije krasa. V: Učno gradivo. Postojna: Znanstveno raziskovalni center SAZU, Inštitut za raziskovanje krasa; V Novi Gorici: Fakulteta za podiplomski študij, Podipl. program Krasoslovje, 22 p.
  • White, W.B., 1988: Geomorphology and Hidrology of Karst Terrains. Oxford University Press, 464 pp, New York.


Oral exam 80%. A short written work is assessed 20%.

Lecturer's references

Associate Professor of Karstology.


University course code: 3KR049

Year of study: 1

Semester: 1

Course principal:



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

Course type: elective

Languages: english and slovene

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures • field work • short written work (5 to 10 pages) • presentation and interpretation of project results to other students in open discussion under supervision of the lecturer responsible for the course