Graduate School

Geodiversity of karst areas

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

Objectives and competences

Karst areas as a result of dissolution process importantly contribute to the global geodiversity but they can be also internally very rich in (land)forms due to different factors and interaction with other processes. From the 90-ies, when the term of geodiversity was introduced beside biodiversity, the importance of the term geodiversity increases as well as recognisability of karst areas. It is important that student is aware of the importance of geodiversity and its role in karst areas.

Student will gain competence in the field of general understanding of geodiversity, he/she will be familiar with evaluation methodology, management of karst areas rich in geodiversity as well as with critical assessment of karst areas from the aspect of geodiversity. Student will be able to use the acquired knowledge in evaluating, guiding the development and management of the world’s major karst areas.



Content (Syllabus outline)

  • Definition of the term geodiversity
  • Relation between geodiversity and biodiversity
  • Evaluation and importance of geodiversity
  • Surface and underground geodiversity of global and Slovene karst
  • Management of karst areas rich in geodiversity
  • Protection of karst areas rich in geodiversity

Intended learning outcomes

Student is familiar with and able to define term of geodiversity, able to recognize geodiversity of karst areas from the aspect of different factors, processes and (land)forms. Student understands impact of past climatic changes on geodiversity and is able to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate geodiversity of karst areas. He is familiar with the richest karst areas from the aspect of geodiversity and their scientific, aesthetic, and economic potential as well as way of effective protection and management.


Gray M., 2004. Geodiversity: Valuing and conserving abiotic nature. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester: 434 pp.

Gray M., 2013. Geodiversity: Valuing and Conserving Abiotic Nature (2nd Edition). Willey-Blackwell, Chichester: 512 pp.

Williams P., 2008. World Heritage Caves and Karst. IUCN, Gland: 57 pp.

Geodiversity and Geoconservation. State of the Environment – Tasmania.

Erhatič B., 2007. Reliefne oblike kot geodiverziteta (geomorfološka naravna dediščina). Dela 28: 59-74.

Erhatič B., Zorn M., 2012. Geodiversity and geomorphosite research in Slovenia. Geografski vestnik 84/1: 51-63.

Panizza M., 2003. Karst landforms as geomorphosites. Dela 20: 19-26.

Guide to New South Wales Karst and Caves. Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Sydney: 40 pp. []


Oral exam (70 %) and seminar work (30 %). Oral examination is intended to evaluate the knowledge attained by a student through a lecture as well as his capacity of understanding, critical evaluation, articulation and expression of acquired knowledge. A student can apply for the examination after making short written seminar on a narrow question of the basis of geodiversity of karst areas or its connection with his/her PhD Thesis.

Lecturer's references

Full Professor of Karstology.


University course code: 3KR051

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: slovene, english

Learning and teaching methods:
• lectures • written seminar work • individual work upon a specific question • detailed knowledge of a part of student's phd thesis, according to its content