Measurements in karstology

This course is part of the programme
Karstology (Third Cycle)

Objectives and competences

Modern karstology relies on accurate measurements of different physical and chemical parameters in karst systems. Parameters such as water discharge and level, specific electric conductivity, concentration of dyes, temperature, hydrochemical parameters etc. are nowadays continuously monitored in karst systems. Easy handling with instruments and data collection can mislead the researcher to uncritical collection and evaluation of obtained data. Students will learn principles of measurements of different quantities in karst system as well as data handling and analyses. Students will get practical experience with some of the most common instrumentation.




• Measurements of basic physical parameters
• Sensors
• Resolution, accuracy and calibration of instruments
• Measurements of the discharge and water levels
• Measurements of climatic parameters
• Measurements of chemical parameters of natural waters
• Experimental set-ups
• Data storage and transfer
• Error analysis
• Data analysis and interpretation

Intended learning outcomes

Student understands basic principles of measurements of different physical and chemical quantities important in karst studies. These includes calibration, programming and positioning of the instruments and data analyses and interpretation.


    • Krawczyk, W.E., 1998: Manual for karst water analysis.- International Journal of Speleology, Handbook 1 – Physical Speleology, 51 pp. • Morris, A.S., 2001: Measurement and Instrumentation Principles.-Butterworth-Heinemann, 475 pp, Oxford. • Shaw, E.M., 1994: Hydrology in Practice.- Chapman & Hall, 569 pp, London. • Taylor, J.R., 1996: An Introduction to Error Analysis: The Study of Uncertainties in Physical Measurements.- University Science Books, Sausalito, 327 pp. • Lecture notes and materials provided by the lecturer.


Oral examination, where student demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the topics given at lectures (70%). Condition to enter examination is a written report on a particular topic based on a literature search, individual or group work (30 %).

Lecturer's references

Adjunct Professor of Karstology


KUKULJAN, Lovel, GABROVŠEK, Franci, COVINGTON, Matt, JOHNSTON, Vanessa E. CO2 dynamics and heterogeneity in a cave atmosphere : role of ventilation patterns and airflow pathways. Theoretical and applied climatology. [Tiskana izd.]. Nov. 2021, vol. 146, iss. 3/4, str. 91-109, ilustr. ISSN 0177-798X., DOI: 10.1007/s00704-021-03722-w. [COBISS.SI-ID 75720195]

BLATNIK, Matej, MAYAUD, Cyril, GABROVŠEK, Franci. Groundwater dynamics between Planinsko Polje and springs of the Ljubljanica River, Slovenia = Dinamika podzemne vode med Planinskim poljem in izviri Ljubljanice, Slovenija. Acta carsologica. [Tiskana izd.]. 2019, letn. 48, št. 2, str. 199-226, ilustr. ISSN 0583-6050., DOI: 10.3986/ac.v48i2.7263. [COBISS.SI-ID 45575981]

DREYBRODT, Wolfgang, GABROVŠEK, Franci. Dynamics of wormhole formation in fractured limestones. Hydrology and earth system sciences. 2019, vol. 23, no. 4, str. 1995-2014, ilustr. ISSN 1027-5606. DOI: 10.5194/hess-23-1995-2019. [COBISS.SI-ID 45398061]

GABROVŠEK, Franci, PERIC, Borut, KAUFMANN, Georg. Hydraulics of epiphreatic flow of a karst aquifer. Journal of Hydrology. [Print ed.]. May 2018, vol. 560, str. 56-74, ilustr. ISSN 0022-1694. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.03.019. [COBISS.SI-ID 42954797]

GRM, Aleksander, ŠUŠTAR, Tomaž, RODIČ, Tomaž, GABROVŠEK, Franci. A numerical framework for wall dissolution modeling : analysis of flute formation. Mathematical geosciences. 2017, vol. 49, issue 5, str. 657-675, graf. prikazi, tabele. ISSN 1874-8961., DOI: 10.1007/s11004-016-9641-2. [COBISS.SI-ID 2676323]