Karst geomorphology

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

Objectives and competences

Students recognize basic karst forms and basic processes that shape karst relief. They understand close connection between geological structure, processes and formation of relief forms in different climatic settings in Slovenia, Dinaric karst and around the world. Students know main karst paradigms of karst morphology so they can understand and use older karst literature. Students learn methods of mapping and field work as well as cabinet methods of remote sensing. The wider knowledge of karst processes and forms give students for recognition and evaluation of relief and the interconnection of it with other natural and socio-geographical components of karst landscapes.




• Geomorphologic paradigms and terminology
• Geomorphic methods
• Dissolution of carbonate rocks
• General and accelerated corrosion
• Features of karst relief
• Small features: corrosion features on the surface of the rock
• Simple karst features: enclosed depressions and karst hills
• Large composed and polygenetic karst features
• Fluviokarst, karst and glaciation
• Types of karst relief in different geologic, hydrologic and climatic settings
• Karst morphology and land use

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge of karst and non karst relief features; recognition of specific important relief features, recognition of typical climatic, structural or topologically defined forms, ability to deduce the main processes and conditions, skills of geomorphic mapping.


• Ford, D., & P., Williams, 2007: Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology, 576, London
• Gams, I., 1973: Slovenska kraška terminologija, 1973, Ljubljana.
• Gams, I., 2004: Kras v Sloveniji v prostoru in času.- Založba ZRC 515 str., Ljubljana.
• Gunn, J., (editor) 2004: Encyclopedia of Caves and Karst Science.- Fitzroy Dearborn, 902 p., New York, London.
• Herak, Milan & Stringfield, V.T., 1972: Karst. Important Karst Regions of the Northern Hemisphere.- XIV + 1-551, Amsterdam etc.
• Jakucs, L., 1977: Morphogenetics of karst region, Budapest.
• Kranjc, Andrej/Ed., 1997: Slovene Classical Karst. 1-254, Ljubljana (159906)
• Salomon, J.N. 2000: Précis de karstologie,249, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux,- 249, Bordeaux.
• Selected papers from foreign and Slovene professional journals.


The oral exam is designed to assess the student acquired knowledge from the classes and ability to understand, articulate and expressing their knowledge. Conditions for examination are the presence at the field work, a short essay (5-10 pages), by which the student works on a certain topic related to his seminar and dissertation. 50/50

Lecturer's references

Associate Professor of Karstology



ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja (avtor, fotograf). Karst, caves and people. 1st ed. Ljubljana: ZRC SAZU, Založba ZRC, 2021. 171 str., ilustr., zvd. ISBN 978-961-05-0491-7. [COBISS.SI-ID 37313539]

BLATNIK, Matej, CULVER, David C., GABROVŠEK, Franci, KNEZ, Martin, KOGOVŠEK, Blaž, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, LIU, Hong, MAYAUD, Cyril, MIHEVC, Andrej, MULEC, Janez, ALJANČIČ, Magdalena, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, RAVBAR, Nataša, SHAW, Trevor R., SLABE, Tadej, ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, KNEZ, Martin (urednik), OTONIČAR, Bojan (urednik), PETRIČ, Metka (urednik), PIPAN, Tanja (urednik), SLABE, Tadej (urednik). Karstology in the classical karst. Cham: Springer, cop. 2020. XII, 222 str., ilustr., zvd., graf. prikazi. Advances in karst science. ISBN 978-3-030-26826-8. ISSN 2511-2066. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-26827-5. [COBISS.SI-ID 17912067]

ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, BOSÁK, Pavel, PRUNER, Petr, MIHEVC, Andrej, HERCMAN, Helena, HORÁČEK, Ivan. Karst sediments in Slovenia : Plio-Quaternary multi-proxy records. Quaternary international. [Print ed.]. 30 April 2020, vol. 546, str. 4-19, ilustr. ISSN 1040-6182. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1040618219308419, DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2019.11.010. [COBISS.SI-ID 24203267]

ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja. Dinaric karst - geography and geology. V: WHITE, William Blaine (ur.), CULVER, David C. (ur.), PIPAN, Tanja (ur.). Encyclopedia of caves. 3rd ed. London [etc.]: Academic Press, an imprint of Elsevier, cop. 2019. Str. 353-362, ilustr. ISBN 978-0-12-814124-3. [COBISS.SI-ID 44672813]

KNEZ, Martin, SLABE, Tadej, GABROVŠEK, Franci, KOGOVŠEK, Janja, KRANJC, Andrej, MIHEVC, Andrej, MULEC, Janez, OTONIČAR, Bojan, PERNE, Matija, PETRIČ, Metka, PIPAN, Tanja, PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, RAVBAR, Nataša, ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPAN HAJNA, Nadja, BOSÁK, Pavel, PRUNER, Petr, LIU, Hong, KNEZ, Martin (urednik), SLABE, Tadej (urednik). Cave exploration in Slovenia : discovering over 350 new caves during motorway construction on classical karst. Cham [etc.]: Springer, cop. 2016. XIII, 324 str., ilustr. Cave and karst systems of the world. ISBN 978-3-319-21202-9. ISSN 2364-4591. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-21203-6. [COBISS.SI-ID 38828077]