Active tectonics and karst

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

Objectives and competences

On the area of Slovenia we had several stronger historic and recent earthquakes what shows that active tectonics is present. From karstological point of view active tectonics is important for formation of surface and underground karst features. It is necessary to identify historic and recent earthquakes in caves and especially is important to study deformed flowstone and cave passages due to active tectonics. It is also important that students learn to distinguish among causes for deformed flowstone and cave passages, because they are not always due to active tectonics, but there are other causes as well.




• Bases of seismology
• Historic earthquakes in Slovenia
• Neotectonics and karst
• Active tectonic structures and karst – examples from the World
• Active tectonic structures and karst – examples from Slovenia
• Methods for definition of active tectonic structures
• Recognition of other causes than active tectonics for deformed flowstone

Intended learning outcomes

Students learn the principal knowledge of active tectonics; they get familiar with examples of active tectonics on karst surface and in karst underground; students get familiar with problematic of determination and recognition of active tectonics on karst; students recognize concrete examples of active tectonics on Slovene karst and Worldwide karst; they gain methods for determination of active tectonics on karst.


• 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.
• Ribarič, V., 1994: Potresi v Sloveniji: Ob stoti obletnici velikega ljubljanskega potresa. Ljubljana: Slovenska matica v Ljubljani, 173 str.
• McCalpin, J. P. (ed) 1996: Paleoseismology.- San Diego, Academic Press, 588 pp.
• 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
• Yeats, R.S., Sieh, K. & Allen, C.R., 1997: The geology of earthquakes.- Oxford, Oxford university press, 568 pp.


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


ŠEBELA, Stanka, STEMBERK, Josef, BRIESTENSKÝ, Miloš. Micro-displacement monitoring in caves at the Southern Alps-Dinarides-Southwestern Pannonian Basin junction. Bulletin of engineering geology and the environment, ISSN 1435-9529. [Print ed.], 2021, vol. 80, iss. 10, str. 7591-7611, ilustr., doi: 10.1007/s10064-021-02382-4. [COBISS.SI-ID 73030147]

AMBROSINO, F., THINOVÁ, L., BRIESTENSKÝ, Miloš, ŠEBELA, Stanka, SABBARESE, C. Detecting time series anomalies using hybrid methods applied to Radon signals recorded in caves for possible correlation with earthquakes. Acta geodaetica et geophysica, ISSN 2213-5812. [Print ed.], Sep. 2020, vol. 55, iss. 3, str. 405-420, ilustr., doi: 10.1007/s40328-020-00298-1. [COBISS.SI-ID 26584323]

KALENDA, Pavel, TENGLER, Rudolf, ŠEBELA, Stanka, BLATNIK, Matej, GOSAR, Andrej. Detection of Divaška Jama corridors behind (to the SW) Trhlovca cave using low frequency high power ground penetrating radar = Določitev rovov Divaške jame v JZ smeri za Trhlovco z uporabo zelo močnega nizkofrekvenčnega georadarja. Acta carsologica, ISSN 0583-6050. [Tiskana izd.], 2018, letn. 47, št. 2/3, str. 153-167, ilustr., doi: 10.3986/ac.v47i2-3.5187. [COBISS.SI-ID 43562797]

KACHALIN, Igor, LIASHCHUK, Oleksandr, ŠEBELA, Stanka. Periodical measurements of VLF radio signals and noise sounds in Črna Jama (Postojnska Jama) = Občasne meritve VLF radijskih signalov in šumov v Črni jami (Postojnska jama). Acta carsologica, ISSN 0583-6050. [Tiskana izd.], 2017, letn. 46, št. 1, str. 125-132, ilustr., doi: 10.3986/ac.v46i1.1950. [COBISS.SI-ID 41823789]

ŠEBELA, Stanka, ZUPANČIČ, Nina, MILER, Miloš, GRČMAN, Helena, JARC, Simona. Evidence of Holocene surface and near-surface palaeofires in karst caves and soils. Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, ISSN 0031-0182. [Print ed.], 1 Nov. 2017, vol. 485, str. 224-235, ilustr., doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2017.06.015. [COBISS.SI-ID 1345886]