Speleology-selected topics

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

Objectives and competences

Although it may seem that the speleology is very narrow science, detailed study shows that it includes wide areas from different sciences as geology, hydrology, geomorphology, biology, archeology etc. In the course Selected chapters of speleology the student will fully recognize the defined area, which will be selected together with professor. The emphasis will be on the themes as selected cave systems and their characteristics, the processes of karst cave formation, time span of the karst cave formation, initial conditions of cave formation, the study of principal reference books on speleology and comparison between them, the development of speleology till today and important milestones in speleology.




• Introduction about the literature on speleology
• Cave systems and their characteristics
• The processes of formation of karst caves
• Time span of the formation of karst caves
• Initial conditions of formation of caves
• The study of principal reference books on speleology and comparison between them
• Development of speleology till today and important milestones in speleology

Intended learning outcomes

The student is aware of speleology bases. By agreement with the lecturer responsible for the course the student deepens the knowledge from selected speleology field. The student is primarily aware of processes of the formation of cave systems, with time-span period of formation and initial conditions for formation of karst systems. At the same time student gains good basis of speleology reference books and autonomous knowledge about defined literature and about development of speleology.


• Culver D.C. & White, W.B. (editors) 2004: Encyclopedia of Caves.- Elsevier, Academic press, 654p.
• Ford, T.D. & Cullingford, C.H.D., 1976: The Science of Speleology.- VII-XIV, 2-593, London [etc.] (85866)
• Ford, D. & Williams, P. 2007: Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology.- 576 pp., Wiley.
• 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.
• Halliday, William R., 1974: American Caves and Caving. Techniques, pleasures, and safeguards of modern cave exploration.- First Edition, 348 pp., New York [etc.] (80)
• Hamilton, Elizabeth, 1964: The first book of caves.- 64 pp., London (91).
• Herak, Milan & Stringfield, V.T., 1972: Karst. Important Karst Regions of the Northern Hemisphere.- XIV + 1-551, Amsterdam etc. (67739)
• Jennings, J.N., 1985: Karst Geomorphology.- X, 1-293, Oxford (135698).
• Klimchouk, Alexander B. & Ford, Derek C. & Palmer, Arthur N. & Dreybrodt, Wolfgang/Eds., 2000: Speleogenesis. Evolution of Karst Aquifers.- 527 pp., Huntsville, Alabama (II 166237)
• Klimchouk, Alexander & Lowe, David & Cooper, Anthony & Sauro, Ugo/Eds., 1996: Gypsum Karst of the World.- International Journal of Speleology, Theme Issue with special editors, 25, 1-307, s.l. (42866).
• Kranjc, Andrej/Ed., 1997: Slovene Classical Karst -Kras.- 1-254, Ljubljana (159906).
• Palmer A.N., 2008: Cave Geology.- 454 pp., Cave Book, Ohio.
• Pulina, Marian & Andrejczuk, Wiaczeslaw, 2000: Kras i jaskinie.- Wielka Encyklopedia geografii swiata, 17, 357 pp., Poznan (II 166483)
• Moore G.W. & Sullivan, G. N. 1978: Speleology, The Study of Caves.- 150 p., Cave Books, St. Louis.


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

Pridružena profesorica za področje krasoslovje, geologinja, nosilka Fulbrightove podoktorske štipendije v letu 1998 / Adjunct Professor of Karstology, geologist, Fulbright post-doctoral grant holder in 1998



ŠEBELA, Stanka. Natural and anthropogenic impacts on cave climates : Postojna and Predjama show caves (Slovenia), (Earth and planetary sciences). 1st ed. Amsterdam; Oxford; Cambridge: Elsevier, cop. 2022. 274 str., ilustr. ISBN 978-0-12-822954-5. https://www.elsevier.com/books/natural-and-anthropogenic-impacts-on-cave-climates/sebela/978-0-12-822954-5, doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-822954-5.00001-9. [COBISS.SI-ID 64999683]

ŠEBELA, Stanka, BAKER, Gretchen M., LUKE, Barbara. Cave temperature and management implications in Lehman Caves, Great Basin National Park, USA : Stanka Šebela, Gretchen Baker, Barbara Luke. Geoheritage, ISSN 1867-2477, Sep. 2019, vol. 11, no. 3, str. 1163-1175, ilustr. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12371-019-00367-0, doi: 10.1007/s12371-019-00367-0. [COBISS.SI-ID 44575533]

PIPAN, Tanja, PETRIČ, Metka, ŠEBELA, Stanka, CULVER, David C. Analyzing climate change and surface-subsurface interactions using the Postojna Planina Cave System (Slovenia) as a model system. Regional environmental change, ISSN 1436-3798, Feb. 2019, vol. 19, iss. 2, str. 379-389, ilustr. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10113-018-1349-z, doi: 10.1007/s10113-018-1349-z. [COBISS.SI-ID 42929197]

PRELOVŠEK, Mitja, ŠEBELA, Stanka, TURK, Janez. Carbon dioxide in Postojna Cave (Slovenia) : spatial distribution, seasonal dynamics and evaluation of plausible sources and sinks. Environmental earth sciences, ISSN 1866-6280, 2018, vol. 77, iss. 7, str. 1-15, ilustr., doi: 10.1007/s12665-018-7459-6. [COBISS.SI-ID 42840877]

ŠEBELA, Stanka, TURK, Janez. Črna Jama as a cold air trap cave within Postojna Cave, Slovenia. Theoretical and applied climatology, ISSN 0177-798X. [Tiskana izd.], Nov. 2018, vol. 134, iss. 3/4, str. 741-751, ilustr. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00704-017-2304-5, doi: 10.1007/s00704-017-2304-5. [COBISS.SI-ID 42090285]