Karst systems in glacial and periglacial environment

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

Objectives and competences

In cold environment, this is on the glaciated surface as well as on the surface with permafrost there are special conditions for the evolution of surface and underground karst features. Today there is 10 % of land covered by ice and 15 % with permafrost. During the Pleistocene there were 30 % of dry land covered by glaciers and ice calottes. The introduction to glacial and periglacial processes can help a lot to the understanding of the karst evolution in such an environment. The impact of glaciation and permafrost is presented according to the recent and past environment of Svalbaard Islands, Siberia, Ireland and Poland, of high mountains, etc. Students must recognize such features in the field and be aware of the relation between karst, glaciers and periglacial systems.




• Introduction to glacial and periglacial environment
• Bases of glacier hydrology
• Past and present glaciation of the world
• Surface morphology with the bases of speleogenesis in glaciated regions and in permafrost
• Glaciokarst
• Impact of glaciation and processes on permafrost on the karst morphology
• Response of karst and glaciated environment to the global climatic changes
• The importance of the karst and glacial systems research for the knowledge of palaeoenvironment

Intended learning outcomes

The knowledge of glacial and periglacial environment, especially on carbonate rocks, of glacial hydrology and past and present glaciation in the world is necessary. Student has to be acquainted with morphological and speleogenetical processes on glaciated land, on periglacial terrains, and on the permafrost. Glaciokarst and knowledge of the glaciation impact and of periglacial processes and their impact on the evolution of surface and underground features are emphasized. According to this knowledge, the student has to be able to interpret palaeoenvironment.


• Benn, D. I. & D. J. A. Evans, 1998: Glaciers and Glaciation. Hodder Arnold, London.
• French, H. M., 1976: The Periglacial Environment. Longman.
• French, H. M., 2007: The Periglacial Environment. Wiley.
• Ford, D. & Williams, P., 2007: Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology.- [Rev. Ed.], John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., 562 str., Chichester.
• Salomon, J.-N. & M. Pulina, 2005: Les karsts des régions climatiques extrêmes. Karstologia - Mémoires, 14, Bordeaux.
• Washburn, A. L., 1973: Periglacial Processes and Environments. Arnold.
• Selected articles from scientific journals.


Oral examination has to show the level of student’s knowledge, his ability of understanding, articulation and handing over the knowledge. Student can accede to an examination after reaching 50 % presence at seminar, preparing a short written work (5 - 10 pages) treating specific topic or the publication in connection with his seminar or doctoral work. 50/50

Lecturer's references

Assistant Professor of Geography


Błaszczyk M., Hercman H., Pawlak J., Gąsiorowski M., Matouškova Š., Aninowska M., Kicińska D. & Tyc A. 2018 – Low to Middle Pleistocene paleoclimatic record from the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland (Poland) based on isotopic and calcite fabrics analyses, Geochronometria, 45, 1, 185-197.

Gradziński M. & Tyc A. 2017 – Hypogene speleogenesis in the karst of Poland: regional review. In: Hypogene Karst Regions and Caves of the World, Springer, 349-362.

Tyc A., Słupińska M. & Kocot-Zalewska J. 2017 – The dynamics of air temperature changes in the Niedźwiedzia Górna Cave (Częstochowa Upland) in years 2015-2017, Prądnik, Prace i Materiały Muzeum Szafera, 27, 119-130.

Urban J., Tyc A., Kasza A. & Ślusarczyk M. 2017 - Scientific documentation required during the exploration of caves and technical work carried out in tourist show caves ‒ examples from central Poland, Geotourism, 1-2 (48-49), 47-60.

Otonicar B., Dublyanski Y., Osborne R.A., Tyc A. & Philipp S. 2016 – Cave inception in dedolomite (a case study from central Slovenia). In: Proceedings of DeepKarst 2016: origins, resources and management of hypogene karst, Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA, 189-198.