Selected studies in karstology


Environmental and Regional Studies (3rd level)

Biodiversity and ecology (3rd Cycle)
Paleobiology and sedimentary geology (3rd Cycle)
Regional studies (3rd Cycle)

Course code: DI016
Year of study: 1st year

Course principal:
Assoc. Prof. Nataša Viršek Ravbar, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 30 hours, seminar 5 hours tutorial 10 hours, field work 15 hours, individual work 120 hours.
Course type: common elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, seminars, tutorial, field work, e-learning


Course syllabus (download)


Finished second Bologna level in the appropriate field or University degree VII.


Content (Syllabus outline):

The course will start with a presentation of the specifics of karst that make the karst environment special. Based on different education of the lecturers, karst will be presented from several aspects (geographical, geological, (micro)biological, speleological, hydrogeological, physical, chemical); holistically as an example of a complex, dynamic, and integrated 4D environment. We are going to present typical on-going multi- and interdisciplinary karst studies with emphasis on applicability. Applicability of studies related to karst waters (vulnerability, pressures, sources of pollution, drinking water resources, dye-tracing experiments), biospeleology (underground biology, cave fauna, cave microbiology), planning of infrastructure in karst areas (roads, quarries, living areas, karstological supervision) and management of protected karst areas (approach, monitoring, protection measures) will be further highlighted. Due to the relatively well preserved environment in karst areas, we will focus also on future development challenges of karst surface and water protection. Special emphasis will be given on studies in the karst underground, both in general (karst aquifer, karst caves) and in show caves as well (management, monitoring, custody, remediation/restoration).



  • Knez, M. (ur.), Petrič M. (ur.), Slabe, (ur.), 2011: Krasoslovje v razvojnih izzivih na krasu. 1, Voda = Karstology and development challenges on karst. 1, Water. Ljubljana, Založba ZRC: 167.
  • Culver, D. C., Debevec, B., Knez, M., Kovačič, G., Kranjc, A., Mulec, J., Pipan, T., Prelovšek, M., Ravbar, N., Semeja, A., Slabe, T., Šebela, S., Zupan Hajna, N., Knez, M. (ur.), Petrič, M. (ur.), Slabe, T. (ur.), 2012: Krasoslovje v razvojnih izzivih na krasu. 2, Gradnja, turizem, ekologija, varovanje = Karstology and development challenges on karst. 2, Construction, tourism, ecology, protection, (Carsologica, 14). Ljubljana, Založba ZRC: 199.
  • Mihevc, A. (ur.), 2005: Kras : voda in življenje v kamniti pokrajini = water and life in a rocky landscape, (Projekt Aquadapt). Ljubljana, Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU: 9-99, 300-325.
  • Kozel, P., Mulec, J., Pipan, T., Prelovšek, M., 2018: Afternoon field trip (A) : Postojna Cave System : Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 15:00-20:00 = Popoldansko terensko delo (A) : Postojnski jamski sistem : Torek, 19. junij 2018, 15.00-20.00. V: Prelovšek, Mitja (ur.). Show caves and science : abstracts & guide book = Turistične jame in znanost : povzetki & vodnik. 1st ed. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2018: 14-26.


Objectives and competences:

  • Holistic knowledge of specific and multidisciplinary studies in karst areas;
  • Ability to interdisciplinary (horizontal) interconnect scientific and professional knowledge in the case of karst environment;
  • Acquisition of practical competencies of applying, management, and scientific work on applied projects;
  • Ability to implement basic scientific knowledge into practical know-how.


Intended learning outcomes:

  • Capability to understand multidisciplinary field of karstology;
  • Interdisciplinary surpassing of shortcomings of one-disciplinary approaches in the field of karstology;
  • Understanding of interconnection between karst natural environment and society;
  • Capability to understand specifics of development planning in karst areas (nature –> man) and environmental protection (man –> nature);
  • Application of karstological approach on other areas of natural sciences, humanistics, and social sciences.



Oral exam (100 %).