Karst and tectonic structures


Earth and Environmental Sciences (2nd level)

Karstology (2nd Cycle)

Course code: MIK02
Year of study: 2nd year

Course principal:
Prof. Stanka Šebela, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 20hours, seminar 20 hours, tutorial 15 hours, field work 10 hours, individual work 85 hours.
Course type: elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, exercises under supervision of the lecturer responsible for the course, field work under supervision of the lecturer responsible for the course, individual work under supervision of the lecturer responsible for the course, seminar work (Presentation and interpretation of results, which are presented by students as seminar work).


Course syllabus (download)


First-cycle Bologna degree or a university degree in the natural sciences.


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • Fundametals and methodology of research of tectonics deformations;
  • Slovene karst caves and tectonic structures;
  • Surface karst features and tectonic structures;
  • Tectonic structures and karst in the World;
  • Active tectonics and karst.



  • Čar, J. & Gospodarič, R., 1984. O geologiji krasa med Postojno, Planino in Cerknico. Acta carsologica 12 (1983): 91-106.
  • Palmer, A.N., 2007. Cave Geology. Cave Book, Ohio, 454 str. (poglavja/chapters: Cavernous rocks, Influence of cave geology on cave patterns, Geologic studies of caves)
  • Šebela, S., 1989. Tektonska zgradba sistema Postojnskih jam. Zbirka ZRC 18. Ljubljana: 112 str.
  • Moores E.M, & Twiss R.J, 1995. Tectonics. W.H. Freeman and Company, New York: 415 str. (poglavja/chapters: Introduction, Transform Faults, Strike-Slip Faults, and Related Fracture Zones, Collisions).
  • Zang A. & Stephansson, O., 2010. Stress Field of the Earth’s Crust. Springer: 240 str. (poglavja/chapters: Introduction).
  • Blatnik, M, Culver, D C., Gabrovšek, F, Knez, M, Kogovšek, B, Kogovšek, J, Liu, H, Mayaud, C, Mihevc, A, Mulec, J, Aljančič, M, Otoničar, B, Petrič, M, Pipan, T, Prelovšek, M, Ravbar, N, Shaw, T R., Slabe, T, Šebela, S, Zupan Hajna, N, Knez, M (Urednik), Otoničar, B (Urednik), Petrič, M (Urednik), Pipan, T (Urednik), Slabe, T (urednik). Karstology in the classical karst, (Advances in karst science). Cham: Springer, cop. 2020. XII, 222 str., doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-26827-5. (poglavja/chapters: Structura-Geological Mapping of Karst Areas).


Objectives and competences:

Karst is one of the most recognized areas for Slovenia because it covers 43 % of the teritorry. Due to the fact that Slovenia is situated on the contact between Eurasia plate and Adria micro-plate, development of karst is strongly connected with active tectonic activity. Karst features and water in karst mostly follow tectonic structural characteristics. It is thus important to recognize the bases of the formation of tectonic structures and origin and formation of karst features (surface and underground) regarding such structures. All Slovenia’s bigger karst systems are showing high dependence on tectonic structures that formed during thrusting, folding and faulting. In this sense the student has to understand the theory of the formation of tectonic structures, as well as their connection with karst features and kartification.


Intended learning outcomes:

The student is capable to distinguish between different tectonic structures on the field. Student is aware of concrete examples about influence of tectonic structures on karstification, especially for examples of Postojna Cave, Predjama and Škocjan Caves. At the same time student has knowledge about other important Worldwide cases as from south China, USA and  European countries. With gained knowledge the student is capable, with the help of literature and own field studies, to evaluate tectonic structures and their influence on karstification.



Exam (90 %), written paper (10 %).