Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Connectivity concept in karst: the doline-cave coupling in the context of human impacts

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.12.01  Humanities  Geography  Physical geography 

Code Science Field
5.07  Social Sciences  Social and economic geography 
doline / near-surface cave / connectivity concept / sedimenti / infiltration / water permeability / ERT/ land degradation / groundwater protection / karst / land use / landfill
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on December 9, 2023; A3 for period 2017-2021
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender, archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  306  5,041  4,304  14.07 
Scopus  495  7,195  5,896  11.91 
Researchers (14)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  27510  PhD Mateja Breg Valjavec  Geography  Head  2020 - 2023  191 
2.  30791  PhD Rok Ciglič  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  411 
3.  10194  PhD Andraž Čarni  Biology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  561 
4.  54767  Špela Čonč  Geography  Junior researcher  2022 - 2023  56 
5.  33273  PhD Mateja Ferk  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  179 
6.  35035  PhD Matjaž Geršič  Geography  Researcher  2022 - 2023  234 
7.  13179  PhD Mauro Hrvatin  Humanities  Researcher  2020 - 2023  363 
8.  21464  PhD Blaž Komac  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  628 
9.  50215  PhD Matej Lipar  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  146 
10.  29392  PhD Katarina Polajnar Horvat  Geography  Researcher  2022 - 2023  148 
11.  16050  PhD Aleš Smrekar  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  397 
12.  10443  PhD Stanka Šebela  Geology  Researcher  2020 - 2023  520 
13.  38267  PhD Jure Tičar  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  217 
14.  22245  PhD Matija Zorn  Geography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  1,220 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,024 
Geoscience has been devoting increased attention to understanding the complex pathways and flows of material, energy, and the multidimensional coupling between various geological systems. This understanding includes the “concept of connectivity”, which provides an overall framework better to investigate hydrological systems. It helps in understanding the spatial-temporal dependency of sediment transport within catchments. So far, the concept has largely been used for fluvial geomorphic systems, whereas we intend to use it within the karst system. Namely, solution dolines have a similar function in karst landscapes to the drainage system in non-karstic geological systems, except that water drains vertically in karst landscapes through an outlet at the lowest point in dolines. Our main interest within this project is to study the direct flow between enclosed karst depressions (solution dolines) and near-surface caves (cca 50 m bellow surface) that are prone to human influence. Dolines represent our research “input points” and the caves directly beneath them as our research “output points”. In relation to the concept of connectivity between the karst surface and subsurface, hydrological, sediment, and geochemical connectivities are the most relevant from the perspective of geoscience and to measure human impacts through long time span. The DOLINE-CAVE COUPLING ZONE will be in focus. It represents the upper part of a karst aquifer for which specific connectivity characteristics between dolines and near-surface caves can be identified. Different human impacts of dolines land use and land degradation will be considered. Several studies are proving more intensive human impacts on doline localities than on the surrounding karst terrain. Specific natural conditions prevail in solution dolines, where thick fine-grained sediment induce increased soil humidity. These factors can have a specific impact on the hydrogeological, sedimentological and geochemical processes in relation to near-surface caves in contrast to the karst surface outside dolines with dry and thin soil layer. Despite the processes and features of the vadose zone, including its uppermost part – the epikarst, were studied extensively, some basic questions remain: How various sediment depositions in solution dolines influence the infiltration of surface water to the underground, especially in the shallow vadose zone? Thus, we aim to determine the role of sediment deposits in the solution dolines for the hydrological and geochemical connectivity of dolines with the near-surface caves in the vadose zone. We will identify and map the near-surface caves and coupling dolines in the research area of low Dinaric Karst Plateaus (Kras Plateau, Matarsko podolje Plateau, Gorjanci Hills) using geoinformatic methods and available data (Registry of maps, Lidar DEM 1x1m, optical remote sensing data), geomorphometric analyse, speleological mapping and surveying. Further, we will identify the presence, extent and characteristics of connectivity in doline-cave coupling zone. Accordingly, time-lapse ERT measurements from dry to wet periods will be performed. We aim to analyse characteristics of sediment in dolines and near-surface. We will conduct detailed sampling of sediment (excavated profiles, sampling) and laboratory analyses to understand the characteristics of sediments in dolines and caves that are relevant for connectivityand define the influence of sediment characteristics on processes and features in the epikarst. Finally, we will build the transferable impact (risk) assessment model for doline-cave coupling zone
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