Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Karst Research

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.12.00  Humanities  Geography   

Code Science Field
P510  Natural sciences and mathematics  Physical geography, geomorphology, pedology, cartography, climatology 

Code Science Field
5.07  Social Sciences  Social and economic geography 
Karstology, karst phenomena, karst landscape, karst geology, karst geomorphology, speleology, cave climate, carbon cycle, karst hydrogeology, karst biology and microbiology and ecology, planning of life on karst, protection of karst, teaching about karst
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (24)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  37554  PhD Matej Blatnik  Humanities  Junior researcher  2015 - 2018  192 
2.  16180  PhD Franci Gabrovšek  Engineering sciences and technologies  Researcher  2015 - 2021  447 
3.  33362  PhD Petra Gostinčar  Humanities  Junior researcher  2015 - 2016  100 
4.  11067  PhD Martin Knez  Humanities  Researcher  2015 - 2021  694 
5.  38269  PhD Blaž Kogovšek  Humanities  Junior researcher  2015 - 2019  109 
6.  06382  PhD Janja Kogovšek  Natural sciences and mathematics  Retired researcher  2015 - 2021  554 
7.  36395  PhD Peter Kozel  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  66 
8.  50576  PhD Lovel Kukuljan  Natural sciences and mathematics  Junior researcher  2017 - 2021  65 
9.  38914  PhD Cyril Mayaud  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2016 - 2021  130 
10.  09652  PhD Andrej Mihevc  Humanities  Researcher  2015 - 2020  787 
11.  20220  PhD Janez Mulec  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  476 
12.  54770  Uroš Novak  Natural sciences and mathematics  Junior researcher  2020 - 2021  23 
13.  14851  PhD Bojan Otoničar  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  248 
14.  12605  PhD Metka Petrič  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  517 
15.  15687  PhD Tanja Pipan  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  383 
16.  25648  PhD Mitja Prelovšek  Humanities  Researcher  2015 - 2021  256 
17.  08099  PhD Tadej Slabe  Humanities  Head  2015 - 2021  679 
18.  18811  Sonja Stamenković    Technical associate  2015 - 2021 
19.  55884  Filip Šarc  Natural sciences and mathematics  Junior researcher  2021 
20.  10443  PhD Stanka Šebela  Natural sciences and mathematics  Researcher  2015 - 2021  518 
21.  52013  Astrid Švara  Humanities  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  52 
22.  52015  PhD Lara Valentić  Natural sciences and mathematics  Junior researcher  2018 - 2021  22 
23.  22574  PhD Nataša Viršek Ravbar  Humanities  Researcher  2018 - 2021  461 
24.  01004  PhD Nadja Zupan Hajna  Humanities  Researcher  2015 - 2021  466 
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  61,116 
The Programme will continue the development of integral international karstology. We will develop research into the karst surface, caves, waters, biological characteristics and evolution of the karst, and combine findings into an understanding of three-dimensional karst landscapes. This stage will place greatest emphasis on integrating approaches to researching karst phenomena and regions (44% of Slovenia, 30% of Europe, 20% of the world is covered by karst). With cooperation from experts from various fields we will surpass the general, shallow omniscience and narrow scope. This is realisable due to the structure of the research group. We will build on the rich tradition of Slovenian karstology, being developed in our Kras region and in the Classical Karst, as well as our status in the international karstological community. Evolution of Karst through Karstological Modelling Using models, we will research karst processes, caves and surface. Findings on the formation of carbonate rocks will be combined into a new Evolutionary Model. We will compare cave networks with surface forms. We will assess the evolution of the karst with regard to the general circulation of carbon. Karst Geology, Study of the Surface and Caves Monitoring of active tectonic structures will be upgraded with geophysical methods. Knowledge of cave sediments will help to explain tectonic, geomorphological and palaeoclimatic development of select caves and karst areas. Emphasis will be placed on caves with hypogenic and hydrothermal conditions of speleogenesis. We will study the shape and evolution of dolines. Karst Waters Simultaneous multi-parameter monitoring of waters in parts of karst aquifers will be upgraded with parallel tracing with artificial tracers. Findings on the dynamics of the water flow and transfer of substances will be transferred to the planning of the use and protection of karst water sources. Karst Biology and Ecology Ecological research in select subterranean habitats will enable the study of selection factors that lead to morphological adaptations of organisms. Vitality of the population and presence of micro-organisms are indicators of the evolution of natural processes and of man's use of the underground world. Goals will be realised with our international connectedness. We will further develop the International Centre in Kunming; collaborate on international projects and in the development of karstology in karst countries. Fresh findings will aid the implementation of a unique doctoral study of karstology. The understanding of karst heritage will be a starting point for planning life on karst. We will continue publishing the international journal Acta carsologica and the book collection Carsologica. We will organise the International Karstological School, promote the International Karstological Academy, manage the Slovenian part of European infrastructure programmes, and participate in the International Union of Speleology, with a seat in Slovenia.
Significance for science
Development of integral karstology will strengthen this scientific field. Understanding the karst by combining knowledge of karst surface phenomena and of caves, karst waters, biological and ecological characteristics and the development of landscape characteristics enables us to upgrade the contents and develop methods of karstological research. Only this can prepare starting points for the development challenges on karst. Our mission is karstology as an independent scientific field and productive collaboration on international scientific policies for sustainable development of karst. Especially important achievement in the development of karst science is the rank of postgraduate study program of Karstology among the few global programs supported by UNESCO. Evolution of karst surface and karst caves is a fundamental issue of karstology. In recent years our model research studies have contributed a few key discoveries. Continuing such research will ensure us one of the leading roles in the field. Logical integration of the knowledge of macroscopic and microscopic properties of carbonate rocks and shapes of rock is a foundation for understanding the evolution of surface and subterranean karst forms. The model will be an attempt to combine various approaches of karst research in an interdisciplinary way (from karstological geology and geomorphology to microbiology (DNA)). The lithological and stratigraphic properties of carbonates, the content and ratio of CaO/MgO, and the preservation of the beds after tectonic activity have a crucial impact on morphology and on the initial and selective karstification. The model will aid in discovering the basic features of various karst landscapes. Monitoring active tectonic movements on karst is not only important for understanding karstification processes but contributes to understanding the seismic hazard of Slovenia and the connection to international conditions. By monitoring the flow of carbon in the karst we will deepen such knowledge and create interdisciplinary bridges between the findings of various disciplines. Understanding the cave climate, in particular the movement of air which affects the temperature and humidity in caves and transmits aerosols, will help us to use tourist caves more sensibly. Researching hypogenic caves is important with regard to the development of the perforation of a specific area and the impact of said caves on subsequent speleogenesis; it can improve the understanding of the geological and geomorphological development of an area. Understanding hydrogeochemical conditions during their formation can contribute to understanding the flow of presentday karst aquifers. Detailed knowledge about epigenic caves and composition and age of cave sediments will help us to solve some problems, such as paleoclimatic conditions at the time of their formation and developement and connection to the sequence of tectonic events and the development of karst in space and time. A network of field measurements of multiple parameters of water in parts of karst aquifers and long chronological series of data are a unique and very important foundation, which enables scientifically substantiated and internationally original findings on the characteristics of the water flow and transfer of substances in the karst. In our further research, the influence of these characteristics on the vulnerability of karst aquifers will be studied in more details and a more suitable model for planning the protection of karst water sources will be developed. Research in speleobiology and speleoecology has been increasingly focused toward understanding basic processes and mechanisms which drive the evolution and existence of biotic communities. Studying the ecological and morphological convergence of subterranean communities is becoming more important in speleobiology, since studies mention neutral mechanisms of the evolution of adaptations in extreme and isolated subterranean habitats. The presented
Significance for the country
44 percent of Slovenia consists of karst and more than half of the waters that supply us come from karst aquifers. Our Kras region gave the name for landscapes developed on carbonate rocks and descriptions of this region triggered the development of karstology. Our karst heritage, life on karst and the tradition of Slovenian karstology charge us with developing good and internationally productive karstology. Any planning and activities on karst require karstological knowledge of karst phenomena and waters and of the landscape characteristics of karst. Good karstological knowledge is essential for: · regional planning (integral knowledge of karst landscape and current special features); · assessing the impact of various plans and activities on the environment (planning of traffic roads); · planning of sustainable use of karst caves and their protection: we continuously measure the impact of visits on the Postojnska jama cave; · with the Speleological Association of Slovenia we collect and organise data on Slovenian karst caves in the Cave Registry. We submit data for their protection to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment. · supply of water and its protection (understanding the dynamics of the water flow and transport of substances is essential for proper planning of the use and protection of karst water resources and for recommendation of the water monitoring program adapted to special characteristics of karst); · understanding the dynamics of the discharge of large karst river basins in Slovenia is key to efficient protection of groundwater and understanding floods on karst poljes; · planning of tourism on karst; · developing the protection of karst and legislation; general protection rules are often insufficient for the protection of vulnerable karst landscapes; · developing new competencies and knowledge; · continuous updating of university karstological education programs in Slovenia and abroad with the latest scientific results; · establishing criteria for the protection of subterranean diversity; · permanent intersectoral cooperation: researchers-legislators-managers. Constant promotion of the use of karstological knowledge is needed. Deep parts of karst aquifers could be very important not only as sources of thermal water and geothermal energy, but as sources of drinking water. Knowledge of the development of earlier stages of karst porosity (hypogenic caves) could also be important for the exploitation of hydrocarbons and ores and storage of gas. Researching the flow of carbon will assess the impact of karst evolution with regard to the binding of an anthropogenically increased concentration of carbon from the atmosphere and the reaction of the karst to it. International Karstological Academy was established on our initiative; with Yunnan University (China) we have established and comanage the International Centre for Karst Research and Karst Environmental Laboratory in Kunming. International Karstological School is the biggest annual meeting of karstologists. International Union of Speleology has its headquarter in Slovenia. We assist in the development of karstology in many karst countries. Our Karstology doctoral study programme is unique. Is the first and only one in Slovenia and among the ten globally recognized study programs, where teaching is supported by the establishment of UNESCO Chair.Experiences from karstology should be used to develop scientific policies in Slovenia and broader. International science should be complemented with the independent field of Karstology.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2015, interim report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2015, interim report
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