Acta Carsologica / Karsoslovni Zbornik

Online ISSN: 1580-2612
Print ISSN: 0583-6050
An undulating phreatic tube is co-fed by a vadose meandering canyon, whose shape turns into a tube below the floodwater table. The arrow marks the transition from vadose to phreatic.
Schematic flow system. black = main (epiphreatic) gallery; light grey = soutirages (downward) and upflow (upward); dark grey = perennial phreatic conduit.
N-S-projection of bärenschacht and St. beatus Cave with the recognized phases. The numbers are the elevations ( in m ASL) of the corresponding spring. Phase 558 is the present one.
Pseudoendokarst cave system in the marly-silicated moltrasio Limestone of mt. bisbino, Lake of Como (tognini 1999, 2001).
The Cosa Nostra-bergerhöhle system/tennengebirge, Salzburg Alps (Audra et al. 2002b). to the left (3), relationship between cave passage altitude and old karst levels. Karst development began during the Oligocene beneath the Augensteine (1). during the miocene, horizontal systems developed with alpine water inputs (2), showing different levels (3) related to successive phases of stability: Ruinenhöhlen (4) and Riesenhöhlen (e.g. Eisriesenwelt-5). Following Pliocene uplift, alpine systems developed (e.g. Cosa Nostrabergerhöhle-6). horizontal tubes at the entrance correspond to a miocene level (7). A shaft series (6) connect to horizontal tubes from bergerhöhle-bierloch (8), corresponding to a Pliocene base level (9). The present water table at 700 m (10) pours into brunnecker Cave, which connects to the Salzach base level (11).
Progress in the understanding of cave genesis processes, as well as the intensive research carried out in the Alps during the last decades, permit to summarize the latest knowledge about Alpine caves. The phreatic parts of cave systems develop close to the karst water table, which depends on the spring position, which in turn is generally related to the valley bottom. Thus, caves are directly linked with the geomorphic evolution of the surface and reflect valley deepening. The sediments deposited in the caves help to reconstruct the morphologic succession and the paleoclimatic evolution. Moreover, they are the only means to date the caves and thus the landscape evolution. Caves appear as soon as there is an emersion of limestone from the sea and a water table gradient. Mesozoic and early tertiary paleokarsts within the alpine range prove of these ancient emersions. Hydrothermal karst seems to be more widespread than previously presumed. This is mostly due to the fact that usually, hydrothermal caves are later reused (and reshaped) by meteoric waters.
This paper presents a comparative study of the Ardèche Gorge Natural Reserve (France) and the Škocjan Caves Regional Park (Slovenia). As major tourist attractions, both these areas have progressively structured their economies around tourism, although they have implemented very different development and karst landscape protection policies. In very simplistic terms, management of the Ardèche Gorge can be described as very laxest, whereas development in the Škocjan Caves is much more strictly controlled. When examined from this preservation/development perspective, the differences in the ways the two sites are managed can be traced through a diachronic approach to the history of their tourism development. In fine, this comparative approach illustrates how two processes between tourism and preservation policies structure territories development on karst areas.
Collapse dolines are a prominent surface expression of karst regions. They can reach diameters from one meter to several hundred meters, and their depth range varies between a few meters and several hundred meters. Field studies reveal that several of these structures originate from the enlargement of fissures and bedding partings in the sub-surface through the removal of calcite by CO2-enriched water, and the subsequent collapse of these enlarged voids, which cause mechanical breakdown of the overburden. We use the three-dimensional numerical modelling tool KARSTAQUIFER to simulate the temporal evolution of a zone of fractures along the water table. Enlarged fractures can collapse, once a critical width is reached, thus initiating the breakdown and the formation of a collapse doline. The repeated collapse of the fractures keeps the removal rate of calcite high and thus provides an effective process to form a large collapsed zone, which then can migrate towards the karst surface and finally cause a collapse doline.
Condensation of water from warm, humid air to cold rock walls in caves is regarded to play a significant role in speleogenesis. The water condensing to the cave walls quickly attains equilibrium with the carbon dioxide in the surrounding air, and consequently dissolves limestone or gypsum forming various types of macro- ,meso-, and micromorphologies. In this paper we present the basic physical principles of condensation and give equations, which allow a satisfactory estimation of condensation rates. Water condensing to a cooler wall releases heat of condensation, which raises the temperature of the wall thus reducing the temperature difference ΔT between the warm air and the cave wall. Furthermore one has to take into account the heat flux from the air to the cave wall. This defines the boundary conditions for the equation of heat conduction. For a constant temperature of the air initial condensation rates are high but then drop down rapidly by orders of magnitude during the first few days. Finally constant condensation rates are attained, when the heat flux into the rock is fully transmitted to the surface of the karst plateau. For spherical and cylindrical conduits these can be obtained as a function of the depth Z below the surface. When diurnal or seasonal variations of the air temperature are active as is the case close to cave entrances, condensation rates can become quite significant, up to about 10-6 m/year. The theoretical results are applied also to corrosion of speleothems and the formation of »röhrenkarren« as described by Simms (2003). To convert condensation rates into retreat of bedrock the saturation state of the solution must be known. In the appendix we present experiments, which prove that in any case the solution flowing off the rock is saturated with respect to limestone or gypsum, respectively.
The paper presents an analysis of the interaction between the geothermal flux and the water or air- deep drainage networks. The problem of geothermal power intercepted by deep structures and, in general, the temperature field calculations, is converted to classical thermo-engineering problems in terms of shape factors. It is shown that the fluid flow in a conduit perturbs the whole deep rock temperature field until the geothermal flux of a large area is focalised onto the conduit. It is shown that either small water masses flowing into a mountain are able to perturb the rock temperature up to the surface, on sizes that do not depend on water mass dimension, but on its depth, and then on enormous volumes. The introduction of the “geothermal cross section” of an underground drainage structure allows us to improve the classical formula of minimum provenance depth of geothermal water. Enlarging factors are applied to the classical estimation in dependence of the ratio between the actual average discharge and the critical discharge Qc, which depends on the conduit geothermal cross section. The geothermal “umbra cones” created in the overlying rock by deep underground structures are described. It is shown that the geothermal flux can play a significant role in the underground drainage phenomenology.
Evolution of the isotope ratio R for the classical Rayleigh equation R=R 0 (C/C 0 ) ε for various values of ε. a) as function of time with C(t)=(C 0 −C eq )exp(−t/τ b )+C eq and b) as function of concentration.  
Evolution of the isotope ratio R for the extended Rayleigh equation (eqn. 9) for various values of ε and γ. a) as function of time with C(t)=(C 0 −C eq )exp(−t/τ b )+C eq and b) as function of concentration C.
Comparison of the evolution of the isotope ratio R for the extended Rayleigh equation (eqn. 9), full lines and the classical Rayleigh equation, dotted curves as function of a) time and b) concentration. The values of ε for the classical Rayleigh equation have been chosen to match the corresponding curves of the extended Rayleigh equation for times t < 500 s.
When calcite is precipitated from a water film on top of a stalagmite to its surface, the carbonate in the solution and consequently also the carbonate in the calcite deposited becomes enriched in the heavy isotopes 18O and 13C (Hansen et al. 2016; Dreybrodt & Scholz 2011; Romanov et al. 2008). This isotope signal is added to the isotope imprint resulting from climate variability. Therefore a physical model of the evolution of the isotope composition of carbonate in a water film, either flowing down the surface of the stalagmite at high drip rates or stagnant, when the drip rate is low, is necessary to discriminate the climate signal from the signal resulting from physical processes in the cave. Currently two models are proposed. In the first one (Scholz et al. 2009) one assumes that the isotope evolution can be described by a Rayleigh distillation process (Mook 2000) where during the entire process of precipitation the fractionation factor for carbon or oxygen, respectively remains constant. In another model one assumes that precipitation is a uni-directional non-equilibrium process, where the constants in the rate equations are slightly different for the light and the heavy isotope (Dreybrodt 2008; Dreybrodt & Scholz 2011). Results from these models have been compared for various scenarios by Scholz et al. (2009), Dreybrodt and Scholz (2011), Dreybrodt and Deininger (2014) and Dreybrodt and Romanov (2016). Differences of opinion clearly exist in the research community regarding which of these models best represents reality. In this letter I discuss the meaning of the Rayleigh equation for precipitation of calcite under equilibrium conditions and for precipitation of calcite governed by uni-directional rate equations.
Ljubljana rector Frischlin's work about Cerknica Lake (1582-1584) is described. Frischlin's connections with other protestant and catholic researchers are put in the limelight. Frischlin wrote his most important astronomical work De astronomicae artis at Ljubljana. It was the first world-wide recognised scientific work produced at the area of modern Slovenia. Valvasor published comparatively long description of Frischlin work at Ljubljana with the special concern put on Frischilin's poetry devoted to the secrets of periodical Cerknica Lake. The speleologist Urbas partially translated Frischlin ode nearly two centuries after Valvasor's publication. This pioneering discussion is devoted to Frischlin's important contribution to 16th century subterranean karst research.
In 1551, Georg Wernher sent into print in Vienna his work De admirandis Hungariae aquis hypomnemation, which included a description of Lake Cerknica. Baron Sigismund von Herberstein, on whose initiative the work had been written, had conveyed to Wernher an oral description of the lake; the question whether he had written it down as well, as might be inferred from the references in J. W. Valvasor (1689), can no longer be answered. Herberstein may be considered to have not only alerted Wernher to the lake, but also to have (co)authored the report on the lake. There is nothing in the text to suggest that Wernher had ever visited or investigated the lake himself. In addition, Herberstein commissioned a woodcut showing a map of the lake, presumably based on a drawing by Augustin Hirschvogel. The paper cites the relevant passages both in the Latin original and in an English translation.
Kircher's letters connected with the area of today's Slovenia were analyzed. His Jesuit informer Wilpenhoffer's reports on the Cerknica Lake and Idrija Mine were put forward. He also helped distribution of Kircher's books among Auerspergs and other Ljubljana nobles. Janez Vajkard Auersperg's letters as an example of high nobility correspondent patronage were put at the limelight in connection with lanez and his admirer Valvasor's own research of the Postojna Cave flora and fauna.
The great cavern of Santo Tomás (La Gran Caverna de Santo Tomás) in Sierra de Qquemado (Los Órganos) in the province Pinar del Río in Cuba has a special place in Cuban speleology. For a very long period this was the longest cave system in the country. It extends in approximately 46 km of dry and flooded subterranean passages at seven levels, and represents a real paradise for karstologists and speleologists - not all cave branches are completely surveyed yet. The cave is partly tourist, but most of the interesting karst features are located in the wild part of the system. Besides the dimensions of the system and some huge cave formations, there are also recorded fossils from the Pleistocene period. The founder of Cuban speleology Antonio Núñez Jiménez in 1990 reported that when the River Santo Tomás drained during extreme dry periods, local people used captured water from the cave for their domestic use. Farmers used another interesting resource for their needs from this cave – nutrient-rich bat guano to fertilize tobacco fields in the foothills of the surrounding mogotes and in the bottom of dolinas. The cave was early in history populated by the early settlers of Cuba, but in recent years it became famous from the Cuban revolutionary period in the 1950s and 1960s. In the nearby village El Moncada in 1984 they founded a speleological school (Escuela National de Espeleología) which gave a boost to many generations of Cuban speleologists. The cave system generally receives high organic input,although there are some places in with evident lower input. Snakes, scorpions, frogs and crabs are frequent guests in the entrance part of the cave. There are some studies dealing with cave fauna from the great cavern of Santo Tomás in more detail, e.g. on crustaceans, but due to the cave size it is expected to add more species on the biodiversity list, and probably it is possible to discover new species in the cave. During the caving expedition we wanted to point out the potential of this and other caves in the area for microbiology and geomicrobiology research. Microbiology studies are not just important to assess the health status of underground habitat, but also to address more general questions related to nutrient cycling and energy fluxes in subtropical zones as, for example, cave air temperature is about 23°C. During the caving expedition (December 17-29, 2011) in the great cavern of Santo Tomás we demonstrated to Cuban speleologists a novel approach which is used in Slovenia for regular monitoring of human impact in the underground for dripping water, active underground rivers and quality of cave air, and examples of meiofauna sampling from cave pools. Participants for this international expedition in the great cavern of Santo Tomás came from Cuba, Italy and Slovenia. Expedition headquarters were located near the cave entrance in the village El Moncada at the speleological centre “Escuela National de Espeleológia Antonio Núñez Jiménez”. From Slovenia, Andreea Oarga and Janez Mulec joined the expedition. Field work in Cuba was coordinated by Galliano Bressan and Héctor Pérez Jiménez. Some activities during the expedition were accomplished in the frame of the project “Promotion of Slovenian Science” MU-PROM/2011-2-003 supported by the Slovenian Research Agency.
Besides other sciences, B. Hacquet dedicated his research to geology and geomorphology (as we call them now). His most important work "Oryctographia carniolica or Physical (=geological) description of Carniola..." (1778-1789) contains descriptions of rocks, ores, fossils, as well as surface and underground features. In Carniola, karst is prevailing and therefore there is a lengthy description of karst geology and geomorphology included. His classification of mountains specially mentions Montes secundarii formed by grey limestone. Of surface features dolines, glacio-karstic dolines on high plateaus (with temperature and vegetation inversion), and karst poljes are mentioned. Hacquet presumed the evolution from flooded polje (seasonal lake) to a dry one. To explain the weathering and dissolution of limestone Hacquet took into account the differences between the rock, the exposition and its element content. That is the reason why Gams regarded him as a precursor of a climatic geomorphology and the "father" of corrosion theory. Hacquet has also found the difference between limestone and dolomite. His description of dolomite as Lapis suillus preceded the one of D. Dolomieu for 13 years. Hacquet's statements were not based on observation only, but on the experiment too. When looking upon Hacquet's explanations and results we must not forget that Hacquet's time was still time of parapathetic logic, of four elements and of the principle of burning - the flogiston.
Jean-Pierre Aguilar & Jacques Michaux: Pleistocene edible dormice (Rodentia Mammalia)from Slovenia, and their relations to the present day Glis glis (Linnaeus 1766) A Pleistocene new material of dormice (Genus Glis) is described. Three morphological species are recognized on the basis of size and morphology of the teeth: Glis sackdillingensis Heller, 1930, Glis mihevci nov. sp., and Glis perkoi nov. sp. The two new species, larger than G. sackdillingensis, are morphologically less evolved than the present day Glis glis of Slovenia, which has larger teeth.
Karel Dežman's research of the karst phenomena was examined. Among his works the cave research, description of Proteus, other cave animals and plants were found. A special concern was put on Dežman's sources dealing with Proteus research. As the custodian of the Land Museum of Ljubljana, Dežman promoted the Ljubljanian natural history research of his time. His scientific works are not very well known because he did not follow the political line of the official Slovenian national representatives.
Ferdo (Ferdinand) Lupša was born in a small village Drakovci, near the town of Ljutomer, in the North-western part of the nowadays Slovenia, in those times in Austro-Hungarian Empire. Upon concluding his studies, he became an engineer of geodesy. During his stay in Vienna, when he tried to persuade government to finance a polar expedition, he met Lange, a consul of Kingdom of Siam (now Thailand). The consul advised him to visit Siam. Six months later he visited Vienna again to sign the contract with “Siam Canals Land and Irrigation Company”. The contract obliged Lupša to stay for six months in Siam to study various places and environmental conditions.
The excursion after the 1891 general meeting of the Deutsche und Österreichische Alpenverein (DÖAV) was to their Section Küstenland in Trieste which was then actively exploring Škocjanske jame. J. Sigrist-Herder of Switzerland was one of those who visited the cave and he compiled an album containing contemporary publications and also 25 photographs by Francesco Benque of Trieste, 15 of which are published here for the first time. They show the 1891 festivities as well as scenes at the cave entrances and in the dolines. The visit is described here from newspaper articles by Sigrist-Herder supplemented by publications of the DÖAV. A comparison is made with a similar visit in 1885 when less of the cave had been explored. In 1891 the visitors were taken to Müllerjeva dvorana but a few people went along the walls as far as Dvorana planinskega društva, only discovered in 1887.
With pain and sadness, we have received news about the death of Prof. Jean Nicod. Prof. Jean Nicod was Dr. Litt., retired Professor Emeritus of Physical Geography at the University Aix-Marseille, Institute of Geography, Aix-en-Provence, honorary doctor of the University of Silesia (1994), and Corresponding member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (2003). Prof. Nicod was an outstanding geographer, geomorphologist, researcher of karst phenomena and Mediterranean geomorphology, the founder of the French school of karst geomorphology, and of Association Française de Karstologie (French Association of Karstology), its first president (1977-1986), later its honorary president. Additionally, he was president of Commision de Phenomène Karstique du Comité National de Géographie (Commission of karst phenomena at the National Geographic Committee), and the founder and editor of the journals Karstologia and Méditerranée.
Our friend, colleague, supervisor, chairman... our Charlie, who came back from the underground so many times, entered it the last time, without return. On January 25, 2012 the Earth opened for him, as would say the old Romans: “Mundus subterraneus patet”. Charlie will not come back, but for us, his colleagues and friends, he will stay among us for a long time. Wwhenever we will talk about past events, we shall say: “Charlie was with us ... Charlie organised ... it was Charlie’s idea ... Charlie took care for this ...” Archaeologist by education, caver, speleologist, karstologist, professor, “Hofrath”, head of the Speleological institute, co-worker of Vienna’s museum, chair of the International Speleological Union commission, organiser and Nestor of ALCADI ... for sure I cannot enumerate all. Probably I omitted more than I mentioned. For Acta carsologica it is more important to tell a little more about the contacts of Prof. Mais with Slovenia. He was a sort of a bridge between older generation of Austrian speleologists, just to mention G. Abel and H. Trimmel, who cultivated traditionally friendly contacts with Slovene cavers, where late F. Habe was the animator, and younger generation, where friendly contacts and reciprocal visits are no more the main topic, but are replaced by professional contacts and co-operation. Prof. Mais was very active at both sides. In Slovenia he attended professional meetings, congresses, and symposia, especially International Karstological School “Classical Karst”. In the 20 years of school existence he participated ten times, being one of the most frequent participants. I remember well his interesting, attractive and lively presented papers where he always told us something new and surprising related to history of karstology and speleology. He was always prepared to help. He took every question or demand for the advice very seriously, studied it and his answer brought much more than anybody expected; it did not matter whether the question was related to an important Austrian researcher from the 18th century or to a recently edited “karst” stamp. He liked to come to the Karst Institute at Postojna very much. Archives materials from Postojna were good supplement to his studies at Vienna’s archives. He had still many plans and wishes to realize regarding the history of karst research. We discussed open questions on Nagel, Hauer, Penck, Putick. Wwithout Karl’s help maybe we will never get the answers. Wwhen our journal Acta carsologica became oriented more towards international spheres, Prof. Mais co-operated as the author and as the reviewer. Between the years 1994-1999 he published four important papers on karst geomorphology and karst research history in Acta carsologica. At the University of Nova Gorica he was a supervisor of doctoral students, which was a very important help for this young university and even more for still younger programme of karstology. At the end I must mention that not only his professionalknowledge but also his kind-heartedness, understanding, good wiliness, and optimism will be missed the most. Even in the most unpleasant situation, when the group of excursionists waited in front of the cave door and nobody had the key, or when he has to sleep in the car in front of the hotel where he booked the room and had to start to sort the slides at twilight because he was the first speaker at the symposium he remained in good mood. This is Charlie I will keep in my mind: smiling, gentle, and in good humour discussing and explaining complicated professional questions.Andrej Kranjc
Prispevek obravnava značilnosti 17 kraških presihajočih jezer Zgornje Pivke. V času dolgotrajnega deževja v novembru 2000, ko je izmerjena količina dežja več kot trikrat presegala povprečno mesečno količino padavin, se je voda, po več desetletjih, pojavila v vseh jezerih. Izjemoma so bile poplavljene tudi številne druge manjše kraške globeli, kjer ojezeritve še niso bile dokumentirane. S pomočjo terenskih meritev in interpretacijo letalskih posnetkov so bili izmerjeni vodostaji in površine jezer ter prostornina vode v njih. The article presents the characteristics of the 17 intermittent karst lakes of Upper Pivka. During the extended precipitation in November 2000, when the amount of precipitation was more than three times the average, all the lakes were flooded for the first time in several decades. Also several additional small karst depressions were flooded, where overflowing had never been recorded before. By combining field observations with the interpretation of aerial photographs the water level, the extent of the lakes and the volumes of containing water were calculated.
High floods of September 2010 partly ruined historic inscription made by charcoal »Slovenski gadje 1882« in Predjama cave system. Regarding studied historic records the September 2010 floods were the highest in Predjama at least since 1882. If we thrust the well-documented floods in 1826 they can even be higher than ones in 2010. In 2010 the water reached 489.60 m above the sea level at entrance parts of the cave and about 485 m at Vetrovna Luknja causing that the old inscription from 1882 was under water and partly destroyed. Another old inscription »Nagel 1748«, probably done by more resistant pencil, did not suffer from the 2010 floods. Contrary, it was twice partly destroyed by carless visitors, first in 1991 and secondly in the period 1991 - 2005.
Top-cited authors
Natasa Ravbar
  • Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
M. Parise
  • Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro
Gregor Kovačič
  • University of Primorska
Nico Goldscheider
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Nadja Zupan Hajna
  • Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts