Organisation: Karst research Institute ZRC SAZU
Each year since 1993, International Karstological School (IKS) “Classical Karst” has been organised, covering many aspects of karst research. The basic idea of the School has been to present the state of the art in selected topics and promote discussion between participants via set of lectures, poster sessions and related field trips to the area of Slovene Classical karst.
Research in the last 25 years has contributed to new findings in many fields of research within karstology. Therefore, the 25th IKS is an opportunity to review major milestones in karstological research, stress the research advances in the last 25 years and define challenges and perspectives for the next generation.
The topics of the 25th IKS will try to include a wide range of karstological research. The sessions are described in the following text. Within each session, invited keynote lectures and selected lectures of other participants will be held. As a number of lectures per each session is limited, other contributions will be presented as posters.
The session tends to light up new techniques and results in characterisation of cave systems and cave environment, and present the recent progress and challenges in conceptual and numerical models of speleogenesis.
The session will be devoted to geomorphology of both the Classical karst and to variety of karst morphologies worldwide. Speakers will present the new knowledge about karst surface features as well as new methods and techniques. The session will be supported with the field trips to the best examples of the karst features.
Subterranean ecosystems include both air- and water-filled underground habitats that are deep or just a few meters (or even less) beneath the surface. They are characterized by the absence of light and specialized fauna with typical troglomorfic characters. Microorganisms represent with their interactions an integral part of all ecosystems and participate at all key geochemical cycles.
Karst aquifers have complex and original characteristics. Specific research methods are required for studying their structure and functioning. Understanding of the principles of groundwater flow and transport processes is essential for assessing capacities and planning protection of these important water resources.
The purpose of the session is to present the importance of karst and caves as a significant source of information about the processes and the time of sediments deposition and of the use of different investigating and dating methods that allow the determination of age and insight into various geological, geomorphological and speleological events in the past. The focus will be on the presentation of the latest research of sediments from Classic karst of Slovenia.
Development challenges on karst
Planning without a thorough understanding of the environment and consequently a vision of its development is not sufficient. We build foundations for the rational planning of activities on karst based on good karstological research, as much in individual fields of karstology as in interdisciplinary studies (water, construction, tourism, ecology, protection).
We will attempt to advance karstology with a discussion about the success of its previous development and consider the direction of its further development (comprehensive karstology, fields of karstology, regional karstology, important researches, karst preservation and presentation, karstology as an independent branch of science); the development of karstology education; the organization of karstology and its role in society; and international connections and cooperation.