The Age of Karst Relief in West Slovenia

Andrej Mihevc



The age of a karst can be defined as the time when the karst rocks were uplifted out of the sea. The other view of the age of karst is to define the age of certain karst features or assemblages of karst features. On the Kras plateau there is a variety of forms that were formed at quite different times, but due to karst evolution, they coexist in today’s relief. On the plateau, that is slowly rising, the hydrological zones in karst surface are moving downwards. Streams from the side ceased to flow on the karst and former leveled surface that was formed in conditions of high ground water is dissected by numerous dolines. Blind valleys are incised at the side and some of them show the influence of recent tectonics. The lowering of relief by corrosion exposes caves that have formed deep beneath the surface and creates unroofed caves that become a part of the surface topography. From the morphological comparison of the unroofed caves, blind valleys and levelled surfaces and by dating of the sediment and considering the age of tectonic phases we can reconstruct the evolution and estimate the age of the karst landscape.

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