Assessment of spatial properties of karst areas on a regional scale using GIS and statistics – the case of Slovenia
Journal of caves and karst studies
In Slovenia, 43% of the territory is karst, including 42% of all protected water sources and 53% of all water-protection areas in the country. Over 95% of drinking water is obtained from groundwater, so assessment of karst areas and their spatial distribution is essential to better understand the water in the lithosphere and for the assessment of the hydrogeochemical properties of the groundwater in a large part of Slovenia. These groundwater resources are susceptible to degradation or
... adation or pollution, and a regional karstification-intensity map was developed to assist in the management of these water resources and to interpret the chemical composition of the groundwater. For the purpose of classifying stratigraphic units into karstification-level classes, three parameters were analyzed in the outcrops of units with carbonate content using GIS and simple spatial statistics: the presences of sinks and cave entrances and the absence of a surficial drainage network. Where at least two of the three parameters showed a positive relation with karstification, the unit was regarded as intensely karstified, while the rest were regarded as less karstified. The former areas cover 24% and the latter 21% of Slovenian territory. STUDY AREA Slovenia lies in central Europe, at the contact of the Alpine arch with the Dinaric chain and Pannonian basin. Its surface measures slightly over 20,200 km 2 (Fig. 2 ). Elevations extend from sea level up to 2864 m, and the landscape varies from Pannonian plains to hilly slopes and Alpine mountains, M. Komac and J. Urbanc -Assessment of spatial properties of karst areas on a regional scale using GIS and statistics -the case of Slovenia.