Destruction of dolines: the examples from Slovene karst

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1 Destruction of dolines: the examples from Slovene karst dr. Gregor Kovačič (1) and dr. Nataša Ravbar (2) (1) University of Primorska, Faculty of humanities Koper, Science and Research Centre, Koper, Slovenia (2) Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Karst Research Institute, Postojna, Slovenia

2 Aims Overview of Slovene legislation regarding protection of karst landscape Changing of karst landscape Some examples of karst landscape altering from Slovene karst Case study area: Hrpelje Kozina municipality

3 Legislative framework The Environmental Protection Act No specific provisions for protection of karst phenomena (e.g. doline) The Spatial Planning Act and The Construction Act Responsibility for protection of nature is under the authority of individual municipalities Karst areas extend across several municipalities problems 1. Different interests and priorities 2. Pressures from capital and other interest groups The Ordinance on Spatial Planning Strategy Spatial development within settlements construction inside existing settlements expansion to new space The Nature Conservation Act Karst features are only exceptionally protected as natural heritage or in the frame of protected areas Karst regions as a complex natural phenomenon are not protected as a whole Cave Protection Act surface karst features not included Protects only known parts of caves No regulations for land use above cave passages Example: Risnik business park (Divača) above the Škocjanske jame caves

4 Traditional alteration of dolines Cultivation of doline bottoms Filling of dolines with rubble and soil from the slopes Clearing of stones meadows and pasturing Drystone walls and drystone terraces Ponds (kal, lokva)

5 Modern cultivation of karst Alternating karst surface for motorway construction, new residental areas, industrial parks and business areas Modern cultivation of karst surface for vineyards and olive groves

6 Rim of the Cerknica polje Small industrial and business park Examples from Slovene karst

7 Examples from Slovene karst Mirna Peč Motorway construction Rim of the Cerknica polje Small industrial and business zone

8 Examples from Slovene karst The Logatec polje Industrial and business park Traditional cultivation Dolines used as landfills Residential areas (89% of dolines have completely disappeared) Rim of the Cerknica polje Small industrial and business zone

9 Examples from Slovene karst Divača Railway, motorway Industrial and business park New residential areas The Risnik business park built just above the Škocjan caves (UNESCO) and underground course of the Reka river Rim of the Cerknica polje Small industrial and business zone

10 Case study area: Hrpelje-Kozina municipality changing of karst landscape Methodology Georeferenced aerial photos (2009) Topographic maps 1 : 5,000 (1971, 1994) Field work mapping (March 2012) Determination of dolines properties General characteristics of the study area Investigated surface area = 4.32 km 2 Elevation = 500 m asl ( m asl) Slope = 6.6 (0 35 ) N of dolines = 248 (1994) Average depth of dolines = 6 m (1 64 m) Dolines shape (72% bowl shaped, 24% funnel shaped) Doline density = 57 d./km 2 (1994)

11 Karst landscape alteration factors (farming excluded) Old Railway construction 1876 Recent Motorway construction Business park 2002 Building of new residental areas 2002 Population growth Population (2011) = 1376 Population density (2011) = 318 people/km2

12 Results preservation of dolines

13 Results land use in dolines

14 Results N of dolines: 248 (1994) 182 (partly preserved dolines included; 2012) Doline surface area: 0.63 km 2 (1994) 0.57 km 2 (2012) 61 (25%) dolines or 10% (dolines area) have completely disappeared 64,000 m 2 If partly filled dolines are included than this number is 82 (34%) or 35% (dolines area) 221,000 m (66%) dolines or 65% (dolines area) are preserved Doline density: 57 d./km 2 (1994) 42 (2012) d./km 2

15 Results N of dolines: 248 (1994) 182 (partly preserved dolines included; 2012) Doline surface area: 0.63 km 2 (1994) 0.57 km 2 (2012) 61 (25%) dolines or 10% (dolines area) have completely disappeared 64,000 m 2 If partly filled dolines are included than this number is 82 (34%) or 35% (dolines area) 221,000 m (66%) dolines or 65% (dolines area) are preserved Doline density: 57 d./km 2 (1994) 42 (2012) d./km 2

16 Results N of dolines: 248 (1994) 182 (partly preserved dolines included; 2012) Doline surface area: 0.63 km 2 (1994) 0.57 km 2 (2012) 61 (25%) dolines or 10% (dolines area) have completely disappeared 64,000 m 2 If partly filled dolines are included than this number is 82 (34%) or 35% (dolines area) 221,000 m (66%) dolines or 65% (dolines area) are preserved Doline density: 57 d./km 2 (1994) 42 (2012) d./km 2 Additional 51 dolines potentially endangered According to the municipality spatial plan

17 Examples Building of a residential area Building of a business park

18 Conclusion Dolines as karst phenomena are a nonrenewable natural heritage; cultivated dolines also a cultural heritage By planners they are considered as an obstacle In current legislative framework, the standards for the protection of karst landscape are loose Lack of knowledge, pressures from different interest groups wrong decisions (filling up of dolines)

19 Conclusion Dolines as karst phenomena are a nonrenewable natural heritage; cultivated dolines also a cultural heritage By planners they are considered as an obstacle In current legislative framework, the standards for the protection of karst landscape are loose Lack of knowledge, pressures from different interest groups wrong decisions (filling up of dolines) In the scope of existing legislation a definition of a long term (sustainable) protection of dolines is necessary Also as a part of spatial planning

20 Thank you for your attention!

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