Environmental Geology

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 711–718 | Cite as

The largest karst cave discovered in a tunnel during motorway construction in Slovenia’s Classical Karst (Kras)

  • Martin Knez
  • Tadej Slabe
  • Stanka Šebela
  • Franci Gabrovšek
Original Article

Abstract

Karst researchers of the Karst Research Institute ZRC SAZU are regularly consulted during the planning of Slovenia’s motorways and invited to observe and monitor construction in the karst areas. More than 350 caves have been discovered in the course of building 60 km of new motorways over the past decade. Access to the most important caves is preserved by concrete tubes closed with metal covers at the roadside. The largest cave system in a tunnel, named LC-S647, is almost entirely preserved. The protection of this cave will serve as a good example for the preservation of natural heritage in the future. Construction work for the motorway uncovered a high degree of karstification. In particular, the discovery of this cave in the Kastelec tunnel LC-S647 showed the existence of a major cave system in the geological and speleological past. A number of unconnected passages have also been found. Caves discovered during highway construction have brought new knowledge about the cavernosity and the geological history of this part of the karst.

Keywords

Highway construction Karst Karst caves Classical Karst (Kras) Slovenia 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Knez
    • 1
  • Tadej Slabe
    • 1
  • Stanka Šebela
    • 1
  • Franci Gabrovšek
    • 1
  1. 1.Karst Research InstituteScientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and ArtsPostojnaSlovenia

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