08623 - Speleology

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Climate Action Oceans Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will have the elementary knowledge to understand the evolution of caves and the karst landscape and to describe the typical erosional and depositional morphologies.

The student will be able to: - recognize the main speleogenetic mechanisms active in carbonate caves and other types of caves; - recognize the processes and the mechanisms that bring to and cause the evolution of the main corrosive and erosional hypogean landforms; - recognize and define the genesis of the main types of speleothems.

Course contents

Cave morphology

Karst geomorphology

Hydrogeology of carbonate aquifers




Powerpoint and library F. Anelli

Teaching methods

The course will develop with 8 hours of lectures in the room, and 60 hours of field activities, in a weekend, and a following 6 days field expedition. The locations change from year to year, but always combine caves with high geo diversity.

The field work comprises overnight camps, travel, and group logistics entirely covered by the students and the teacher.

The activities are carried out in simple caves, and are entirely covered by insurances.

Assessment methods

Report on the camp, individual behavior during the camp, and field notes (notebook)

Teaching tools

Material of the Speleological Documentation Centre of F. Anelli, Bologna.

Online material

Office hours

See the website of Jo Hilaire Agnes De Waele