The doline is the most specific surface form of karst landscapes, which enables one to distinguish them from “normal” erosion landscapes shaped by surface water. From a morphodynamic point of view the doline constitutes an elementary hydrographic unit, comparable to a simple basin, which, with its system of slopes, conveys water to the absorbing points at the bottom into an underground network. The morphometric study of these karst landforms enables a quantitative analysis of karst environment. Comparisons of the various parameters may give unexpected results and lead to new hypotheses about the evolution and the dynamism of the karst “geo-ecosystem”. All the main morphometric parameters of the dolines are listed and explained and a preliminary discussion about some methods of spatial analysis is developed. It is intended to give methodological suggestions about data sources, systems of measurement, and to stimulate some reflection on the choices of possible processing of morphometric variables and on the significance of statistical analysis applied to different parameters. After a brief review of some morphometric and spatial analyses made in the past by different authors, three different examples are presented, relative to karst areas of the Venetian Prealps (Cansiglio-Cavallo, Montello) and of the Carso di Trieste. From these few examples one can understand how to confront this complex subject and what kind of results the analysis of morphometric parameters may give. In interpreting the results it is evident that one must not forget the geological, geomorphological, pedological, vegetational and climatic context of the karst area.
Bondesan, A.; M. Meneghel; and U. Sauro.
Morphometric analysis of dolines.
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol21/iss1/1