Karst is the result of climatic and hydrological evolution of soluble rocks (carbonates, evaporates, conglomerates) particularly during the recent geological history of the Earth. The action of water has generated a great range of karstic features that are part of our natural heritage and which on occasion form major tourist attractions. Karst areas often serve as crop land or as substrates for other human activity. One quarter of the world’s population uses water of karst aquifers. Karst is highly fragile and the exploitation of its resources or inappropriate land uses gives rise to environmental problems (water pollution, subsidence, flooding, changes in the subterranean environment, etc.).

The specificity of the karst medium is fully accepted at all levels of scientific knowledge, as shown by the existence of specific international journals on karst and specific karst committees in most of the international associations concerned with water. This is the case of the International Association of Hydrogeologists, www.iah.org/karst. In addition, various international conferences are periodically organized in which karst hydrogeology is the main topic. One of them is the International Symposium on Karst (ISKA), organized every four years in Malaga (Spain), of which the 5th edition is scheduled for 13-16 October 2014.

In the framework of ISKA, active partnership of IAH – Karst Commission is expected and the main annual meeting of the IGCP 598 project of UNESCO “Environmental Change and Sustainability in Karst Systems” will also be organized.


The symposia on karst that have been held periodically in Malaga (Spain) since 1992 are intended to be an international forum for scientific debate on the progress made in research into karst environments. The main objective of the 5th International Symposium on Karst (ISKA 2014) is to discuss and disseminate the latest trends in research into karst media on the basis of the results obtained with different methodologies in various karst areas in the world.


The following themes are to be addressed in the framework of this Symposium:

Karst Hydrogeology: water resources assessment, groundwater protection.
Methods to study karst aquifers: hydrodynamic, hydrochemistry, isotopes, dye tracers.
Karst Geomorphology and landscape. Geodiversity and Natural Heritage.
Mining and Engineering in Karst media: mining and large structures (tunnels, dams, etc.), CO2 storage.
Karst cavities: touristic caves, paleoclimatic and paleohydrological records.

Organization, Scientific Comittee, More Information (flyer/brochure), Registration:

Organizing Secretariat:
Pablo Jiménez Gavilán

Centro de Hidrogeología de la Universidad de Málaga (CEHIUMA) y Departamento de Geología. Facultad de Ciencias. Universidad de Málaga

E-29071 Málaga, España
Teléfono: 34-95-2137207
Fax: 34-95-2132000
e-mail: pgavilan@uma.es

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