Geology and Speleology

The texture and composition of the relief were determined by events in the geological past. Croatian relief was influenced by the endogenous and exogenous forces and processes in the triangle of Asia-Europe-Africa, from the Preambles to the Khosos to the holocene of the present period.

All three basic rock groups are represented in Croatia. These are sedimentary or sedimentary rocks (about 95% of the Croatian relief), magma rocks (about 1% of the Croatian relief), and the metamorphic rocks (2-4% of the relief of Croatia).

Sedimentary rocks were created by deposition of larger, deformed material (sand, gravel, etc.), or a smaller, chemogenic or more organogenic material. The most populated are limestone and dolomite, and clotted - sand, conglomerates, brewers, worms.

Magmatic rocks were created by surface eruptions and lava exits or by internal cooling of the molten minerals that it abounds. The most common are granites and andesite. Metamorphic rocks are created by chemical change of the original rocks. In Croatia, marbles, shrubs and gnats are the most prominent.

According to the widespread and age of rocks, the oldest preambles and Paleozoic rocks are found in the nuclei of the "island" mountains of Northern and Central Croatia. From the Mesozoic precipitate the carbonate sedimentary rocks (dolomites and limestones) in the karst, mostly on Banovina, Kordun, Gorski Kotar, Velebit, Lika and Dalmatia. The youngest rocks are from cannabis (quaternary) period in the area of ​​Pannonian and Peripanonic space, linked to the glacial and periglacial processes of the last ice age, and to the rivers.

A special geological and geomorphological phenomenon is karst, a geomorphologic form created by the work of water on a limestone base. The limestone melting produces numerous karstic forms - scrapers, ponies, oysters, caves, pits and others.

Caves and Speleology

Of all mountainous areas, the Velebit and Mosor mountain ranges, as well as the Paklenica National Park have the most speleological sites such as caves and gorges suited for professionals that are familiar with techniques for climbing, descending into and moving through caves with full equipment etc. Here is a list of the best known caves:

  • Panjkova špilja Kršnje on Kordun, 12385 m
  • Cave in Tounj Quarry, Tounj, 8410 m
  • Veternica, Medvednica near Zagreb, 6816 m
  • Jopićeve Kordun by Krnjaka, 6564 m
  • Donja Cerovačka Cave, South Velebit, Gračac, 2510 m
  • Cave Klementina, Velebit, 2403 m
  • Cave Mandelaja Oštarije kod Ogulina, 2326 m
  • Cave Munižaba, Velebit, 2300 m
  • Ponorac - Suvaja, Kordun, 2232 m
  • Lukina Cave, North Velebit, 1392 m
  • Slovačka, Sjeverni Velebit, 1017 m
  • Stara Škola, Biokovo, 576 m
  • Vilimova Cave, Biokovo, 572 m
  • Ponor on Bunjevac, South Velebit, 534 m
  • Jama za kamenitim vratima, Biokovo, 520 m
  • Fantomska Cave, Velebit, 477 m
  • Ledenica in Lomska dolina, Velebit, 451 m
  • Cave Munižaba, Velebit, 448 m
  • Stupina Cave, Bitoraj, 413 m
  • Nova velika jama, Biokovo, 380 m
  • Cave by Rašpor, Ćićarija, 361m
  • Biokovka, Biokovo, 359 m
  • Podgračišće, otok Brač, 329 m
  • Klanski gorge (Gotovž), okolica Rijeke, 320 m
  • Puhaljka, South Velebit, 320 m
  • Zaboravna Cave, Biokovo, 311 m
  • Mala (Crna) Kicljeva Cave Skrad, Gorski kotar, 285 m
  • Balinka Plaški, Lika, 283 m
  • Jama kod Matešića stana, otok Brač, 280 m
  • Pretnerova Cave, Biokovo, 252 m
  • Semička Ćićarija, Istra, 236 m

Besides traditional speleology, cave diving, that is exploring underwater caves, is becoming more and more popular. Cave diving consists of two disciplines: Recreational cave diving - diving in underwater caves without particular knowledge of speleological techniques and Professional cave diving - diving in underwater caves, springs or in waters in land caves for which knowledge of diving and speleological techniques is a must.