UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis

Dear Commission members and supporters,

Before and during the 16th International Congress of Speleology recently held in Brno (July 20-28, 2013), the UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis (KHS Commission) has been reviewing its activity, membership and structure, as well as consolidating plans for the future.

During the ICS-16, the KHS Commission meeting took place on July 26, attended by about 50 colleagues, with the following agenda:

  • 2009-2013 Activity Report;
  • Changes in the Commission structure and management, and the results of the voting for the officers for the next period;
  • Issues with the journal “Speleogenesis and Evolution of Karst Aquifers”;
  • Future meetings and activities;
  • Various items;

This message is to briefly update you on recent changes and further developments. For more detailed information see the KHS Commission report for the period of 2009-2013.

Changes in the Commission structure and management, and the results of the voting for the officers for the next period

The Commission has adopted some changes in its structure and management. In particular, the category of core membership has been established, with selected core members serving as an Executive Bureau of the Commission. The full list of the Commission core members, confirmed for the next period, is given below.  General membership is open to any interested person (all persons registered with the Speleogenesis website are considered as affiliated members). Also, the Commission has established two positions of Vice-Presidents and run the elections of officers for the next period.  Alexander Klimchouk (Ukraine) has been re-elected as the President, and Philippe Audra (France) and Jo De Waele (Italy) have been elected as Vice-Presidents. The Commission core members are as follows:

Alexander, Calvin; USA
Hauselmann, Philipp; Switzerland
Audra, Philippe; France (VP)
Jeannin, Pierre-Yves; Switzerland
Auler, Augusto; Brazil
Kempe, Stephen; Germany
Blackeagle, Cory; USA
Klimchouk, Alexander; Ukraine (P)
Boston, Penny; USA
Kranjc, Andrej; Slovenia
Covington, Matthew; USA
Lauritzen, Stein-Erik; Norway
De Waele, Jo; Italy (VP)
Lowe, David; UK
Doctor, Daniel; USA
Mihevc, Andrej; Slovenia
Dreybrodt, Wolfgang; Germany
Mylroie, John; USA
Dublyansky, Yuri; Austria
Osborne, Armstrong; Australia
Eröss, Anita; Hungary
Palmer, Arthur; USA
Faulkner, Trevor; UK
Plan, Lukas; Austria
Ford, Derek; Canada
Sasowsky, Ira; USA
Forti, Paolo; Italy
Schindel, Geary; USA
Frumkin, Amos; Israel
Schwartz, Benjamin; USA
Gabrovsek, Franci; Slovenia
Sustersic, France; Slovenia
Gines, Joaquin; Spain
Veni, George; USA
Goldscheider, Nico; Germany
White, Susan; Australia
Groves, Chris; USA
White, William; USA
Gunn, John; UK
Worthington, Stephen; Canada


Issues with the journal “Speleogenesis and Evolution of Karst Aquifers” (SEKA)

Problems with the journal “Speleogenesis and Evolution of Karst Aquifers” have been reported and discussed during the Commission meeting in Brno (see the Commission report for details). The originally adopted publication model for the journal was based on the fact that SEKA was the only online journal in the field at the time (in 2003), so it focused on revitalizing important publications from sister paper-only journals and otherwise obscured sources by making them available online. Now, when other main karst/cave journals have moved to the online open access mode and managed to get on the ISI listing, republishing papers online from the sister journals does make sense any more, but submissions of original quality papers naturally go to the journals that have an ISI impact factor. In this situation, SEKA journal has been facing increasing difficulties in maintaining high scientific level of its content and publication regularity.

The discussion during the Brno meeting has revealed a consensus on the validity of the presented problem analysis. Several colleagues have underscored an important role that SEKA has played in promoting speleogenesis and broader karst and cave studies, and also in promoting an online open access publication model in the field. In view of the lack of an institutional support for the SEKA continuation and of doubtfulness on the need for another impact factor journal in the field, the discussion at the meeting has supported a proposal to cease the SEKA publication.  It was recommended to maintain an access to the journal archive (12 issues) and further focus in the Speleogenesis website on featuring selected publications from various sources, which are important to the field of speleogenesis and karst hydrogeology and evolution.

Future meetings

The KHS Commission is co-sponsoring several important events to be held in the next few years:

International Symposium on Hierarchical Flow Systems in Karst Regions will be held at the Eotvos Lorand University Budapest, Hungary, 2-7 September 2013 (co-sponsored by the IAH Karst Commission and the UIS KHS Commission; contacts: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.);

International Conference on Hypogene Cave Morphologies, Bahamas, 2-7 February 2014 (co-sponsored by the US Karst Water Institute and the UIS KHS Commission; contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.);

International Symposium on Karst Hydrogeology, Birmingham, UK, 23-25 June 2015 (being organized by the University of Birmingham, co-sponsored by the IAH Karst Commission, IGCP-598 and the UIS KHS Commission; contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Deep Karst 2016: Origins, Resources, and Management of Hypogene Karst, Carlsbad, New Mexico USA,  11-14 April 2016, (organized by the US National Cave and Karst Research Institute on behalf of the UIS KHS Commission; contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

The KHS Commission is interested to sponsor other meetings with significant karst hydrogeology and speleogenesis components. If you have suggestions, please, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Other activities

The main activities of the KHS Commission are aimed to facilitate exchange of information and communication between individual researchers and research teams and to maintain favorable environment for emergence of various collaboration initiatives and projects. The Commission efficiently performs this role by developing and maintaining a web-based portal Speleogenesis.info (scientific network). The site has become a major hub of activity and information not only for the KHS Commission but for much wider circles of scholars and institutions involved into karst and geospeleology studies. In 2012, the IAH Commission on Karst Hydrogeology has officially joined the UIS KHS Commission in supporting the Speleogenesis.info website, which is now maintained as a joint project of the two commissions.

There has been a big ramp-up in the website development during the report period leading to dramatic enhancement in the site’s functionality and design. Speleogenesis.info now hosts a wide array of important services and tools designed to gather, consolidate and disseminate various information related to karstology and geospeleology, and to support collaborative projects. Most of these services and resources allow distributed input, which means that registered members can directly submit/post information items. There is an ongoing effort to develop a Speleogenesis Projects system on the site, aimed to serve to the formation and management of various kinds of projects on initiatives of the Commission members. 

All Speleogenesis members are encouraged to actively participate in further development of these resources and tools, and offer other initiatives that would help to pursue the Commission goals. 


Starting from 2012, two companies have become the UIS KHS Commission sponsors:
MWH Global – a global leader in wet infrastructure (Dr. David Evans);
Enviroscan, Inc. - nonintrusive, nondestructive geophysics (Dr. Timothy D. Bechtel).

Financial support provided by our sponsors in 2012 has been aimed and directed to further developments of the Speleogenesis.info website.

Also, the Commission received funds from UIS in 2012 to reimburse the website hosting costs during 2008 – 2012. The UIS also confirmed that it will cover these expenses during the coming years, at least till 2017.

On behalf of the Commission, I sincerely thank our Sponsors for their valuable support!

Concluding remarks

The UIS KHS Commission continued to be very active during the reporting period. It has successfully performed its role in advancing studies in the field of karst hydrogeology and speleogenesis and in fostering scientific cooperation in the field. Intense publication and organizational activity of many Commission members has successfully promoted the roles of speleogenetic studies in karst hydrogeology and geomorphology, aquifer/reservoir characterization and geological engineering. The importance of speleogenetic studies is getting increasingly recognized in the broad geoscience community.  The topic remains fresh and intensely evolving.

As a Commission President, I am deeply indebted to many colleagues, especially to the Commission core members, for their strong support, encouragement and cooperation in pursuing the Commission goals and tasks.

Alexander Klimchouk
President, UIS KHS Commission