Evolution of a karst polje influenced by glaciation: The Gomance piedmont polje (northern Dinaric Alps)

Manja Žebre*, Uroš Stepišnik, Renato R. Colucci, Emanuele Forte, Giovanni Monegato

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Gomance is a piedmont karst polje in the northern Dinaric Alps presenting geomorphological and sedimentological evidence of past glaciation. During the Pleistocene the polje was situated at the edge of the Snežnik and Gorski Kotar ice fields from where two outlet glaciers reached Gomance. The morphogenesis of the polje was reconstructed by means of geomorphological mapping, sedimentological studies, and ground penetrating radar (GPR) measurements, supported by hand-drillings. With GPR an almost entirely buried moraine system was also imaged and mapped, crucial in reconstructing the polje history. The depression was karstified and well drained without any surface streams before the Last Glaciation. When the glacier front reached the depression, the entire floor became covered by glacial and outwash deposits. Surface runoff dominated over karst drainage in a large part of the polje, particularly where distal outwash deposits with low effective porosity functioned as an aquitard. These deposits diverted surface drainage toward the lowest edge of the polje, which functioned as a ponor front along the entire length. The outwash system of the Gomance polje was active during the Last Glaciation as suggested by radiocarbon-dated outwash deposits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages12
Early online date14 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016


  • Dinaric Alps
  • Glaciation
  • GPR
  • Karst
  • Polje


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