Geology of Slovakia

Slovakia is a mountainous country which is dominated by the western part of the Carpathians. Geologically the country is very diverse, a result of numerous geologic processes connected with the orogenesis of the Carpathians. There are volcanic and intrusive rocks as well as sedimentary rocks, numerous small and big patches of limestone and dolomite which are karstified, spectacular contact karst and an enormous amount of different ores and minerals, As a result there are numerous show caves and show mines.

The Slovakian Karst lies in the southern part of the country, along the border to Hungary. It has numerous high plateaus which are separated by massive canyons. This karst area, southern Slovakia and northern Hungary, is the largest karst area in central Europe. Most of Slovakian part ist protected in 14 State Parks. Since 1995 the whole area is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The other karst areas are much smaller, and contact karst is quite common. The High Tatras have alpine caves and ice caves.

Slovakia has any kind of resources, but the historic mining was concentrated on hydrothermal sulfidic polymetallic ores. There are many gold and silver mines, but also copper and iron. There are coal mines and oil deposits, there is even the only opal mine of Europe.