UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
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Karstbase Bibliography Database

Rodet J., Ma K., Viard J.-P.
Filippi M., Bosák P.
Incidences of the tectonics in the karstification of chalk limestones in the western paris basin: example from the petites dales cave (saint martin aux buneaux, france)
Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Speleology, July 21–28, Brno


The classical approach to study the karstification attributes a major role to the structure in the establishment of concentrated drainage of groundwater. This structure, essentially tectonics and stratigraphy, serves to guide the water, which gradually opens up these discontinuities to build a network, from the introduction to the resurgence. This too idealistic view does not reflect the complexity of the establishment of a karst system. Indeed, experience shows that some bedrocks contain karst drains in the absence of any cracking. What’s more, some conduits can go through the structural elements without undergoing any morphological changes. In the chalk of Western Paris Basin, the Petites Dales Cave proves an excellent observatory. We have conducted a study on the relationship between the main conduit, restitution collector of the underground system, and observable fissures in the roof and walls of the conduit. Along a drain of 421 m, we counted 374 fissures, the total length of which being a little more than 867 m. Examination of the orientation of the drain and fissures reveals four types of relationship: (1) parallel (2) oblique, (3) perpendicular and (4) no joints. No correlation could be established between the development of the collector and the presence of fissures, other than very occasionally or during episodes of overflow. In fact, the relationship between fissure and karstic conduit cannot be established, therefore it is necessary to introduce other factors in the speleogenesis, such as porosity of the chalky bedrocks, and the direct effect of the hydraulic gradient.

karstification; chalk limestones; Petites Dales Cave