UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
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Karstbase Bibliography Database

Featured article: conference proceedings
Audra, Philippe; Bigot, Jean-Yves; Camus, Hubert; Gauchon, Christophe; Wienin, Michel
Hypogenic speleogenesis with ferruginous ore. The piei mine-cave (lagnes, vaucluse, france) speleogenesi ipogenica in un giacimento di ferro. La grotta miniera di piei (lagnes, vaucluse, francia)
Mine Caves / Grotte di Miniera Memorie Istituto Italiano di Speleologia

The Piei mine-cave (Lagnes, Vaucluse, France) locates at the contact of the Vaucluse Mounts and the Carpentras basin, close to the Fontaine de Vaucluse spring. It develops in Cretaceous limestone (Urgonian facies), close to a main regional lineament, the Salon-Cavaillon fault. The cave was mined in the XIXth Century, giving access to passages previously filled with diverse neogene sands and massive iron crusts. The exploitation mainly followed the natural passages. The origin of the cave is related to hypogenic flow rising from deep fissures or hydraulic breccias, with ferruginous deposition at the contact or on top of the neogene sands filling. Microbial activity was present during the cave activity, associated to the ferruginous deposits. This cave probably corresponds to the Neogene period, when the Vaucluse plateau was uplifted. The Piei mine-cave record the position of the corresponding base level and thus the progressive tilting of the massive, together with a range of similar caves located around the western edge of the Vaucluse Plateau

iron ore; karst; speleogenesis; hypogenic caves.