• An increase of flowstone deposit was seen in Vercors cave, we intended to quantify it
  • That increase is associated to global changes, including climate and vegetation
  • A quantification method has been adapted to the subterranean environment


Calcite surface has been reported by cavers and scientists over the last decades. Here, we present a methodological work aimed at quantifying that growth. We suggest a method of draping old photographs of a part of the Gournier Cave onto a 3D model. This work relies on a collection of photographs taken by cavers. We have chosen to study a site for which the maximum number of photographs was available. The series of photographs over time makes it possible to overcome the limitation of calcite crust dating. The acquisition of the 3D model has been achieved using terrestrial LIDAR. Then, photographs were draped over this 3D model to digitize the calcite/limestone limit. The four pictures that were used span the 1950 to 2014 growth period. We demonstrate that the growth began before 1964 and that it is not directly related to an airflow increase in the cave due to the opening of a sump by cavers in 1992. The surface increase is ascribed to regional changes, but we cannot ascertain whether climatic or environmental controls are its main drivers. Furthermore, it remains uncertain whether an acceleration of calcite growth was driven by local changes induced by an increase in airflow.



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