The effect of the Messinian Deep Stage on karst development around the Mediterranean Sea. Examples from Southern France
It is difficult to explain the position and behaviour of the main karst springs of southern France without calling on a drop in the water table below those encountered at the lowest levels of Pleistocene glacio-eustatic fluctuations. The principal karst features around the Mediterranean are probably inherited from the Messinian period (“Salinity crisis”) when sea level dropped dramatically due to the closing of the Straight of Gibraltar and desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea. Important deep karst systems were formed because the regional ground water dropped and the main valleys were entrenched as canyons. Sea level rise during the Pliocene caused sedimentation in the Messinian canyons and water, under a low hydraulic head, entered the upper cave levels.
Messinian Deep Stage, Karst development, French Mediterranean, Deep phreatic cave systems, Coastal karst aquifer.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Audra, Philippe; Mocochain, Ludovic; Camus, Hubert; and Gilli, Éric, "The effect of the Messinian Deep Stage on karst development around the Mediterranean Sea. Examples from Southern France" (2005). KIP Articles. 6514.