Interaction géodynamique/karstification et modélisation géologique 3D des massifs carbonatés : Implication sur la distribution prévisionnelle de la karstification. Exemple des paléokarts crétacés à néogènes du Languedoc montpelliérain


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Scienes de la Terre


The present study addresses the question of increasing need in water supply. One line of research consists in investigating karst aquifers that represent significant water supplies for the areas around the Mediterranean. This work aims at developing a methodology of predictive evaluation of karst distribution and karst thickness within the carbonate massifs. It is based on the study of the Tethysian carbonate platform from the area of Montpellier, South of France. This area underwent a polyphased, complex, tectonic evolution, involving successive karst forming events. The approach is based on the relationships between eustacy and geodynamics, on one hand, and base-level variation recorded within palaeokarsts, on the other hand. Sedimentary fill of palaeokarsts allows to identify distinct karstification phases and sometimes to date them. It is a marker of base-level variations, which we attempt to quantify, that is responsible for karst formation and karst filling and sealing. For three palaeokarsts of regional extent, we analyze : karst sedimentary-fill, the distribution along upstream-downstream profile, the vertical extension of palaeokarsts, indicative of the base-level lowering. - The " Bauxite palaeokarst " results from the two-stage evolution of the " Isthme Durancien " : i) Bauxitic weathering of the Neocomian cover over the southern Massif Central , related to an inversion during Barremian ; ii) ≥1600 m uplift and exhumation during Aptian-Albian, inducing erosion of alterites, upstream, and deposition of detrital bauxites, downstream. - The " Early Paleocene palaeokarsts with marine sedimentary-fill " indicate base level variations of more than 350m in the upstream area. It is suggested here that such base-level variations, exceeding eustacy and recorded in tabular undeformed series, result from desiccation-flooding events in an endoreic silled basin. - The " Miocene palaeokarst with Cevennes-sourced sediment-fill " records a Serravalian-Tortonian base-level drop, depicted by canyon incision in the hinterland of the Gulf of Lion Margin. Uplift values of ≥ 400m upstream, about 250m in an intermediate area and 10's of m downstream, are measured. The present 3D geometry and distribution of carbonate massifs (exposed and covered) are modeled in the study area, from the Cevennes to the Mediterranean. The 3D geological model integrates seismic reflection, borehole and gravimetric data. Tectonic restoration of a N-S section, extracted from the 3D model, allows to reconstruct paleo-base-levels with respect with the carbonate massifs, at different stages of deformation and successive phases of karstification. The 3D paleo-flows through carbonates across the study area, are thus constrained, especially during the Messinian desiccation stage. Application of the results to hydrogeology leads to the following : - Uplift of upstream hinterland (Cretaceous, Miocene) produces large amplitude karsts, but they do not make significant reservoirs. - Karstification responsible for the development of important and deep karst reservoirs is related to desiccation of endoreic basins (early Paleocene and Messinian). - Theses two events have produced two main deep karst reservoirs, with a gravimetric signature : (1) Upstream of Montpellier Thrust, between Pic St Loup, Les Matelles Fault and Hérault Basin, a deep karsts developed over 900m thickness in the Malm limestone, during Paleocene. (2) Downstream (south) of Montpellier Thrust, the coastal karsts extend offshore over more than 10km, they are sealed by a thick Miocene to Quaternary cover, and they result from the Messinian event.


Flash flood, Modeling, Neural networks, Karst aquifer

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