The Cocalière Cave (non equipped networks)

Potential classification : NATURA 2000

Managing organization : Community of Municipalities Pays des Vans en Cévennes

Presentation :

Flow dynamics of the epi-drowned zone

The Cocalière cave develops in the upper Jurassic limestones within a syncline open on the Cèze valley. The interpretation table in the San Sebastian chapel (highest point at 445m) provides an overview of the geological structure. The Cocalière cave belongs to a vast underground network developing over 30 km of galleries (approximately).

Scientific or educational interests :

  • Hydrology : Binary karst (fed by concentrated losses from neighboring non-limestone soils and by infiltration water from the limestone plateau) par excellence, all of the underground drains converge towards La Claysse and the Moulin de Pichegru (lasting resurgence of the system). In flood, a terracing of overflows is set up until using the Cocalière cave as a spillway.
  • Geomorphology : The Cocalière cave allows a privileged vision of the epi-drowned area of the karst and the flow dynamics associated with it (sediment transport, blows of gouges, pots, domestic corrosion …).
  • Archeology : Several underground and outdoor sites bear witness to human attendance from prehistoric times (dolmens, neolithic cave, etc.), but also more recent with numerous terraced developments testifying to intense activity.

Available datasets :

  • Height of water and temperature over the entire network (instrumentation project in progress)

Thematic key words : biology, cartography, climatology, geography, sedimentary geology, geomorphology, (pre)-history, hydrogeology, hydrology, impact on tourist numbers, karstology, paleoclimatology, landscapes, pedology, 3D digitization topology, territorial sciences

Keywords typology of sites : natural non-instrumented cave, converted cave, karrens, panorama reading landscapes, archaeological site, agricultural or pastoral area, mediation space.

Access modalities:

Cavities which are not fitted out for tourism are classified in a specific environment by the Sports Code (R212-7).

Therefore, group supervision outside the tourist circuits of furnished cavities requires specific skills, certified by a diploma (professional issued by the State or federal issued by the French Federation of Speleology).

Possible support :

Technical support during your outings underground by the Departmental Speleology Committee allows you to have :

  • skills to ensure group security,
  • standard and maintained speleology equipment (helmet with electric lighting, coveralls, harness, etc.),
  • scientific equipment according to your needs (topographic survey, conductivity meter, multi-gas detector, temperature and pressure recording probes, etc.),
  • documentation on the sector or the cavity (topography, bibliography, possibly a set of monitoring data)
  • in-depth knowledge of the places in order to optimally implement your project

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