Ardèche

The river Ardèche has its source in the Massif Central. In its lower course it crosses a limestone plateau. Then the Ardèche falls into the river Rhone.

The Ardeche once run on top of the plateau, but the erosion cut an impressive gorge. All the time, the river was the drainage of this area, and as soon as it run deeper than the plateau, the subterranean drainage of the plateau started. The development of caves is always connected with the level of the drainage. Along the ground water surface a cave storey was formed. Later, when the river cut its bed deeper into the plateau, the cave level became dry and the next level was formed some meters below.

Many caves are accessible along the valley, through the former water exits of the cave systems. Some more can be found on top of the plateau. They are accessible through roof collapses or shafts.


Image: The Ardèche valley from a viewpoint near the Grottes de St-Marcel d'Ardèche.
Image: The Ardèche valley with an almost cut-off meander spur.
Image: The Ardèche valley from a viewpoint near the Grottes de St-Marcel d'Ardèche.

Features of This Région

Grotte Chauvet Grotte de la Madelaine Grottes des Tunnels Pont d'Arc Aven de Marzal Aven de Marzal L'Aven Grotte de la Forestière Aven d'Orgnac Grottes de St-Marcel d'Ardèche Grottes de St-Marcel d'Ardèche Grottes de St-Marcel d'Ardèche

 Grotte Chauvet |  Exposition Grotte Chauvet |  L'Aven Grotte de la Forestière |  Grotte des Huguenots |  Grotte de la Madelaine |  Aven de Marzal |  Aven d'Orgnac |  Pont d'Arc |  Baume de Ronze |  Grottes de St-Marcel d'Ardèche |  Grottes des Tunnels


See also


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