Abstract

Many recent tunnel constructions showed that uncertainties related to karst processes are a major issue. The main problem beyond these issues is the poor predictability of the location and characteristics of the karst structures. Research progress along the last two decades, on the understanding of the development of underground karst structures in time and space, confirmed that the development of karst conduits is not random but predictable. Essentially, it is now possible to quantify the probability of karst occurrences inside a karst massif by identifying the few inception horizons that guide the karstification in regional scale, reconstructing the hydrogeolgical history and winnowing different speleogenetical zones. We present a ground investigation method that consists in linking various existing evidences derived from geological and geomorphological data to a probability of karst occurrence. This allows assigning a risk to some specific 3D volumes of a karst massif.

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