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Furthermore, cave deposits are the only parts of caves that can be dated directly, as the passages themselves can only be dated with reference to the age of the host rock (upper limit) and the age of the oldest sediment deposits in cavities (Häuselmann, 2007).Dating is needed in order to produce a chronology for the identified karstification phases.Over the last 20 years, great progress has been made in the field of karstogenesis and in the development of multidisciplinary approaches to deciphering the palaeoenvironmental information contained within karst forms and formations (Delannoy of an international working group that was set up in 2000 at the 'Cave Genesis in the Alpine Belt' workshop in Habkern, Switzerland (Häuselmann and Monbaron, 2001).Comparisons of the methods used and the results obtained from one end of the Alpine chain to the other have provided an overview of the state of knowledge of Alpine cave genesis.Of the numerous methods that have been developed, the most commonly used is U/Th isotope dating of the calcite in speleothems.However, a major drawback of this method is that it cannot be used to date samples older than 350 ka (end of the Middle Pleistocene), and U/Th analyses of speleothems in numerous studies of Alpine karsts have indicated ages far beyond that range (Maire, 1990; Audra, 1994; Delannoy, 1998; Hobléa, 1999a; Häuselmann, 2002, etc.).The tendency before the 1990s was indeed to minimise the importance of pre-Quaternary karst heritages (reduced to Following a reevaluation of the pioneering work of C.Mugnier (1965), one of the first scientists to take an interest in the Mt.
The tests were carried out as part of a larger, international research project on alpine cave genesis.Al burial dating of two cave deposits in the oldest passages, widely spaced but belonging to a same gallery level which formed after the last folding phase, gave ages of 4.3 Ma and 3.4 Ma, indicating that these levels are of at least Pliocene age.In addition, the rates of denudation estimated according to the analytical data are unusually low in this alpine context but show an acceleration during the pre-Quaternary period of interest, ranging from 7 m/Ma to 14 m/Ma.It also enabled workers to identify and fill gaps in this knowledge, and suggested avenues for new or further research, while retaining as a guiding principle and common denominator the decryption of the information contained in the caves of the Alps (Audra, 2004; Audra (i) Geometrical (Goran, 1992): The position and three-dimensional structure of cave systems can be determined by applying appropriate analytical techniques (Hobléa, 1999b) to data on the most voluminous parts of these cave systems, which are accessible to, and have been mapped by cavers.The results of such studies may then be combined with indicators such as palaeoflow paths (., 'chemin de drainage', Choppy, 1994.
Hakim (1984), are about 90 mm/ka, or 250 (Hobléa, 1999a).