Water in karst environment
In recent years, especially during the month of August, we had to ration water use. Being the retreat located in the karst area, in times of drought the flow of water daily may be extremely low.
For this reason, we inform you that the possibility to use the showers is subject to other requirements (eg provide a water bottle to every person who needs it …) and therefore is not to be considered as included in the basic offer retirement to the shelter.
The “karst” is the set of processes of chemical corrosion caused by natural waters (from meteoric precipitation, or waterways outside the karst or condensation water) of particularly soluble rocks, especially rocks formed by limestone and gypsum .
Due to the solubility of these rocks, the water tends to penetrate into the subsoil, digging deep taxiways and subtracting simultaneously to water runoff, so as to determine a strong scarcity or even the total absence of surface waters.
The phenomena of karst therefore tend to result in the affected area an abundance of underground cavities and a number of formations on the surface related to the dissolution of the rocks, as well as a diversion of water to the lattice geological surface.
Insights: Karst on Wikipedia
The massif of M. Marguareis is located in the Ligurian Alps, on the border between France, Liguria and Piedmont, and represents the eastern end of the mountain range Argentera-Mercantour.
This mountain is one of the most important and most visited cave in the context of Italian and international.
It is over 60 km2 of karst, on average between 1000 and 2000 to 2200 m above sea level, starting from the summit of Ferà, passing through Colle dei Signori, Punta Marguareis, stretching up to the Passo delle Saline and the ridge of M. Mongioie in Val Tanaro.
In this massif there are many kilometers of tunnels, which focus especially in the caves that go the karst system Marguareis – Piaggia Bella – Labassa – Foce.
The complex of Piaggia Bella, with over 43 km long and nearly 1 km deep, is the main cavity of the system, but there are many others just as interesting as Labassa (15 km of development for more than 500 m deep), which is the natural continuation of Piaggia Bella, or Complex Herrenkohlern (5 km for the development of more than 500 m deep, which is the most western of the system), and many more, all potentially linked together to form a karst systems of the largest in Europe.
The explorations carried out from the 50 years by hundreds of cavers (especially Piedmontese, Ligurian, French and many others from various regions) have led to a good understanding of both the karst surface and the deep but have not yet led to the crowning a big dream: to unite the main caves of the system and, in particular, connect with Piaggia Bella Labassa
(from: Gruppo Speleologico Piemontese)