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The 2018 Gouffre George Expedition

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The 2018 Gouffre George Expedition in the French Pyrenees was led by Dr. Eric Ferré, the new Director of the School of Geosciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. This international expedition also involved Dr. Riccardo Asti (University of Rennes, France), Dr. Flora Bajolet and Michel de Saint Blanquat (University of Toulouse, France), Dr. Michal Gallay and Mr. Jozef Supinski (Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, Slovakia) and the Haut Sabarthez caving club (Robert, Maryse and Vincent Guinot, Nicolas Clement, Irene Baiche, Patrick Sorriaux, Laurent Danière and Michel). The scientific team used single rope technique to gain access to deep parts of this exceptional cave (total depth of approximately 724 m). The scientists from Slovakia surveyed the cave with a 3D LIDAR system. Most caves form in limestone but this one formed along the contact between deep rocks from the mantle (in blue in the image below) and marbles (in green in the image below). The team of scientists explored the cave to unravel the early extensional tectonic history of the Pyrenees. 

View a news article and video (in French) about the expedition on the La Dépêche webpage.

A few expedition photos, provided by Dr. Ferré, follow.