Gouffre de Saint-Sauveur

Useful Information

Location: Regional Park of Causses du Quercy.
(44.790330, 1.568859)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstKarst Spring KarstVauclusian Spring
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=30 m, W=25 m, A=112 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Gouffre de Saint-Sauveur, Calès.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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31-MAY-2005 explored by cave divers.


The Gouffre de Saint-Sauveur is the resurgence of the river Ouysse, a tributary of the Dordogne. The catchment area is the Causse de Gramat. The spectacular blue pot has been explored by cave divers, but it is very deep and so the diving ended pretty fast. They followed the passage for 700 m where it plunges to −180 m, 70 m below sea level, which is about the maximum depth currently possible for divers. Due to the hydrological features of the area a total size of 42 km of the cave system are estimated. A much bigger part of the system is known from the other end at the Pertes de Thémines (Sinks of Thémines).

The spring of the Ouysse river is at the village Anglars in the foothills of the Massif Central. This area is not karstified and so the river flows above ground for 9 km. At the village of Thémines it vanishes in river sinks. It reappears in several karst springs and then flows into on the surface to the Dordogne.

About 750 m from the spring the water from the spring meets the branch from the nearby spring résurgence de Cabouy. It is comparable in size, it also forms a pool with a diameter of 30 m. This spring is seasonal and falls dry during summer. Another Vauclusian karst spring is the Gouffre de Pouymessens, a vertical shaft with a lake at the bottom. This is actually an estavelle, as it is normally inactive, during rainy days the small stream that forms in the valley sinks into the chasm, but during strong floods the shaft functions as a resurgence. The waterfilled cave was explored in numerous dives since 1976.