Research program on vermiculations, co-ordinated by Pierre-Yves Jeannin of the Swiss Speleology and Karstology Institute ISSKA (2015-2018)

This is natural phenomena observed in other Dordogne caves and already relarked at Lascaux, these small descrete diposits, of a few milimetres, are the result of a complex phenomena of sedimentary particle transfer. Over Octobre 2009, the presence of vermiculations was reported on the room of the bulls. 

In order to better understand the evolution of this phenomenon a photographic study is regualarly carried out in order to surveil the areas which have already been affected as well as to decelerate any new appearances. This monitering work makes apparent the very slow evolution of the phenomenon, very few vermicualtions have been observed since 2009.

Despite being the result of a type of modern day deposit in the underground environment, there has been very little collection of scientific data in this domain. The scientific committee also wished to put in place a research program on the theme of the phenomenon responding to the expectations of the conservation of Lascaux cave. The research program  has been entrusted to the Swiss Speleology and Karstology Institute (ISSKA) has been given three defined axes: the study of the spatial distribution of the vermiculations, the hydrological, thermic and physico-chemical transfers, the physic-chemical and microbiological characterisation of the vermiculations and experiementation and modeling of the phenomena. The results of the study will help to define the spatio-temporal vulnerabilties of the cave. 

This research program will also be of interest to the conservation of decorated caves as a whole.