Our subsoil is criss-crossed by a great number of both natural and man-made underground cavities. Once forgotten about, these cavities risk collapsing, which could be highly destructive, especially in urban areas where the potential for damage and loss of life are greater.
6 July 2017
Cover of the thematic file

Cover of the thematic file.


Underground cavities: preventing the risk of collapse

Underground cavities and the disruption they can cause are a major risk to development and sometimes to human life. The prevention and management of this risk is based on scientific knowledge developed by BRGM.

A risk for buildings and the population

The formation of a cavity causes a new equilibrium between the elements in the ground. For all types of cavities, damage is to be expected as the mechanical characteristics of the surrounding material gradually decline.

Increasingly accurate and effective methods

At BRGM, researchers are working together to develop new processes to better understand cavities and reduce the risks associated with movements in the terrain.

Geoscience challenges