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Tébessa university
Tebessa university, Algeria
Setif 1 university, Algeria
University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France
University of Tebessa, Algeria
Laboratoire EDYTEM, University Savoie – Mont-Blanc, CNRS, Pôle Montagne, 73376 Le Bourget-du-Lac, France
Aix-Marseille Université, CEREGE - Centre Saint Charles, Case 67 - 3 place V. Hugo, 13331 Marseille cedex 3
Corresponding author
Ridha Mouici   

Tébessa university, Earth Sciences department, Fac of Sciences, Tebessa University, Algeria, 12002 Tébessa, Algeria
Mining Science 2017;24:59-71
Several sinkhole collapses were occurred in the many sites in urban areas and/or their rural periphery; in NE Algeria, in the last few years. The abrupt collapse causes damages to properties, infrastructures, and even lives. The most spectacular oneoccurred in February 2009 inside the Cheria city, Northwest of Tebessa department, with a diameter of more than a hundred meters. This abrupt collapse is due to a sudden rupture of the roof of a large underground karst cavity. It caused panic-stricken among the population living near the crater. In order to investigate the origin of this phenomenon, we combine several geophysical and geotechnical methods, such as Ground Penetrating Radar, Electrical Resistivity Tomography, Standard Penetration Test, Mechanical Drill Core, Cave Survey Photogrammetry, etc. It appears that each method may provide specific information. Their comparison allows to precise the results itself, the limits and the application field of each. Consequently a number of open karst voids and disturbed areas were detected in the study area. The results show that sinkholes originate from two different processes: a brutal collapse of karst voids located at shallow depth, by agravitational effect especially building surcharge on top of limestone. And progressive piping and erosion of the thick gravel cover, especially after storms making large depressions. The drawdown of the aquifer following intense pumping could have accelerated these processes. The extension plans of the study area could be established with this methodical acquaintance of the underground conditions of the karst cavities such as: occurrence, depth, geometry and dimensions.
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