The St-Benoît spring of Digne-les-Bains

The spring gushes out of the ground in the park from the geological museum near Digne-les-Bains (South French Alps).
It is in the territory of the
Réserve Géologique de Haute-Provence”. 

Geological context

The locally observed
rocks are dated from the secondary era. They were formed between the Triassic ( - 250 million years)
and the Jurassic ( - 145 million years). There are three sorts of rocks : clays, limestone and an alternation of marls and limestone.

Hydrogeologic context

The catchment area 1 from the St-Benoît spring is the Givaudan synclinal 2, that is to say the Siron Mountain. In this area the rainwater infiltrates in depth where it circulates then, to finally arise to the spring. The underground rocks where the water circulates are called aquifer.

1 Catchment area ("bassin hydrogeologique"): topographic area which collects the rain waters, which will infiltrate into the mountain and then supply the spring.

2 Synclinal : geological structure in form of a drainpipe.


The St Benoît spring’s characteristics …

The spring water is drinkable, it supplies the geological park’s administrative buildings. It is also used to decorate the park: for the water path, the fountains, the Japanese garden and other works of art.
This source is petrifying, i.e. that at the exit of water rocks are formed, called tuffs or travertines.