The previous name of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse
was "Vallis Clausa" or fountain on the end of the valley. The Fontaine
de Vaucluse is the source of the river Sorgue. Nearby, with the same name
is a medieval village at the entrance to
the closed valley at the southwestern corner of the mountainous Plateau
de Vaucluse. The location of the village and the karst spring is about
25 km east of Avignon. Karst spring
of Fontaine-de-Vaucluse gave name to karts terminology - 'Vaucluse spring'.
The source pool is fed by collective rainfall in the Plateau de Vaucluse.
The intake area of the Fontaine de Vauctuse system covers over 1,100 km2.
If the season is dry, at the source below the
cliff is the entrance into the cave
but at the maximum this source produces water of 200 cubic meters a second,
making it one of the most powerful resurgent springs in the world. Colored
dye has been used to prove that the source originates in the area
high up on the Plateau de Vaucluse, flowing about 20-30 km thorough rocky
underground passages before it arrives on the surface at pool. The same
type of the karst spring is Divje
jezero in Slovenia.
The Fontaine-de-Vaucluse is a collapsed
part of a cave system. In the case of the Fontaine a large shaft, which
was filled with water. The pool anf its shaft is deeper than 315 m. At
the moment the shaft is explored to a depth of 315 m. This exploration
was done in summer 1985, using a small submarine robot.