the 'father of modern speleology
Speleology is the scientific study of caves and other karst features, their make-up, structure, physical properties, history, life forms, and the processes by which they form and change over time...
', was a world pioneer of cave
A cave or cavern is a natural underground space large enough for a human to enter. The term applies to natural cavities some part of which is in total darkness. The word cave also includes smaller spaces like rock shelters, sea caves, and grottos.Speleology is the science of exploration and study...
exploration, study, and documentation. Martel explored thousands of caves in his native France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
and many other countries, popularized the pursuit of cave exploration, introduced the concept of speleology as a distinct area of study, maintained an extensive archive, and in 1895 founded the , the first organization devoted to cave science in the world.
Amongst his exploits were:
- the exploration of the underground river of the , France (1888);
- the descent and exploration of the , France (1889);
- the exploration of the Marble Arch Caves
The Marble Arch Caves are a series of natural limestone caves located near the village of Florencecourt in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. They are formed by water draining off the northern slopes of Cuilcagh mountain.- History of exploration :...
, Ireland (1895);
- the first complete descent of Gaping Gill
Gaping Gill is a natural cave in North Yorkshire, England. It is one of the unmistakable landmarks on the southern slopes of Ingleborough – a deep pothole with the stream Fell Beck flowing into it...
, England (1895);
- a three-day visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...
, in October 1912 including barometric determinations of the elevations of the cave's different levels.
Martel bought the Gouffre de Padirac, and turned it into a show cave
Show caves — also called tourist caves, public caves, and in the United States, commercial caves — are caves that are managed by a government or commercial organization and made accessible to the general public, usually for an entrance fee...
|publisher=Delagrave |location=Paris}}, 400 p. (12 editions) |publisher=Delagrave |location=Paris |isbn=2-7348-0533-2}}, 580 p. (10 editions) (in collaboration with Lorria, A.) |publisher=Orell |location=Zürich}}, 200 p. |publisher=Delagrave |location=Paris}}, 400 p. |publisher=Delagrave |location=Paris}}, 80 p. |publisher=Carre et Naud |location=Paris}}, 125 p. |publisher=Delagrave |location=Paris}}, 180 p. |publisher=Gauthier-Villars |location=Paris}}, 70 p. |publisher=Hermann |location=Paris}}, 810 p. (in collaboration with de Launay, Ogier and Bonjean) |publisher=Baillere |location=Paris}}, 486 p. |publisher=Flammarion |location=Paris}}, 388 p. |publisher=Delagrave |location=Paris}}, 423 p. (Van den Broeck, E, Martel, E.-A. and Rahir, Ed.) |publisher=Lamertin |location=Bruxelles}}, (2 vol.) 1800 p. Mammoth Cave}} |publisher=Doin |location=Paris}}, 840 p. |publisher=Artieres et Maury |location=Millau}}, 512 p. |publisher=Artieres et Maury |location=Millau}}, 48 p. (2 vol.) |publisher=Delagrave |location=Paris}}, 600 p. |publisher=Artières et Maury |location=Millau}}, 510 p.
| url=http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k30780.image.hl.r=martel.f1149.langEN}} (Grotte du Dragon) dans l'île Majorque}}
|journal=Spelunca |volume=60 |pages=11–18}} |publisher=Gallimard |location=Paris}}