Parc Naturel Régional des Monts d'Ardèche

Discovering the Geopark

Discovering the geosites

géosite du Mont signon

With the help of local geologists and academics, the Park identified different kind of geosites, which are notable thanks to their beautiful and educational qualities, and the fact that they are unusual.

As they enable to understand the history of the earth, their discovery will also allow you to get a better knowledge of the history of Man.

 

 

 

 

 

Sedimentary sites

jaubernieMost of the sedimentary rocks can be seen on the South-West part of the Park ("piémont cévenol"). These rocks testify of what used to be a sea environment, that we can identify as such thanks to the fossils.

With the aim of preserving them, these vulnerable sites won't be all mentionned here.

 

 

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Geomorphological sites

Chaos Granitique de montselguesThe history of the mountains of Ardèche is revealed by the erosion of the rivers which notch the block, the sedimentary cover and the volcanic formations. They offer wonderful views and outcrops which help us to get an extensive read of the history of Earth.

 

 

 

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Metamorphical sites

dents du MézencThe geology of Monts d'Ardèche is linked to the old hercynian chain, whose rocks were pierced by volcanic formations. The result of those volcanic and metamorphic episodes is an important variety of rocks and mineralization, often uncommon.

 

 

 

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Hydrogeological sites

fontaine eau chaude saint laurentThermal waters are one of the specifities of Monts d'Ardèche. Three thermal sites are used for the properties of the water (Vals-les-Bains, Neyrac-les-Bains, St-Laurent-les-Bains). The links between water and geology are present in other sites with, for example, mineral sources (la Reine des Basaltes) or others (les sources de la Loire). Their location must be put in common with the volcanic activity of the place. All of those sites hold an important cultural interest.

 

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The "sucs" : the volcanic sites

les 5 sucsThe first period of volcanic activity happened between 13 and 7 millions of year, around the Mézenc. It gave birth to a huge concentration and variety of volcanic signs, which are caracteristic of this region.

A bit more recent (8-7 millions of year), the landscape of "Boutières" were created. We call it the « Sucs ».

 

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The young volcanos

ThuyetsThe young volcanos of Ardèche are, as their name suggest it, quite recent (between -120.000 and -47.000 years). The basaltic flows produced by those volcanos testify today of the important volcanic activity which built the territory of Monts d'Ardèche, thousand of years ago - which means yesterday, if you refer to the geological time scale !

 

 

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Volcanos of Coiron

volcan de chirouze

On the west side of the Park, the Coiron started its activity between 7,7 and 6,6 millions of years. It is a plateau, made of old lava flows. Those volcanos are often impressive.

 

 

 

 

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