BRGM will be taking part in the 4th National Geology Weekend, a series of events across France sponsored by the French Geological Society (SGF).
Journées nationales de la géologie 2022.

National Geology Weekend 2022.

© Société géologique de France

With the planet at the centre of everyone’s concerns, the French Geological Society (SGF) is encouraging all geoscience stakeholders across France to engage with the wider public to make people more familiar with the beauty and history of our landscapes and the Earth’s precious resources.

Over 3 days, there will be opportunities to learn about the geodiversity of the landscapes where you live, through a wide range of events, including:

  • field trips,
  • geowalks in towns and cities,
  • visits to museums and quarries,
  • talks and films,
  • videoconferences and other digital events,
  • workshops.

Things to do on Friday 20 May

Events organised by BRGM are free of charge and open to everyone.

On this trail you will discover some of the extraordinary geodiversity of the Calanques National Park at the heart of the Provençal limestone landscape. This will be an opportunity to explore the park’s geological past from the Jurassic period 150 million years ago to the present. Rocks and landscapes have a history that will be explained through plants and human activities at the Mont Rose and in the Saména and Mauvais Pas Calanques, the disused industrial site of Escalette and the Adrienne Delavigne park.

More information 

  • When: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Where: Boulevard du Mont Rose, 13008 Marseilles 
  • Who: Nicolas Charles (BRGM), Jean-Louis Lambeaux (BRGM) and Francis Talin (national park)

Notches showing pedogenetic processes, solution sinks, mineral alignments and ribbons, and earth pillars, are all features that can be seen in the granite. Nature has many surprises in store for us. We have solved some of these mysteries, but not all. Fortunately, scientists are making progress all the time.

More information 

  • When: 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm  
  • Where: Rue Dour Ar Braz, 22560 Trébeurden
  • Who: Pierrick Graviou (former BRGM geologist and author of several books published by BRGM Éditions) and Odile Guerin

At a time when digital technologies increasingly influence our lives, a number of key issues still need to be addressed that are critical to our existence, including adequate food and shelter, energy production for industry, transport, and heating/cooling our homes, which leads us to the following questions: What lies beneath our feet? How do we find out about what lies beneath our feet? Since when have we wanted to know and why? What resources and challenges are directly linked to the subsurface? What are the implications of this knowledge in our lives? How important is it? Can we do without knowing these things? In other words, what is the use of this information in everyday life?

This talk will present a number of documents offering insights about the subsurface under Paris and the Île-de-France region. The methods used to produce these documents will be explained, from initial observations, maps and geological sections to 3D geological models.

More information 

  • When: talk for the general public: 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm or talk for schools: 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Where: 77 Rue Claude Bernard, 75005 Paris - French Geological Society (Van Straelen Room) 
  • Who: Florence Quesnel (BRGM)

Various workshops on geoscience for young and old: on a giant board game with a geological theme, colouring in of geological maps, Loire sandbanks and the geology of France, exhibition on the geology of the Loire Valley.

More information

  • When: 10:00-18:00
  • Where: Quai du Châtelet (opposite Rue des Bouchers)
  • Facilitators: Several BRGM geologists

The source of the Loire river is in the Massif Central and it flows into the Atlantic Ocean not far from Nantes.

Between its source and its estuary, it branches off sharply to the west between Gien and Orléans. A number of studies have suggested that this course was not always the one followed by the river.

Orléans without the Loire? The idea seems incongruous, but several researchers have in fact suggested, since the 1970s, that, a very long time ago, there was a flow coming from the Massif Central, not branching off to the west, but passing through the present-day Loing and then Seine valleys, to reach the Channel.

The speaker will present the results of scientific work on the evolution of the course of the Loire over the last two million years, constrained both by the geological structure of the Paris Basin and by the climate. This will lead into a discussion on the joint evolution of the watercourse and the shifting of the first settlements.

More information

  • When: 18:30-20:00
  • Where: MOBE - Muséum d'Orléans pour la Biodiversité et l'Environnement - 6, Rue Marcel Proust, 45000 ORLEANS
  • Speaker: Iale Serin-Tuikalepa (Doctoral student at BRGM and the French Museum of Natural History)

Things to do on Saturday 21 May

Events organised by BRGM are free of charge and open to everyone.

After 600 million years, the coastline of Plougrescant between the Pors Bugalé beach and the iconic site of the Gouffre will reveal all the secrets of its formation, from diorite inliers and dolerite veins to shingle bars and loess deposits.

More information 

  • When: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm 
  • Where: Route de Castel Meur, 22820 Plougrescant - Maison du Littoral carpark
  • Who: Pierrick Graviou (former BRGM geologist and author of several books published by BRGM Éditions) and Odile Guerin

A geological trip by car about the geological history of the Forest of Brocéliande, where you will learn more about the natural resources, both mineral and plant-based, in and under the forest, which have evolved over several thousand years. This is an exceptional site for understanding human development.

More information 

  • When: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Where: Esplanade de Brocéliande, 35380 Paimpont - Paimpont Abbey carpark
  • Who: Jean-Michel Schroëtter (BRGM)

Various workshops on geoscience for young and old: on a giant board game with a geological theme, colouring in of geological maps, Loire sandbanks and the geology of France, exhibition on the geology of the Loire Valley.

More information

  • When: 10:00-18:00
  • Where: Quai du Châtelet (opposite Rue des Bouchers)
  • Facilitators: Several BRGM geologists

Things to do on Sunday 22 May

Events organised by BRGM are free of charge and open to everyone.

The Livradois-Forez is a region of medium-sized mountains in the Eastern Massif Central. These mountains belong to the Variscan Belt, formed about 350 million years ago during the Carboniferous period. They were eroded during the Mesozoic era, forming uplands bordered by seas. The present relief was progressively formed over the last 35 million years during the Alpine orogeny.

The succession of glacial and interglacial climates over the last 200,000 years impacted the local geography before pastoralists and farmers arrived in the region around 7,000 years ago, making their mark on the landscape.

With granite massifs, volcanic formations, sedimentary basins and the alluvial plains of the Loire River, the Livradois-Forez offers a wide range of landscapes, which can tell us about 350 million years of geological history.

More information

  • When: 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
  • Where: Chapelle de Vidrieux, 42600 Lezigneux
  • Who: Hervé Cubizolle (author of the guidebook “Curiosités géologiques du Livradois-Forez” published by BRGM)

This will be a unique opportunity to learn about the magmatic origin and the innermost secrets of our coastline at Tourony, including granite, syenite, schliere, inliers, veins, notches and ripple marks.

More information

  • When: 3:00 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Where: Tourony beach carpark
  • Who: Pierrick Graviou (former BRGM geologist and author of several books published by BRGM Éditions) and Odile Guerin