Editions du BRGM: 4 new geological guidebooks to discover before the summer

Éditions du BRGM has added 4 new guidebooks to its "Geological Curiosities" collection: Parc national des Calanques, Parc naturel régional du Livradois-Forez, Indre and Loiret.
23 June 2021
Covers of the geological curiosity guidebooks of the Editions du BRGM

Covers of the geological curiosity guidebooks of the Editions du BRGM.


The Éditions du BRGM has published four new guidebooks on the geological curiosities of the Indre, the rich geological diversity of the Parc national des Calanques, the Livradois-Forez Regional Nature Park and the geology of the Loiret department.

Curiosités géologiques, a collection of 30 guidebooks

These guidebooks complete the geological curiosities collection which makes the geology of different French regions accessible to a wide audience.

The Éditions du BRGM aim to make a complex field of research accessible to the general public by explaining the processes of rock formation over geological time periods, illustrated by examples from the field. The books also include trails and circuits for discovering plants, wildlife, architecture and culture in general. All these different aspects are linked to specific local environments, which are often shaped by the history and nature of the subsurface.

Rediscover the geological curiosities of the Loiret

Pierrick Graviou, a former BRGM geologist and co-author with Nicolas Charles of the Curiosités géologiques du Loire, published by BRGM, talks about some of the geological features of this département.


Following the success of the first edition, Éditions du BRGM is offering a new version of the guidebook on the geological curiosities of the Loiret. It takes into account the latest scientific advances, such as the knowledge acquired about the formation processes of the Essonne valley sandstones. It also presents the new Muséum d’Orléans pour la Biodiversité et l’Environnement (MOBE) and focuses on the major floods of 2016.

The Loiret department has natural regions with very different geological contexts. The Beauce, Sologne, Gâtinais and Val de Loire have a variety of agricultural and built environments that are closely related to the diversity of the rocks that make up the subsurface of the Loire département.

After a presentation of the geological history, the close links between stones and people and the different environments, the book details 20 particularly interesting sites: the blue waters of Tavers, the swallow holes of the Loire at Jargeau, the source of the Loiret and the Dragon's Cave.

Curiosités géologiques de la Corrèze [Geological curiosities of Corrèze], by Nicolas Charles and Pierrick Graviou. 118 pages, 19 euros

Discover the Livradois-Forez Regional Nature Park through its geology

Restes de montagne vieilles de 350 à 300 millions d’années, le massif du Livradois et les monts du Forez sont riches de paysages très variés comme des cirques glaciaires, chaos granitiques, orgues volcaniques, tourbières, meulières, et rares associations de roches (néphélinite-basanite-mélilitite).


Consisting of the remains of 350 to 300 million year old mountains, the Livradois massif and the Forez mountains have a wealth of varied landscapes. This diversity is due to the geology, which combines rocks of very different natures and origins: old granite-gneiss basement, sedimentary formations of basins, volcanic reliefs and recent peat bogs.

The difference in elevation of the landscapes also contributes to this variety, from the vast alluvial plains of the Loire to high mountain pastures and forest slopes. This somewhat unknown region has a great wealth of flora and fauna. This sparsely populated area, located far from major urban and industrial centres, offers remarkable biodiversity.

This guidebook invites you to discover 22 sites representing the diversity of the geological environments: glacial cirques, granite boulder fields, volcanic organ formations, peat bogs, millstones, and rare rock combinations (nepheline-basanite-melilite). The guidebook also describes the uses to which these rocks have been put, to make megaliths, castles, churches, priories and traditional rural buildings.

Curiosités géologiques du Livradois-Forez (Geological curiosities of the Livradois-Forez) by Hervé Cubizolle. 118 pages, 19 euros

Geological trail in the Calanques National Park

The incomparable landscapes of the Calanques National Park are world famous. Nicolas Charles, co-author of the guide to the geological curiosities of the Calanques National Park, presents 4 good reasons to discover or rediscover this exceptional heritage.


With their vertiginous white cliffs, turquoise waters, bright green Aleppo pines and the rust colour of the highest cliffs in France, the incomparable landscapes of the Calanques National Park are world famous. Located close to Marseille, the second largest urban area in France, this protected natural area owes its uniqueness to the ubiquity of the abrupt rocky relief on and under the surface of the Mediterranean. The relief offers a wide variety of natural environments which allow a rich diversity of plants and animals to flourish in habitats that are intimately linked to the different rocky substrates. This coastal ensemble illustrates the important changes in sea level in relation to climate change over geological time.

The subsurface is also the source of valuable resources that the inhabitants were able to exploit very early. Although the emblematic Cassis stone has been exported to many countries, it has also been used for a less well-known purpose. Together with sea salt, it was the raw material for soda ash, which, when mixed with oil, produces Savon de Marseille (Marseille soap).

After a presentation of the geological history and the close links between stones and humans, the guidebook describes 24 remarkable sites, all accessible on foot: the Sormiou anticline, the Sugiton belvedere, the Cassis rock, the red sandstone of Cap Canaille, the tafonis of Figuerolles, etc.

Curiosités géologiques du Parc national des Calanque [Geological curiosities of the Calanques National Park] by Nicolas Charles, Jean-Joseph Blanc, Jacques Collina-Girard and Raymond Monteau. 128 pages, 19 euros

A new guide to the geology of the Indre

Nicolas Bost, a geologist specialising in industrial rocks and minerals, and author of books on the geological curiosities of the Haute-Vienne and Corrèze regions, presents the guidebook Curiosités géologiques de l’Indre [Geological Curiosities of the Indre] published by BRGM.


The Indre département is located between two major geological areas: the Paris Basin, the cradle of French geology, and the Massif Central, which comprises the remains of a very old mountain range covered in places by much more recent volcanic products. The subsurface of the department contains very different rocks which largely explains the diversity of the Indre landscapes: green bocages (mixed fields with hedges, pasture-land and woodland), cereal plains and numerous ponds. Between Brenne, Berry and Boischaut, the Indre has very varied landscapes. 

This guidebook on geological curiosities presents 20 remarkable sites to enable users to discover the Indre in a different way. Granitic tors, dolmens or menhirs on the Aigurande plateau, the large cereal plains of Levroux, iron, fluorite and barite mined for centuries, are all linked to the region's rich past. This memory is recorded in the rocks of the Indre, resulting from a complex evolution over nearly 500 million years. 

Curiosités géologiques de la Corrèze (Geological curiosities of Indre) by Nicolas Bost. 118 pages, 19 euros

Order the geological guides

To order books, maps and popular science material, place an order with BRGM Editions.

BRGM Editions 2021 catalogue

BRGM Editions 2021 catalogue.


New catalogue from Éditions du BRGM

The new Éditions du BRGM catalogue is now available. It includes geological maps, introductions to the Earth sciences, discovery of the geological heritage, scientific books and books for the general public, and the journal Geosciences; overall, it offers a vast choice of themes and geography to all types of audience, from the general public to the scientific community, including professionals and teachers.