The national inventory of the French geological heritage, for which the BRGM has technical responsibility, now offers online access to data on 1131 geological sites in France.
20 September 2017

The national inventory of the French geological heritage (INPG - Inventaire national du patrimoine géologique) is a programme of unprecedented scope that aims to identify all geological sites of heritage interest in France and involves the entire French geosciences community.

As well as adding to knowledge on the natural environment, the INPG, launched in 2007 by the Ministry for the environment, meets the statutory obligation to make the information available to all (policymakers, professionals and the general public). The inventory covers all areas in mainland and overseas France.

 Volcanic organs of Jaujac

Key figures

  • 10.00

  • 1131.00
    geological sites available online

  • 400.00
    people involved

Open data access to more than 4000 geological sites by 2018

Now in its tenth year, the INPG programme is disseminating validated data on a nationwide scale. Data concerning 1131 geological sites are now available online.

This initial publication covers all or part of eight French regions: Corsica, Hauts-de-France, Mayotte, Normandy, Nouvelle-Aquitaine (Limousin), Occitanie (Languedoc-Roussillon), Pays-de-la-Loire and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (Auvergne). Data on the Aquitaine, Brittany, Centre-Val de Loire, Guadeloupe, Île-de-France, Lorraine, Martinique and Occitanie regions will go online in early 2018.

By the end of 2018, open access will be available to all data from the French geological heritage programme, covering a total of 4000 geological sites of heritage interest.

A programme involving over 400 people

Nationally, the programme is supervised by:

  • the Ministry for the Environment, which commissioned the programme;
  • the National Museum of Natural History (MNHN), which has scientific responsibility for the inventory and is supported by a national commission that validates the sites chosen;  the MNHN also distributes inventory data;
  • the BRGM, which has technical responsibility for the programme, designs the data entry tools and supports inventory projects.

A common national methodology is used for all inventories, which are coordinated by Regional Commissions for the geological heritage. Almost 400 people (mainly volunteers) from about a hundred organisations work as members of the commissions.