Forming part of the volcanic arc of the Lesser Antilles, Guadeloupe is particularly famous for its active volcano, called La Soufrière. However, the archipelago also has several other noteworthy geological sites: basalt "organ pipes", ancient lava flows, fault scarps, etc.
Other things people are less aware of are the fact that the main emergent land-mass of Grande-Terre consists of a fossil reef platform considered as a limestone island, and that the Ile de la Désirade, which is half-volcanic and half-limestone, enables us to trace the origin of the island arc back almost 150 million years.
This guide explains the geological history of the archipelago and presents a selection of remarkable sites, which have been chosen for their scientific, educational and aesthetic qualities. The book draws on the results of an inventory of the main geological sites in Guadeloupe, carried out in several stages by BRGM, in conjunction with the geology laboratory of the Antilles University, the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Guadeloupe (OVSG/IPGP) and the French Ministry for the Environment.
The second edition of Curiosités géologiques de la Guadeloupe was written by Pierrick Graviou, a former geologist at BRGM, Séverine Bès de Berc, Associate Director of Overseas Affairs at CEREMA, and Erwan Bourdon, Geographic Director at BRGM.
A collection of 34 books
This book further enriches the Geological Curiosities collection published by the French Geological Survey publications branch (Les Éditions du BRGM). Les Éditions du BRGM aims 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 Geological Curiosities collection opens up the geology of different French regions to a wide audience. The books also include trails for discovering plants, wildlife, architecture and culture in general. All these aspects are linked to specific local environments, often shaped by the history and nature of the subsoil.
"Curiosités géologiques de la Guadeloupe", by Pierrick Graviou, Séverine Bès de Berc and Erwan Bourdon.
Éditions du BRGM - 98 pages, €19.