Paris Basin

The Paris Basin is one of the major geological regions of France having developed since the Triassic on a basement formed by the Variscan orogeny. The sedimentary basin is a large sag in the craton, bordered by the Armorican Massif to the west, the Ardennes-Brabant axis to the north, the Massif des Vosges to the east, and the Massif Central to the south.[1]:252

Domaines geologiques france
Paris Basin (Bassin parisien)


The region usually regarded as the Paris Basin is rather smaller than the area formed by the geological structure. The former occupies the centre of the northern half of the country, excluding Eastern France. The latter extends from the hills just south of Calais to Poitiers and from Caen to the brink of the middle Rhine Valley, east of Saarbrücken.


The countryside is one of plains and plateaux of limited altitude. In the south-east and east the plain of Champagne and the Seuil de Bourgogne (Threshold of Burgundy) differential erosion of the strata has left low scarps with the dip slopes towards the centre. The varying nature of the clays, limestones and chalk gives rise to the characteristics of the regions such as Champagne Humide (Damp Champagne), Champagne Pouilleuse (poor Champagne),[2] the Pays de Caux and the Pays de Bray. Map missing


The Paris Basin is a geological basin of sedimentary rocks. It overlies geological strata disturbed by the Variscan orogeny and forms a broad shallow bowl in which successive marine deposits from throughout periods from the Triassic to the Pliocene were laid down, their extent generally diminishing with time. Based on analysis of fossils recognized in the Paris Basin strata during the 1820s and 1830s, the pioneering geologist Charles Lyell divided the Tertiary into three ages he named the Pliocene, the Miocene and the Eocene.

To the west, the strata folded by the Variscan rise from below the more recent marine deposits in the hills of Brittany and, to the east, the Ardennes, Hunsrück and Vosges. To the south, it borders on the Massif Central and the Morvan. To the north, its strata link into those of the bed of the English Channel and south-eastern England. Other boundaries lie on ridges in more recent deposits and scarps such as the Côte d'Or (on an Alpine fault line) and the Hills of Artois which overlie the margin of London-Brabant Massif.

Oil Fields

Two large oil fields are located in the basin, one is the Chaunoy Field, the other is the Villeperdue Field, discovered in c limestone]] 1850 m deep.[1]:251

See also


  1. ^ a b Duval, B.C., 1992, Villeperdue Field, In Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade, 1978-1988, AAPG Memoir 54, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, ISBN 0891813330
  2. ^ Pouilleuse means 'lousy' that is, 'infested with lice' but its meaning has broadened in use to include 'down and out'. This is a region of thin, chalk soils and little surface water. The epithet indicates the extreme poverty of the region when the name was acquired.
  • Anon. Carte Géologique de la France à l'Échelle du Millionième ISBN 2-7159-2158-6
  • Dercourt, J. (2002). Géologie et Géodynamique de la France (3rd ed.). ISBN 2-10-006459-2.

Bathytoma is a genus of deep-water sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Borsoniidae.


Berrú leads here. For Max Berrú Carrión (1942-2018), the Ecuadorian and Chilean musician, see Max BerrúBerru is a commune in the Marne department in northeastern France.

Berru, along with the neighboring commune of Cernay-lès-Reims, is notable in the literature of paleontology as the site of a geologic formation (part of the Paris Basin) that has yielded a significant number of Paleocene-strata fossils.

Calcaire à Spatangues

The Calcaire à Spatangues (French for: "limestone with Spatangus") is a geological formation in the Paris basin of northern central France whose strata date back to the Early Cretaceous. Dinosaur remains are among the fossils that have been recovered from the formation.

Campanile giganteum

†Campanile giganteum is a species of exceptionally large fossil sea snail, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Campanilidae. This species dates from the Eocene epoch. With a shell length of 40 to 60 cm [1] this is considered to be one of the largest (lengthwise) species of shelled gastropod that ever lived. It is found mostly in the Paris Basin.


Cernay-lès-Reims is a commune in the Marne department in north-eastern France.

Cernay-lès-Reims, along with the neighboring commune of Berru, is notable in the literature of paleontology as the site of a geologic formation (part of the Paris Basin) that has yielded a significant number of Paleocene-strata fossils.

Cerny culture

The Cerny culture (French: La Culture de Cerny, German: Cerny-Kultur) is a Neolithic culture in France that dates to the second half of the 5th millennium B.C. and that is particularly prevalent in the Paris Basin. It is characterized by monumental earth mounds, known as enclosures of the Passy type. The term is derived from the "Parc aux Bœufs" in Cerny in the department of Essonne who authorized the name.

Danubian culture

The term Danubian culture was coined by the Australian archaeologist Vere Gordon Childe to describe the first agrarian society in central and eastern Europe. It covers the Linear Pottery culture (Linearbandkeramik, LBK), stroked pottery and Rössen cultures.

The beginning of the Linear Pottery culture dates to around 5500 BC. It appears to have spread westwards along the valley of the river Danube and interacted with the cultures of Atlantic Europe when they reached the Paris Basin.

Danubian I peoples cleared forests and cultivated fertile loess soils from the Balkans to the Low Countries and the Paris Basin. They made LBK pottery and kept domesticated cows, pigs, dogs, sheep and goats. The characteristic tool of the culture is the shoe-last celt, a kind of long thin stone adze which was used to fell trees and sometimes as a weapon, evidenced by the skulls found at Talheim, Neckar in Germany and Schletz in Austria. Settlements consisted of longhouses. According to a theory by Eduard Sangmeister, these settlements were abandoned, possibly as fertile land was exhausted, and then reoccupied perhaps when the land had lain fallow for long enough. In contrast, Peter Modderman and Jens Lüning believe the settlements were constantly inhabited, with individual families using specific plots (Hofplätze). They also imported spondylus shells from the Mediterranean.

A second wave of the culture, which used painted pottery with Asiatic influences, superseded the first phase starting around 4500 BC. This was followed by a third wave which used stroke-ornamented ware.

Danubian sites include those at Bylany in Bohemia and Köln-Lindenthal in Germany.

In Marija Gimbutas's speculative model of European prehistory, the Danubian culture forms the core of what she calls Old Europe, which she envisions as a relatively advanced matrilineal and "gynocentric" civilisation speaking Pre-Indo-European languages, which was eventually overrun by patriarchal invaders from the steppe, which she identifies with the Proto-Indo-European Kurgan culture.

Geology of France

The regional geology of France is commonly divided into the Paris Basin, the Armorican Massif, the Massif Central, the Aquitaine Basin, the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Côte languedocienne, the Sillon rhodanien, the Massif des Vosges, the Massif Ardennais, the Alsace graben (Rhine graben) and Flanders Basin.


Jargeau is a commune in the Loiret department in north-central France.

It lies about 119 km (74 mi) south of Paris.

Jean Tricart

Jean Tricart (16 September 1920 – 6 May 2003) was a French geomorphologist. In 1948 he became professor at the University of Strasbourg where he remained for the rest of his career. The Tricart's doctoral thesis dealt with the Paris Basin and resulted in a publication acclaimed in France. He collaborated often with his friend André Cailleux. Beginning in 1962 he and Callieux published a band of five works on the subject of geomorphology and climate, publishing the last one in 1974. The bulk of his works were published in French.Tricart considered that he had, 'a broad systems approach to landform genesis.'. This paper is response to Denys Brunsden's 'Tablets of Stone'.


Loir-et-Cher (French pronunciation: ​[lwaʁ e ʃɛʁ]) is a department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. Its name is originated from two rivers which cross it, the Loir in its northern part and the Cher in its southern part. Its prefecture is Blois. The INSEE and La Poste gave it the number 41.


Merialus is a genus of extinct squirrel-like mammals belonging to the order Cimolesta.

Meuse/Haute Marne Underground Research Laboratory

The Meuse/Haute Marne Underground Research Laboratory is a laboratory located 500 metres underground in Bure in the Meuse département. It allows study of the geological formation in order to evaluate its capacity for deep geological repository of high-level and long-lived medium-level radioactive waste. It is managed by the National Agency for the Management of Radioactive Waste or ANDRA (French: Agence nationale pour la gestion des déchets radioactifs).

Since radioactive waste needs to be safely stored for extreme lengths of time, the geology of the area is of utmost importance. Geologically, this site chiefly consists of Kimmeridgian claystone 500 metres underground in the Paris Basin. The exploratory work was for the Cigéo project which would store medium-level waste from 2025 onwards at Bure. These plans have been met with protests.

Oxford Clay

The Oxford Clay is a Jurassic marine sedimentary rock formation underlying much of southeast England, from as far west as Dorset and as far north as Yorkshire. The Oxford Clay Formation dates to the Jurassic, specifically, the Callovian and Oxfordian ages, and comprises two main facies. The lower facies comprises the Peterborough Member, a fossiliferous organic-rich mudstone. This facies and its rocks are commonly known as lower Oxford Clay. The upper facies comprises the middle Oxford Clay, the Stewartby Member, and the upper Oxford Clay, the Weymouth Member. The upper facies is a fossil poor assemblage of calcareous mudstones.

Oxford Clay appears at the surface around Oxford, Peterborough and Weymouth and is exposed in many quarries around these areas. The top of the Lower Oxford Clay shows a lithological change, where fissile shale changes to grey mudstone. The Middle and Upper Oxford Clays differ slightly, as they are separated by an argillaceous limestone in the South Midlands.

The Callovo-Oxfordian Clay also occurs in the Paris Basin (France) and it is a potential host formation to dispose of high-level radioactive waste in France.


The Seine ( SAYN, SEN, French: [sɛn] (listen)) is a 777-kilometre-long (483 mi) river and an important commercial waterway within the Paris Basin in the north of France. It rises at Source-Seine, 30 kilometres (19 mi) northwest of Dijon in northeastern France in the Langres plateau, flowing through Paris and into the English Channel at Le Havre (and Honfleur on the left bank). It is navigable by ocean-going vessels as far as Rouen, 120 kilometres (75 mi) from the sea. Over 60 percent of its length, as far as Burgundy, is negotiable by commercial riverboats, and nearly its whole length is available for recreational boating; excursion boats offer sightseeing tours of the river banks in Paris, lined with top monuments including Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum and Musée d'Orsay.There are 37 bridges within Paris and dozens more spanning the river outside the city. Examples in Paris include the Pont Alexandre III and Pont Neuf, the latter of which dates back to 1607. Outside the city, examples include the Pont de Normandie, one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world, which links Le Havre to Honfleur.

South Lodge Pit

South Lodge Pit is a 0.5 hectare geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Taplow in Buckinghamshire. It is a Geological Conservation Review site.This former chalk quarry dates to the late Cretaceous, around 83 million year ago. It is the only British example of a chalk phosphorite deposit, comparable to deposits in the Paris Basin. In the late Cretaceous sea levels were much higher and covered much of England, including Buckinghamshire. Marine fossils are found in several horizons, including annelids, oysters and bivalves.The site is on private land with no public access.

Unchambered long barrow

The unchambered long barrow earthen long barrow, non-megalithic long barrow or non-megalithic mound (German: kammerloses Hünenbett or Hünenbett ohne Kammer), is a type of long barrow found across the British Isles, in a belt of land in Brittany, and in northern Europe as far east as the River Vistula (the Niedźwiedź type graves - NTT). The term "unchambered" means that there is no stone chamber within the stone enclosure. In Great Britain they are often known as non-megalithic long barrows or unchambered long cairns.

Since the 1980s, barrows of the Passy type, part of the Cerny culture, have been discovered in the French département of Essonne in the Paris Basin. These are not, however, megalithic structures.

Neolithic monuments are an expression of the culture and ideology of neolithic communities. Their emergence and function are a hallmark of social development.

Wilhelm Philippe Schimper

Wilhelm Philippe Schimper (January 12, 1808 – March 20, 1880) was a French botanist born in Dossenheim-sur-Zinsel, Bas-Rhin, a town near the river Rhine in Alsace. He was the father of botanist Andreas Franz Wilhelm Schimper (1856-1901), and a cousin to naturalist Karl Friedrich Schimper (1803-1867) and botanist Georg Heinrich Wilhelm Schimper (1804-1878).

Following graduation from the University of Strasbourg, he worked as a curator at the Natural History Museum in Strasbourg, becoming director of the museum in 1839. The museum has a bust of Schimper at the top of the stairs.

From 1862 until 1879, he was a professor of geology and natural history at the University of Strasbourg.

Schimper's contributions to biology were primarily in the specialized fields of bryology (study of mosses) and paleobotany (study of plant fossils). He spent considerable time collecting botanical specimens in his travels throughout Europe. Among his writings was the six-volume Bryologia Europaea, an epic work that was published between 1836 and 1855. It was co-written with Philipp Bruch (1781-1847), and it described every species of European moss known at the time.

Schimper also made significant contributions in geology. In 1874 he proposed a new scientific subdivision of geological time. He called the new epoch the "Paleocene Era", of which he based on paleobotanical findings from the Paris Basin.A street bears his name in the Orangerie quarter of Strasbourg.

World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map

The World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map (WDMAM) was first made available by the Commission for the Geological Map of the World in 2007. Compiled with data from governments and institutes, the project was coordinated by the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, and was presented by Mike Purucker of NASA and Colin Reeves of the Netherlands. As of 2007, it was considered to be "the first truly global compilation of lithospheric magnetic field observations." and further improvements dated to 2009 relate to the full spectrum magnetic anomaly grid of the United States and also data of global marine magnetic anomaly.Some of the magnetic anomalies shown in the WDMAM generally relates to the altitude level of 5 kilometres (3.1 mi). Some of the significant features represented are of the Bangui Anomaly in the Central African Republic, the Chicxulub crater, the Thromsberg anomaly, the Richat Structure, the Atlantic ridge, the Bay of Biscay, the Sunda Arc and the Paris Basin.


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