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An overview of the geology

The Normandie-Maine Geopark landscapes are due to global geodynamics and are indicative of aturbulent history with the formation of two mountain ranges (Cadomian and Variscan) at the origin of the Armorican Massif and the creation of the Paris Basin, a subsiding sedimentary basin. Following this, a continental geological alteration occurred resulting in the formation of the Pyrenees, the Alps etc..

The geological heritage of Normandy-Maine allows you to discover nearly 600 million years of history. It can be observed in rocks, outcrops, fossils and landscapes. This heritage has also influenced the settlement of humans, land use and the diversity of natural and cultural heritages.

Discover the geological history of the Normandie-Maine Geopark!

To understand the geological history of the territory, watch this animated film and you will go back 600 million years in history to the time which saw the formation of the Normandie-Maine Geopark landscapes.


 FOSSE_ARTHOUR_V3C3969_Preview.jpgTo the west, the Armorican Massif

is made up of ancient sedimentary, magmatic and metamorphic soils which have been deformed by two orogenies (Cadomian and Variscan).

The Armorican Massif is one of the segments of the great Variscan (or Hercynian) chain built at the end of Paleozoic times and extending from what is now the Caucasus to America.

On the Geopark territory, the Variscan chain incorporated a large block of the older, Cadomian chain, which was established at the end of Precambrian times on the northern outskirts of Gondwana. This mountain chain is itself part of the history of the Pan-African orogeny.



VALLEE_SARTHE_V3C4438_-_bd.jpgTo the east, the western end of the Paris Basin

Basin is made up of a stack of non-folded and more recent sedimentary layers, deposited during the last 190 million years.

The principally Mesozoic (mainly carbonate) terrains represent only a thin skin cover compared to the Precambrian and Paleozoic bedrock.



The border between the Armorican and sedimentary part corresponds to an erosion line, a consequence of deformations and climatic changes of the Cenozoic (-66 Ma) which have slowly stripped the cover of the Paris Basin making the heights progressively visible. The hilly areas of the Normandie-Maine Geopark and its landscapes bear testament to the legacy of a long geological history.

A Geopark is a region structured around a set of geological sites and landscapes linked with other sites relating to natural, cultural and intangible heritage.



Carte géologique simplifiée du Géoparc