National heritage will soon allow new members. Alongside churches, castles, small flowers, trees and birds, there will be stones. It is precisely that come to the French geologists, last week. The history museum natural, the mining Office BRGM and the State launched the inventory of resources across the national territory. "Geological history of Earth, it shapes the landscape. But this heritage is well known and less protected than others", argues Pierre Nehlig's BRGM. The democracy of proximity (read opposite) Act of 27 February 2002 legally registered the duty of this census.
Researchers rely on associations and local communities to perform this work of Ant for years. BRGM developed software to help geologists to field to describe sites or expand the information on those already well known. This program will not shock the scientific knowledge. As Patrick De Wever of the Museum, geologists scour mass for two centuries.
Specialized maps exist for a long time and the BRGM end in 2009 mapping in 60 France to 50/1,000 cards. "But these works had a vocation scientific and especially applied." Countless surveys and drilling of the Parisian basin had a purpose oil. This was never concerned heritage aspects, warns Patrick De Wever by a historical parallel. It's like Mérimée in his Tower of France, monuments already existed but it is his census which inspired inventory of historical monuments. "Fact sheets for example specify if this site has changed owner, if he is in good condition, if it is available. A geologist says there today struggling to bring its students walk on the margin of the Vercors because of reforestation of this geological anomaly very interesting.
In each region, the associations will then establish a classification, type "Michelin", in the interest of the sites. Some will be locally as teachers interested to show an example of fault, slab fossil or Syncline. Other regional interest will attract more far. The most remarkable sites will be classified international or national interest. Course will include the "stars" of Geology as a major Alpine strata, the ammonites of Haute Provence tiles, basalt organs or volcanoes. Less known, geology can also study on the walls of historic monuments. Built heritage is widely used in the basement, there are original rocks as the Breton Calvary scenes kersantite. Some walls also contain fossils.
We can criticize the superficial vision of this inventory that ignores the basement since only exposed sites will be listed. "What are those on the surface which are the most threatened." "We will also identify the caves", relativizes Jacques Trouvillon. A geologist remembers from British colleagues observe fossils in a stratotype of the South of Paris. This type of important outcrop is used to date geological time scale. Once there, the British found a roundabout built on it. Britain also realized too late that the main career of kersantite had been rebouchée.
Brittany will serve as an example for the inventory. Very dynamic local associations began their work in 1994. Today, 153 sites have been identified including 38 national interest. The island of Groix is the leading figure in Breton geology. "It is a geological isolate which should not be there." "The scar of an ocean which is closed there is 400 million years and contains many rare rocks", says Patrick De Wever. It is in Brittany are found the oldest "pebbles" of France, two billion years, almost half of the age of the Earth. Other rocks more watches do not exceed 0.6 billion years in the territory.