In addition to visits of the old City of Lyon during the conference week, we are pleased to offer a variety of pre- and post-conference field trips with mineralogical and geological focus, but also historical and impressive sightseeing components. The programme includes one-day tours in the vicinity of Lyon or farther (Cap Garonne, on the Mediterranean Riviera), and several-day tours to, e.g., Brittany (Groix Island), the Swiss Jura Mountains, the Alps (Chamonix, Torino) or the Massif Central volcanoes (Clermont-Ferrand, Super-Besse).
These trips are listed below, with access to detailed description. Note that payment is by credit card only and that registration is on a first come, first served basis. Full refund is guaranteed in case of cancellation by the organizers. Note also that some of the registration fees do not include the train ticket (in particular to Nantes for Groix Island and Lyon-Toulon-Lyon for Cap Garonne, for which early booking with possible cancellation is recommended).
Deadline for field trips registration is 29 May 2022.
Gottes Quarry at Saint-Julien-Molin-Molette is about one hour drive south of Lyon. It is opened in the Pilat granitic massif, and is exploited for road construction. Finds are related to the progress of exploitation, and are quite random. Main micromounts are: anatase, fluorite (with nice violet core), pyrite, marcasite, synchysite-(Ce), quartz. In this quarry, thorbastnaesite was found for the first time in France. Each participant will need to have good shoes (security shoes), to wear a helmet and gloves (helmets can be provided).
In the morning, discovery of the Chessy-les-Mines mining site through rocky outcrops (the world-famous deposit, 113 valid species!), mine spoil and relics of the exploitation that extracted the world-famous azurites and cuprites. In the afternoon, visit of the mineralogical museum of Saint-Pierre-la-Palud, where the many other local mineral resources are presented. The geological context will be illustrated again with the visit of the nearby sulphide body.
Within the regional natural park of Auvergne you will discover a great diversity of volcanoes. We will do some nice walks in the Puys (Puy Tunisset, Puy de Dôme 1460 m, massif du Sancy). Most volcanoes are ten thousand year old and exceptionally well preserved. These fresh mounts offer exceptional landscape, on the edge of the Limagne graben. We will complete this road trip with mineralogical observations and visit mines, quarries, and mineralogical museums, also in the Brioude-Massiac mining district. This trip requires to be a good walker.
The trip will begin with the visit of the medieval city of Crémieu, well known for its numerous medieval buildings: delphinal castle, fortified wall, massive strengthen doors, covered market dating back to 1434, Augustinian convent, cloister, etc… The group of participants will have lunch in the covered market. The MINERALOGICA museum is located in the Templar castle of Montiracle. The visit of the museum will be led by its creator, with special emphasis on French specimens. It will include the presentation of the temporary exhibition for the 10 years of the museum, exhibition about feldspar and feldspar twins, especially the rare twins (Petschau twin, (1 1 0) twin).
15 & 26 July
The afternoon is dedicated to visiting the first buildings of the hospitals of Beaune, which date from 1443. They are organized as a museum today, showing the old sick rooms and their operation with their evolution from 1452 until the 20th century. Donations made by wealthy founders and benefactors are also present through the 17th century wall paintings, an impressive collection of tapestries and chests from the 15th to the 17th century. In the evening you will participate to a culinary experience with wine tasting.
We will do some nice walks in the “massif du Sancy” around the Puy de Sancy, which culminates at 1886 m in the French Massif Central. It is the product of a million-year old volcanism. In this volcanic environment (maar, lavas, cliffs, columns), we will especially look for mineralized xenoliths bearing microminerals (fluorophlogopite, zircon, titanite, pseudobrookite, tridymite etc.). You will appreciate the fantastic landscapes. This trip requires to be a good walker.
During this field trip, participants will dive into the paleontology and stratigraphy of the Swiss Jura Mountains. The visit of the JURASSICA Museum installations will include the presentation of major collections of Jurassic fossils (incl. marine vertebrates and dinosaur tracks), as well as excursions to explore the stratigraphy on site, including dinosaur tracksites and time for fossil excavation. Participants will also visit the underground rock laboratory of the Mont Terri Project, where international scientists come to study the hydrogeological, geochemical, and geotechnical properties of Jurassic impermeable clays considered for the deep geological disposal of radioactive waste.
The field trip at Groix Island, Western France, offshore Lorient, consists of two full days on the island (15th and 16th). The quality and originality of the outcrops make Groix internationally renowned for its eclogite and blueschist rock exposures, among the nicest worldwide. These unusual rocks tell the geological history of the Variscan belt over more than 300 million years. Most of the field trip will be dedicated to the observation of mineralogy (over 60 mineral species have been described on the island), metamorphic petrology (eclogites, glaucophanites, prasinites, micaschists, gneiss, meta-radiolarites…) and structural geology (boudinage, shearing, crenulation, brittle deformation). Note that geologist hammers are strictly forbidden, as well as any sampling of any kind: Groix Island is a Mineralogy Reserve.
The visit will take participants to one of the most spectacular mineral sites in France. Located on the Mediterranean coast, with scenic views to the Toulon bay and Hyères Islands, this small remnant of Triassic layers was briefly mined for copper between the 1860’s and 1917. Participants will visit the museum hosted in the mine, featuring displays about geology and Earth Sciences.
They will then walk in the adits, not opened to the wide public, to observe minerals and zoning in situ, including the very places where most of the 16 new minerals of the locality were found. Access is easy: horizontal and clean adits, high roof. For the visits, you will be accompanied by members of Association Française de Microminéralogie and Association des Amis de la Mine de Cap Garonne.
Lyon is located on the edge of the collapsed trough (graben) of the Rhône valley, on the eastern border of the Variscan Central Massif, with its Mesozoic sedimentary cover of the Monts d'Or and Beaujolais.
Since the Roman epoch, buildings have been constructed using materials extracted in the surroundings regions, completed with more “luxurious” stones imported from more distant areas.
A 2-3 hour walk in the Renaissance districts of Saint Paul and Saint Jean will reveal the large variety of materials used to build this city for 2000 years, including the reuse of materials coming from the dismantled Roman monuments.
19, 20 or 21 July
The field trip will give the opportunity to: visit the largest asbestos mine in Europe (3rd largest in the world), which is now undergoing extensive remediation works; learn from young students the history of the cement/asbestos factory “Eternit” and gain knowledge on the health and environmental related issues that target the factory workers and population; visit a nuclear plant, that has now a deposit of asbestos waste coming from the decommissioning activity. In parallel with the scientific activities, the group will take advantage of light moments of grappa-tasting at the “Magnoberta” distillery, a typical “piemontese” dinner, and a guided tour in the city in the foothills of the Alps, Torino.
The Mont-Blanc range offers magnificent landscapes which are an open window on the ≥300 Ma long geological history of the area. The present-day fate of the glaciers under the changing climate is also spectacular. The area is also famous for the “cristal de roche” which is collected in the mountains for over 300 years, and is the main focus of a mineralogy museum. The field trip will guide you in these spectacular landscapes with a glimpse of the geological and climatic history and includes a private visit to the new mineralogy museum.
This field trip is located in one of the largest coal basin of France, at about 50 km from the city of Lyon. The visit of four sites of interest is scheduled which allows participants to discover elements of geology, history and heritage of this area. The first stop will be at the Mining museum which was built over one of the last mineshafts in Saint-Etienne and that proposes permanent exhibitions on the mining history of the region. The second stop, located at the Le Corbusier stadium of Firminy, allows you to observe the Stephanian detrital deposits and to discuss the notions of sedimentation and paleo-environment. The third stop will be dedicated to the visit of a « burning » slagheap formed by the deposit of mining waste where secondary mineralizations and columnar structures develop within paralavas. The last stop aims to present crystallographic, mineralogical and palaeontological samples from the collection of the Saint-Etienne School of Mines.
During this excursion the participants will have the opportunity to reconstitute the whole history of the Hercynian chain within an area of 6km2 : the synformal klippe of Tournon/Rhône. This zone is located on the eastern margin of the French Massif Central and is part of a series of N-S aligned metamorphic units, dissected by dextral strike-slip faults oriented NE-SW. At the heart of the klippe, the N-S aligned metamorphic units are characterized by the presence of a Leptino-Amphibolic Complex (LAC) recording MP-MT metamorphism preserving relics of granulitic and eclogitic metabasite boudins witnessing the subduction/collision stages. On its eastern edge the klippe consists of extensively melted ortho- and paragneiss intruded by mantle mafic rocks. This unit is characterized by LP-HT metamorphism. The western side of the klippe is made of an important subvertical mylonitic zone trending NNW-SSE separating the granite-migmatite dome from the metamorphic units. The LP-HT metamorphic units, the mylonitic zone and the dome display the same age illustrating the last stages of the belt and the rising of the dome.
A nice trip close to Lyon can be made across a huge detachment fault, from superstructure, the Saint-Etienne coal basin (cf. field trip “Saint-Etienne”), toward the cordierite-bearing “granite du Velay”. The granite du Velay was emplaced under high temperatures (T > 800°C) associated with cordierite development. During that day you will see various rocks (coal and cinerite) in the basin, syntectonic granite, migmatite, beautiful landscape and the “Gouffre d'enfer” dam. This trip requires to be a good walker.
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