The Physical Geography of Western Europe

By Eduard A. Koster | Go to book overview

13 The Parisian Basin

Yvette Dewolf and Charles Pomerol


Introduction

The Parisian basin is a geographical entity whose limits are easily defined by the Armorican massif, the Massif Central, the Vosges, the Ardennes, and the English Channel. Both Burgundy and Poitou are transitional areas. The Paris basin, a more restrictive term, corresponds according to some geologists (Cavelier and Lorenz 1987) essentially to the Tertiary ‘part’ of the basin: the Île de France and surroundings. The relief of the Parisian basin results from two sets of factors: tectonic and climatic. These have operated from Triassic times until the Pleistocene and have led to the development of a geographically simple whole in its gross structure and form. However, within this framework individual natural regions (or geotypes) may be recognized.


Origin and Geological Evolution

The Parisian basin is frequently considered as a model for sedimentary basins, displaying as it does, a classic framework of sedimentary formations (Pomerol 1978; Cavelier and Pomerol 1979; Cavelier et al. 1979; Pomerol and Feugueur 1986; Debrand-Passard 1995). This is evident from the geological map of France (Fig. 13.1), and on the related cross-section (Fig. 13.2). Indeed, the section shows the superposition of strata in a subsiding area, with a maximal thickness (3,200 m) in the Brie country. This arrangement illustrates the geometric definition of the Parisian basin, an intracratonic basin, 600 km in diameter, limited towards the west by the Armorican massif, the south by the Massif Central, the east by the Vosges, and the north-east by the Ardenno-Rhenan massif. The following geological overview is based upon the previously mentioned studies and the geological time scale (see Fig. 13.4). However, the analysis of the evolution of these sedimentary areas from Triassic to Neogene shows that the area named as the ‘Parisian basin’ was included in successive palaeogeographies (which were strongly influenced by adjacent seas) and overflowed across the basement regions that now act as the limits of the basin. The chronological order of the geological formations involved in the evolution of the Parisian basin according to Robin et al. (2000) is used in the following text.

During the Triassic, the future Parisian basin was a gulf of the German Sea. This sea transgressed westwards and reached the meridian of Paris during the Keuper. The Lower Triassic (Buntsandstein) consists of continental detrital deposits: the Vosgian Sandstones, followed by the Bigarrés (Mottled) Sandstones, red in colour, and reaching up to 600 m in thickness. They constitute the present-day Vosges gréseuses landscape (see Fig. 13.2). They are covered by a conglomerate, then by the lagoonal and marine Voltzia Sandstones, indicating the beginning of the Middle Triassic transgression. The geological divisions in order are: 1. Wellenkalk, 2. Anhydrit Gruppe, 3. Upper Muschelkalk, 4. Lettenkohle (coal in clays) made of brackish clays with carbon vegetal remains. The Upper Muschelkalk forms a cuesta in the eastern Parisian basin (Fig. 13.3). In the Upper Triassic (Keuper), the lagoons progressed westwards, and reached as far as the present lower Seine valley. It was a lagoonal-brackish transgression, while the shoreline of the German Sea moved eastward. The Keuper is a palaeogeographical paradox; it consists of a lagoonal transgression westwards and a marine regression eastwards. The Triassic terminated with the return of the German Sea and deposition of the Rhetian Avicula Sandstone.

-251-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Physical Geography of Western Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 438

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.