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Monts d’Ardèche Global Geopark

Monts d’Ardèche is France’s fifth Global Geopark and the first one outside the Alps. It is located on the eastern edge of the Massif Central at the interface between the Rhône valley and the uplands of the Massif. It covers 2,200 square kilometers of low mountains with steep slopes. Landcapes are marked by dry-stone terraces and cultivated chestnut trees. The Monts d’Ardèche are representative of the long-term geological and geomorphological history of South-Eastern France. The Earth history visible in the Geopark dates back to the constitution of the Variscan Chain, some 500 million years ago and includes marine and reef episodes. But volcanism is the major feature here, and the Geopark includes two distinct and major sets of volcanism-issued landscapes: the “Sucs” (Miocene 23 to 5.3 million years ago) and the so-called “Ardèche young volcanoes” (Pleistocene 126,000 to 11,000 years ago).

 

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