Geology of France

France has a rather complicated geology, and it is virtually impossible to explain much of it in such an limited space. Probably the most interesting fact concerning caves is, that they are located south of the line Basel-Bordeaux. The explanation is simple, there are no potential karst areas to the north. The northern part of the country are lowlands covered by clastic glacial remains. The centre of France, the massiv central, is mainly of volcanic origin, so there are numerous volcanoes including the one form the volvic advertisements. However, the volcanoes are more or less inactive.

Around this central core there are numerous hillcountries with a great geologic variety. Like most of Europe this area was mainly a shallow sea during most of the Mesozoic, the result are about four kilometres of mesozoic sedimentary rocks, mostly limestones, sandstones and marls. Numerous areas are formed of limestones and are karstified. The main karst areas are Jura, Provence, Pyrénées, Massif central, Périgord, and Alpes du Sud. The caves are often large, impressive and show beautiful formations.

In the southeastern corner of the country, France has its share of the Alps. The mountain range actually ends in France, nevertheless they have several of the highest mountains of the Alps. And of course there is a lot of intersting geology in this young orogeny.

Mining can be found all over France, actually France is rich in natural resources and there are mines all over the country.