In 2007, Jean-Yves Gouttebel, Chairman of the Departmental Council, initiated the project to register the Chaîne des Puys - Limagne Fault UNESCO World Heritage.
This Sunday, July 1, and no later than Monday, July 2, the World Heritage Committee, meeting in Bahrain, will make its final decision.
To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must meet at least one of the ten selection criteria defined by Unesco. The quality of the tectono-volcanic ensemble of the Chaîne des Puys and the Limagne Fault could reside in criterion (VII) through its scenic qualities but also in criterion (VIII) because of its geological originality and its scientific importance .
No other place on Earth can see so clearly the complete course of the rupture of a continent: from the fracturing of the Earth's crust - the Limagne Fault - to the rise of the magmas massively raising the surface - the Chaîne des Puys and its 90 volcanoes and the Montagne de la Serre, an inverted relief.
Tectono-volcanic ensemble of the Chaîne des Puys & the Limagne Fault / County Council of Puy-de-Dôme
The collapsing plain of La Limagne is dotted with hills of volcanic origin, and tabular plateaus, remains of inverted relief lava flows, such as the Gergovie plateau and the Montagne de La Serre.
Volcanic activity occurred mainly during the lower Miocene, between 24 and 13 million years ago.
Scaling of Pre-rift and Post-rift volcanism, interspersed with a period of sedimentation - Doc .BRGM
Schematic evolution of The collapsing plain of La Limagne, respectively 27 Ma, 17 Ma, 3 Ma and 600,000 years - a click on the thumbnails to enlarge Schematic evolution of The collapsing plain of La Limagne, respectively there at 27 Ma, 17 Ma, 3 Ma and 600,000 years - click on the thumbnails to enlarge
A band of 3 to 5 km wide by nearly 46 km, lying north-south, parallel to the fault line, supports the 90 volcanoes of the chain of Puys.
Volcanoes show various types of structures: Strombolian cones with craters and their lava flows, lava domes, and maars, craters of explosions.
Recent dating techniques give us a calibration that ranges from 250,000 years for the oldest castings to 7,000 years for the Pavin group (M.Krafft).
The various geological highlights of the Unesco project: The fault and the plain of La Limagne, the chain of Puys, the inverted reliefs of the plateau of Gergovie and the Mountain of La Serre
The complete file "Management plan of the application on the list of the World Heritage" is accessible of a click on this link.
The favorable opinion of IUCN will serve as a basis for the 21 countries on the World Heritage Committee to decide on the outstanding universal value of the Chaîne des Puys-Faille of Limagne.
- Clermont-Auvergne Tourism - Candidature UNESCO Chaîne des Puys- Faille de Limagne - link
- Puy de Dôme - Unesco project - link
- Facebook - page For the Chaîne des Puys to be recognized as UNESCO World Heritage - link
- Guide to European and Canary Island Volcanoes - M.Krafft and F.D. Larouzière - Ed. Delachaux & Niestlé
Origins of earth - Chaine des Puys & Faille de Limagne / Puy-de-Dôme county council