Geological map of Europe (click to enlarge)

This geological map of Europe shows us that the geology of our continent is very diverse. According to the stratigraphic chart below, each color on the map depicts a geological age. For example, Jurassic rocks (200 to 145 millions years ago) are represented in blue or Cretaceous rocks (145 to 65 millions years ago) are in green.

echelle strati.jpg

(Click to enlarge)

Why rocks are so important? Let's start with a single rock.

Each country has to...

  • ... describe TWO ROCKS and TWO MINERALS (in 2 years) using a FACTFILE (a template will be uploaded). Altogether will be the VIRTUAL ROCK & MINERAL BOX (remember to make pictures of them!)
  • ... collect 6 samples (5-10 cm long) of these rocks and minerals and bring them to the multilateral meetings to help other partners to complete ROCK & MINERAL BOXES
  • ... make an interview to a geologist (and upload it in "A day in the life of a geologist" section)
  • ... explore TWO important geosites (rock formations) (list them and make a link to "Geotourism" section)
  • ... create (at the end of each academic year) an exhibition of the rocks and minerals all partners have discovered

Geology regroups all the sciences who study Earth: the geosciences

First step: external geodynamics (Landscapes of Central Var)
The pupils of the "Collège Pierre de Coubertin" share their work with you.

Second step: internal geodynamics (On the roots of mountains: the Maures hills)


Here you can download the sheet of rock sampling:



Rocks or minerals


  • Sample 1: Limestone (rock): Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed almost entirely of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), mainly as calcite.The limestone is a sedimentary rock of the ocean environment.

  • Sample 2 : Sandstone (rock): Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed of sand-sized grains in a matrix of clay or silt, and bound together by a cement that may carbonate. The sandstone is a sedimentary rock of the continental environment : beaches, seashores, lakes and along stream courses.

  • Sample 3 : Black schist (rock): Schists are metamorphic rocks that are not defined by mineral composition, but by the well-developed parallel orientation of more than 50% of the minerals present. The black schists contain many organic material issued from plants.

  • Sample 4 : Granite (rock): Granite is a medium to coarse-grained plutonic igneous rock composed principally of QUARTZ and FELDSPAR, with BIOTITE and/or HORNBLENDE as the commonest magic minerals.

  • Sample 5 : Galena (mineral): Galena is a grey mineral (PbS), the main ore of lead. Silver is a frequent byproduct. Galena occurs in the form of compact granular masses and is a typical hydrothermal mineral in medium-temperature deposits.

  • Sample 6: Sand: This sand covers the Rayol's beach between Hyères and Saint Tropez.
Sand is a sedimentary rock, but he is composed of many grains issued by the mother
rock: a schist who contains muscovite, quartz, staurolite and garnet. You can find this
minerals in the sand: red grains are garnets and black are staurolite. Staurolite and garnet
characterize the continental subduction of Gondwana plate under Laurasia plate during
the Variscan orogeny.

  • Sample 7: serpentine (rock). This rock contains essentially two minerals : Chrysotile and antigorite. This rock is a metamorphic rock: an altered peridotite. Originally, the peridotite contains olivine crystals and is a rock of the upper mantle. According to geologists, the Cvalaire's serpentine is a fossil of a very old oceanic crust. Included int the Maure's hills, these rocks are considered like an opliolite witnss. The ophiolites characterize the mountain ranges.
  • Sample 8 : Bauxite.

To help students understand how glaciers move, how this movement is measured and the consequences of the movement, French pupils were invited to use the iPad application "Glaciers" before visiting the badlands and the earth pyramids during the bilateral meeting with Italy (February 2015).
mineral (olivine/obsidian)

  • Breccia (rock)

  • Pumice (rock):

  • Scoria (rock): Scoria is highly vesicular glassy basalt or andesite. it is either black or reddish. A multi-coloured glassy surface is often seen on black scoria. Scoria forms in volcanic craters from fragments of glowing lava which to the ground around the vent.

Living Earth.Outline of the geology of Iceland. A. T. Gudmundsson. Mál og menning. 2013.

Icelandic rocks and minerals. K Samundsson &E Gunnlaugsson. 2014.


For much of the last 250 million years, the continental crust on which the French Alps are located formed the continental shelf beneath the northern section of the Tethys Ocean, accumulating thick deposits of marine sediments. During the last 50 million years collision of the African and European plates closed Tethys, compressing, lifting and folding the continental shelf, and exposing granite plutons which had crystallised below it.

Glaciation carved the surface, the glaciers have now receded to the highest elevations, and are continuing to retreat as the climate warms. In the Mont Blanc region the resulting landscape is a drama where Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous and Tertiary limestone cliffs stand to attention before the ice-capped granite, gneiss and schists of the Mont Blanc massif. Active glaciers demonstrate how their lower altitude predecessors carved the mountain features in colder times, while torrents and waterfalls wash their way through gorges, and cave systems, leaving karst pavements on the uppermost exposed limestone. (All limestone is vulnerable to chemical weathering, the alkali consistence of the rock reacts with the acidic rain causing it to dissolve slowly and gradually. The rock is removed in solution by running water which in many cases continually passes by it. The chemical weathering widens weaknesses in the rock causing great cracks and blocks to be formed).

  • Granite (rock): Granite is a rock created when magma cools at a certain depth inside the Earth's crust. Within Aosta Valley, this type of rock is mainly found in the Mont Blanc massif. Granite has a compact and solid surface and doesn't break along preferential layers. Its hardness is due to its composition, made up of particularly hard minerals such as quartz and feldspar. It is excellent for climbing, offering solid foot and handholds and providing an excellent base for fixing spits and other safety systems for climbers.

Mont Blanc granite contains small quantities of radioactive minerals, in concentrations that
are not harmful to man, but which have caused changes on an atomic level in the
crystalline forms of the quartz found in the massif, causing a brown colouring known as
Smoky or Fumé.

  • Quartz (Mineral): Around twenty million years ago the European plate met the African one, and ended up being submerged by the alpine plate that was, and still is, positioned between them. The rise of Mont Blanc began when the massif, which was inside the European plate, found itself on the edge of the immersion face. As a result of its size and relative lightness, it was undermined and pushed to the surface on the edge of the furrow, against the slopes of the alpine chain.

Inside the plate where Mont Blanc was (and still is, in part) buried, up to the 4807 m of its
peak, the massif absorbed an enormous quantity of energy and heated somewhat,
making fluids full of silica run into the fissures created by deformation. Quartz was created
by the slow crystallisation of these fluids.

It is thought that most of Mont Blanc Quartz was formed 18.5 million years ago, at a depth
of about 16 km, at temperatures between 400°C and 550 C degrees and at a pressure
between 400MPa and 500MPa.


Geology of the Alps. Bolzano museum.
An introduction to the Italian geology. C. Doglioni & G. Flores. Lamisco. 1997
Montblanc geomorphology and geology
Mont Colmet metamorphic rocks
A brief summary of the mineral occurrences and geology of Monte Bianco. M. Macchieraldo.
The geological history of the Alps. R Johnson.
Vollein: geology, rock art and neolithic culture
Andar per Sassi: geologia e geoturismo in valle d'Aosta
Via GeoAlpina
A stream over rocks


The uppermost part of the Earth crust in Lithuania has been formed during the youngest geological period (Quaternary) that began about 1.8 billion years ago. The biggest part of thickness of Quaternary deposits has been formed by glaciers; they where born in Scandinavia and a few times covered territory of Lithuania during the Pleistocene, the first and longest stage of Quaternary. The warmer period spans named as interglacials existed between glaciations, when sedimentation generally took part in the lakes, rivers and bogs. The thickness of Quaternary deposits in Lithuania is very irregular: from a few meters in the North Lithuania until 200 and more meters in the heights of Žemaitija, Medininkai or Vištytis; in the largest part of country predominate thickness of Quaternary is about 80-120 meters.

The main geomorphologic features of Lithuanian’s relief have been formed by glaciers and their meltwater. The biggest geomorphologic complexes of recent relief have been formed by Last (or so called Nemunas) Glaciation. All heights of Lithuania are as result of processes of glacial erosion, glaciotectonic and accumulation. The moraine ridges marks the margins of former glacial lobes or tongues; the moraine lowlands prevail in the inner parts of mentioned glacial forms. Much primary moraine lowlands have been reworked by meltwater streams and shielded by glaciafluvial deposits, or damped and covered by glaciolacustrine sediments. After the draying of basins, the latter sediments have been drifted into the dunes in many areas. The recent network of rivers was originated by meltwater streams during the later stage of deglaciation of territory.

The last stage of Quaternary – Holocene – started about 10 thousand years ago, when the climate become significantly warmer and relicts of the glacier finally melted. The intensive sedimentation started in the rivers and lakes. Big thickness of gyttja was sedimented in the lakes; as a result significant amount of lakes overgrow, transmute into the marshes. In Holocene the Curonian Spit was formed due to intensive processes of abrasion, transportation and sedimentation on the Baltic Sea shore. The processes of erosion, which continues until the present day, left the bright marks on the recent relief: the slopes of hills and valleys were furrowed by ravines and gullies or covered by slides.

At a present day the Quaternary deposits of Lithuania are an object of intensive human activity. For example, about 60% amount of fresh underground water thatLithuanians use for centralized water supply is extracted from Quaternary thickness and there are about 98% prospected resources of sand, gravel and clay.

Lithuania has lots of boulders scattered along the country, being Barstyčiai (or Puokė) stone the largest boulder in Lithuania.

  • Amber

  • Dolomite (mineral):

  • Feldspar (mineral):

  • Gypsum: Gypsum is formed from various brines and can be differently coloured. Gypsum is hydrous (hydrated) calcium sulphate. It is used for construction industry, medicine, art, agriculture, food industry.

  • Manganite (mineral):
  • Pyrite (mineral): Colour
  • Selenite (mineral)

Mineral reserves/resources of the Republic of Lithuania
Jurassic geological heritage in Lithuania
Most representative geosites of Lithuania
Stones in Lithuania (Wikipedia)
Amber road
Paleobiodiversity.Baltoscandian fossils on the web
Seaside Regional Park
Curonian spit
Struve geodetic arch
Vaclovas Intas museum of rare stones
Mosedis stone museum
Mosedis akmeny muziejus
  • Agate (mineral): Agate is a cryptocrystalline variety of silica, chiefly chalcedony, characterized by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are classically associated with volcanic rocks and can be common in certain metamorphic rock.

  • Pillow basalt (rock): Basalt rocks shaped in loaves and pillows. These forms are created when lava flows from a volcano under water and is instantly cooled.

  • Xenolith (rock): A xenolith (ancient greek: foreig rock) is a rock fragment which becomes enveloped in a larger rock during magma emplacement and eruption. In the Kaczawskie Mountains, near Wlen, Silesia, there is a place where large amounts of sandstone xenoliths can be found in basalt lava formed in volcanic activity of the Tertiary period. A unique feature of those xenoliths are cooling joints which are characteristic of basalt rocks but not sandstone. They split a rock body into hexagonal or 5-sided, 30 cm long columns.


1. Andesite
2. Calcite
3. Granite
4. Halite
5. Limestone
6. Rhyolite
7. Zeolite


Most of the rocks in Anoia county are sedimentary rocks.Some minerals you can find in Anoia county are...

Sample 1. Nummulites(limestone):
Sample 2. bauxite
Sample 3. Silex:
Sample 4. Gypsum:
Sample 5. Conglomerate:
Sample 6. "Spotted" slate:

You can know more about geology in our area at El medi natural del Bages: Rocks and minerals

El medi natural del Bages: Rocks and minerals (Images)The Geological and Mining Park of Central Catalonia and Manresa geological museumMinerals de CatalunyaFMF

2013/2014 Environmental camp (Cap de Creus)


  1. Geology for dummies. A.M. Spooner. Wiley Publishing. 2011.
  2. Geomythology: geological origin of myths and legends. Myth and geology. L. Piccardy & WB Masse.Geological society.
  3. Le tour de France d'un géologue.Nos paysages ont une histoire. F. Michel. Delachaux et Niestlé-BRGM éditions. 2013.
  4. Geología de España. Una historia de seiscientos millones de años. I Meléndez. Editorial Rueda. 2004.
  5. Salt. A world history. M. Kurlasnky. Penguin.2002.
  6. The fossil hunter. Dinosaurs, evolution and the woman whose discoveries changed the world. S. Emling.Palgrave-Macmillan.
  7. The changing level of the Baltic sea during 300 years: a clue to understanding the Earth.M- Ekman. Summer Institute for historical geophysics. 2009.
  8. Geology of the Alps. Bolzano museum.
Activites ready to use

  1. Dynamic Earth
  2. The core: good science and bad science in the movie.
  3. History of geology.
  4. Plate tectonics tennis ball globe.

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