International Field Workshop: Massif Central 2018

Welcome to the SFMC registration page of the International field workshop “Geology of the Variscan belt in the Eastern French Massif Central: Granites, Nappes and Migmatites: anatomy of a collapsing orogen (June 22-27, 2018)


380 € per person; discounted to 320 € for bona fide masters students (French M1/M2 or equivalent). The price includes travel in minibuses from Saint-Etienne; accommodation and breakfast (6 nights, Thursday 21st to Tuesday 26th), picnic lunches; 6 dinners; field guide. Transport from/to Saint- Etienne are not included.

The number of participants is limited. If you are interested to participate, we recommend you to register as early as possible. The registration form is available below.

Organising committee

  • Pr. Jean-François Moyen (Professeur, Université Jean-Monnet, St-Etienne & UMR6524 CNRS, FR)
  • Dr. Oscar Laurent (Associated researcher & lab manager, ETH, Zürich, CH)
  • Dr. Arnaud Villaros (Associated researcher, LabEx Voltaire, Université d’Orléans, FR)
  • Dr. Cyril Chelle-Michou (Associated researcher, University of Bristol, UK)
  • Dr. Simon Couzinié (ATER, ENS de Lyon, FR)

Provisional program

Day 0 – Thursday 21st June 2018 – participants arrive in Saint-Etienne. Overnight in Saint-Etienne (Buffet dinner, icebreaker).

Day 1 – Friday 22nd June – The Upper Gneiss Unit in the Lyonnais area and its oceanic relicts. The Saint-Etienne basin and Pilat detachment. The Stephanian Saint-Etienne detrical basin, the high temperature low-pressure Pilat unit.

Overnight and dinner in a country inn in Pilat hills

Day 2 – Saturday 23rd June – North-Eastern Velay. Klippe of Upper Gneiss Unit on the Velay complex and its contacts; pre-Velay granite in Tournon.

Overnight in Aubenas (Barbecue dinner)

Day 3 – Sunday 24th June – The Southern Vela y: protoliths of the Velay migmatite dome.

Overnight in Aubenas (Barbecue dinner).

Day 4 – Monday 25th June – Melting in the Southern Velay complex.

Overnight and dinner at Mas de la Barque, near Villefort

Day 5 – Tuesday 26th June – The Epizonal Cévennes unit. Intrusive plutons (Mont-Lozère complex) and epizonal schists, gold deposits.

Overnight and dinner in hotel in Cévennes mountains

Accommodation and transport

Accommodation in small hotels, country inns or bungalows in holiday resorts, shared rooms. Breakfast and dinners included (restaurant, or barbecue prepared collectively). Transportation in eight-seaters minibuses. Picnic lunches will be provided, giving everybody an opportunity to sample local products including goat cheese, seasonal fruits, saucisson and more…)

Participants must make their own arrangements into Saint-Etienne on the 21st of June. Saint-Etienne is connected by frequent local trains to Lyon, which has a train (TGV) station and an airport (Lyon Saint- Exupéry, LYS). For participants to EMPG meeting in Clermont, we can arrange (at cost) collective transport on the 21st from Clermont-Ferrand to Saint-Etienne (a 1h30 drive).

The excursion will end up on the evening of the 26th in the Cévennes mountains ca. 1 hour North of Alès, Southern France. Participants willing to organize own transport may leave from there on the 26th late (no public transport to speak of). The excursion will return to Saint-Etienne on the Wednesday 27th, driving in the Rhône Valley to Lyon and Saint-Etienne, so participants can organize transport out of Alès station station in the mid-morning, Valence TGV around noon or Lyon station or Lyon Saint-Exupéry airport early afternoon.

Climate and field conditions

Climate in early summer in the Massif Central is normally warm, in the high-20s, with cool nights. However, bear in mind that large portions of the region are above 1000 m altitude; an occasional thunderstorm or cold spell can happen all year round, so be prepared for the possibility of one or two cold and wet days. If the weather is hot, don’t forget a swimming costume (some outcrops are located on beautiful swimming holes along streams and rivers and some resorts have a swimming pool).

Most outcrops are located on the road side, or within a few hundreds of meters from the road. Light hiking boots/sport shoes are sufficient. Some spectacular exposures are in (fairly rugged) river/stream beds, so the less nimble participants may want to consider walking sticks or similar.

Registration form

The registration period is closed