Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM
GEOHERITAGE AND SENSE OF PLACE OF THE CHAîNE DES PUYS AND LIMAGNE FAULT: HOW PEOPLE UNDERSTAND GEOSCIENCE THOUGH BELONGING TO THEIR LANDSCAPE
The Chaîne des Puys and Limagne Fault UNESCO World Heritage bid is currently under examination, with judgement expected in early 2014. This step is part of a process of growing geoscience awareness that began just before the French Revolution with the realisation that the Chaîne des Puys (Auvergne, France) were volcanoes by Montlosier and Desmaret, a local savant, landowners and government officials. Very soon after, the area became an important site for geological debates such as Plutonism/Neptunism, Catastrophism/Uniformitarianism, craters of elevation/eruption, as geologists from all over Europe converged. Part of the very great attraction of the Chaîne des Puys has been that it is so visible, that the volcanoes stand out so sharply on a skyline at the edge of the Limagne Rift. This unique panorama has been deeply ingrained into inhabitants and visitors alike (skeletons in neolithic mass burials, found recently in the Rift, all face the volcanoes). For geoscience, this sense of place has been very important in developing a feeling of ownership and commitment to the volcanoes, and has helped raise interest and thus knowledge of the volcanoes. Walking on a summer's day in the Chaîne, it is possible to eavesdrop, for example, on school children discussing different aspects of trachite domes, or grandparents explaining a breached crater to their grandchild. At all levels, the general local public has developed a high awareness of their geological environment, that is also transmitted more broadly through sites such as Vulcania, Lemptégy volcano, or the Puy de Dôme. We will present the Chaîne des Puys and the Limagne fault as a site with outstanding universal value for its complex monogenetic volcanoes, as well as its exemplary rift fault. We will discuss the challenges and projects to consolidate public understanding especially of the Fault, which is a much harder geological object for people to become aware of. We would like to share our problems, progress and results with partnerships with other geoscience sites.