Fieldwork in Barrème, SE France

Unit code EART20300

On our Barrème field course you will learn how to measure and record geological information on a map, vertical cross section and in field notebooks, and usethis information to deduce the structure and depositional history recorded in the rocks of an area near the village of Barrème
  • When is the fieldtrip?

    The field trip is for 10 days during September in Year 2. Seven days are spent in the field and there is 1 day of classwork.

    Fieldwork will be from 9am to 5pm each day. Evenings are spent inking your data on your field maps, tidying your notebook observations and interpretations, and planning your next day's activities.

  • Where is the fieldtrip?

    You will be staying at Fontchaude, 04330 Senez, France. 

    Accommodation is catered. You will need to bring a sleeping bag, pillow case and towel.

  • How will we travel to Barrème?

    Travel to and from Barrème will be by plane to Nice and then by coach to Barrème. Further details will be provided closer to the time of the trip.

  • What will I learn?

    You will be a summary of skills and trained in:

    • collection and recording of geological field data;
    • ‌construction of a geological map;
    • construction of a geological cross section;
    • interpretation of depositional environments;
    • structural interpretations of folded and faulted rocks using map, cross section and stereographic projections. 

    During the course you will:

    • produce a geological map of an area a few square kilometers in size that is located near the hamlet of Clumanc in the Barrème Basin;
    • illustrate the stratigraphy and structure of the mapped area using a cross-section, a sterogram, and a stratigraphic column;
    • record observations that will allow you to write a report on the geology of the mapped area during the Year 2 Autumn semester tutorials (Nov-Dec).


  • What equipment will I need?

    It is essential that you come fully prepared for the field course. The following equipment is mandatory:

    For the accomodation: 

    • sleeping bag;
    • pillow case;
    • towel.

    Clothing etc: 

    On most days you will be outside in hilly terrain from from 9am to 5pm. pack for warm weather (20°-25°C) but also be prepared for showers/rain. The nights can be cold (near freezing). 

    Essential field course items (for health and saftey reasons) are:

    • appropriate footwear (i.e. walking boots);
    • a hat and sunscreen of factor 20+ to protect you from the Sun;
    • waterproof coat;
    • warm clothing for evening wear / cold mornings (e.g. a fleece);
    • water bottles (e.g. two 1.5 litre bottles).

    Technical equipment: 

    • A4 mapping board in its polythene bag and with elastic bands;
    • compass-clinometer;
    • notebook (A5, robust & hard-backed, with enough space for 10 days work);
    • pencils (HB, 2H), set of coloured pencils (at least 8-10 colours), eraser, pencil sharpener, ruler, protractor, and fine mapping pens for inking-in (black, green, red);
    • grain size card;
    • stereonet, tracing paper, drawing pin;
    • high visability vest for working on road sections as required by law in France (hard hats not needed).

    Other items you may find useful are: 3 m tape measure, hand lens, camera.


    If you require special medication then you must make sure that you have adequate provision for the duration of the field course.


    The field course is fully catered and the accomodation is well away from any shops, so you should not require large amounts of cash. However, you will be able to shop at a small local supermarket in Barrème on most days, and buy some beverages on site, and so Euros will be required for general expenses.

  • How will the field course be assessed?

    Assessment is based upon the following:

    • field map [50%];
    • cross section and stereograms [25%];
    • stratigraphic column [25%]
  • Who can I contact regarding the Barrème field course?

    For more information visit the course unit specification or email course leader Dr Julian Mecklenburgh.

  • Did you know?

    The Barremian age in the Early Cretaceous period is named after Barrème. In the Barremian there are 11 ammonite biozones and there are some very odd shaped ammonites in the rocks around Barrème.

    More about Barrème

    The Barrème Basin is part of the foreland fold and thrust belt of the Alps. As the European plate collided with the Adriatic-African plate, part of the Adriatic-African plate got subducted resulting in a crustal duplex and the formation of the Alps. The load of the lithosphere with double thickness crust created a flexural foreland basin that became filled with sediments. Continued convergence between Africa and Europe has led the sediments of this basin to be deformedforming a fold and thrust belt.

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