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A trip to Haute Normandie (France) cretaceous cliffs ( The plasterers' balad )

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elcoincoin

A trip to Haute Normandie cretaceous cliffs ( The plasterers' balad ) - Part 1

 

During three days we travelled along the Haute Normandie coast. The area we ventured in is cretaceous :
cenomanian (-99 MA), turonian (-93 MA) and coniacian (-89 MA), following the west to east dip.

 

Day 1 : Antifer

 

We met in Saint-Jouin de Bruneval, on the beach parking lot next to the oil terminal.
We started the trip at 9 am, so we could hike quite far before the tide would stop us.
Sky was shiny and quite fast the temperature started to rise.
We mostly spent the morning looking for fossils in cenomanian boulders and chalcedonies among the peebles.

We let the tide lock us and made a break for a picnic and a nap.
Once the tide let us, we started again to look for fossils, under a scorching heat.
At about 6 pm we made our way back to the cars. The beach which was empty in the morning was now overcrowded.

We mostly found some irregular echinoids : crassiholaster and catopygus (some with a really nice preservation), some brachiopods, some bivalves (most fragile) (including nice rastellum) and 2 shark teeth.

 

Here's a geoligical presentation of the area (in french unfortunately)

 

http://craies.crihan.fr/?page_id=13478

 

Some of my finds on that day :

 

heres a link a my flickr galery for the whole trip : https://www.flickr.com/photos/48637020@N06/albums/72157682540354264

 

Crassiholaster subglobosus

 

large.holaster-1-vue1.JPG.4394e18362b81f

 

Crassiholaster subglobosus

 

large.holaster-2-vue1.JPG.fa2522c5471bd0

 

Crassiholaster subglobosus with a smal bivalve print

 

large.holaster-3-vue1.JPG.3f695be8a14c87

 

 

Catopygus colombarius

 

large.catopygus-vue1.JPG.8aa0ae25376fa0a

 

more to come soon...

 

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elcoincoin

Day 2 - Sennevile-sur-Fécamp

 

This time, we meet at "le Val de la mer" parking lot in Sennevile-sur-Fécamp.
A very hot day is expected again. Our aim for today is to find calcite irregular echinoids in turonian chalk.
At the bottom of the stairs, we choose to head east toward "le Val Ausson".
We start looking for an area with lots of chalk rocks. We make our way to the spot called "the new dog's boulders". Bad news, nearly all the rocks are gone from the place we settled last few times we were around.
After a short discussion, we decide to go further east to some other boulders : "Val Ausson Boulders". As the tide is getting high, it makes our progression a bit more difficult.
Once there, we start our inspection, then each picks a rock and starts to look for echinoids.
A quite strong wind that follows the cliffs' direction keeps the temperature bearable, nevertheless the sun is strong again and we have to take care of our skins!
At midday, we look for a place in the shadow  then, once settled, we get our meal.
Once done we go back to the boulders and keep searching till 7 pm as the last blocks were quite rich.
Then we go back to the stairs, white with chalk dust and heavily loaded. We really look like plasterers coming back from work.
We then climb the 100 + stairs to the cars, get ourselves clean clothes and drive to the hotel.

On this day, we found a lot of micrasters (heart urchins), a few Echinocorys urchins, a few brachiopods and one small shark teeth.

 

Here's a geoligical presentation of Senneville area (in french unfortunately)

Senneville :

http://craies.crihan.fr/?page_id=8736

 

Some  of the micrasters decipiens :

 

large.micraster-2.JPG.d9e6198320877287c0

 

large.micraster-1-view1.JPG.4d139cb7afea

 

association with a brachiopod :

 

large.micraster-7.JPG.fc834dbac4c0a1b5ec

 

more on my TFF galery :

or flickr : https://www.flickr.com/photos/48637020@N06/albums/72157682540354264

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ynot

Looking good so far!

Thanks for the nice report on (to Me) a far away place!

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jpc

voila des jolies fossiles.  Merci pour le 'report'.  (Je ne sais pas le mot en francais).  

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Coco

Hi,

 

Nice trip and nice sea urchins.

 

JP, the french word is "rapport" ;)

 

Coco

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caterpillar

Ou "reportage"

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elcoincoin

episode 3

 

Day 3 - Morning - Veulette sur Mer

 

We gather on the parking lot near the casino in Veulette.
We will hunt in the coniacian today, looking for flint urshins (internal molds as the calcite fossil itself has most of the time been dissolved)
If you are lucky enough, the internal mold is totaly free from the matrix and will gently pop out.
The tide will let us 2 hours before we have to walk back.
Chalcedony geodes are quite abundant, echinoids more scarce.
At some point, while inspecting flint blocks, i notice the familiar shape. The preservation looks pristine. So i decide to bring the whole block home. Unfortunately, my box is too small, so i have to reduce the block here.
Luckily, on first hammer hit, the echinoid gets into my hand free from any matrix.
I'm the lucky guy of the morning, i bring back 2 echinochorys gravesii irregular urshins. One is as good as they can be, the second one still has most of its calcite.
Once back to the parking lot, we realise that the village fair is taking place with the crowd and everything. Not that enthousiastic, we decide a change of plan and drive to a fourth spot, nearly the next access to the sea.
We drive to "Les Petites Dalles" a few miles from there.

 

geology of the area of Veulette : http://craies.crihan.fr/?page_id=3236

 

The best Echinocorys gravesii 1 - 2 views

 

large.echinocorys-1-view2.JPG.5a57ed2bf0

 

large.echinocorys-1-view1.JPG.26fc122d08

 

The other one

 

large.echinocorys-3-view1.JPG.05d8fb5b63

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elcoincoin

episode 4

 

Day 3 - Afternoon - Les Petites Dalles

 

The plan is : once the tide let us, we go toward the same area than in the morning, but hicking from west this time.
We are still in coniacian epoch. After a few minutes, we stop in order to wait for our slowest walker.
In the meantime, i start looking the surrounding blocks. One chalk block gets my attention. It has lots of echinoids crosssections all over its surface. We  start  breaking it.
When our late buddy get to us, our decision is already made. We will keep working on that block for the rest of the day.

 

The block had about 100 echinocorys inside.
Unfortunately, the preservation wasnt that good : those which fossilization was incomplete, those that got crushed before getting fossilized and those we broke during extraction.
Still, the result was quite spectacular. After 4 hours spent on it, the block was no more and we decided to call it a day.
Once again we were totaly covered with chalk dust and exhausted.
Once again we were looking like a team of plasterers
Once again we had to carry a heavy burden on our way back to the cars.
But what a productive trip!

 

geology of Les Petites Dalles : http://craies.crihan.fr/?page_id=3163

 

1 exemple of a typical Echinocorys gravesii

 

large.echinocorys-4.JPG.2246eb8228dc90ce

 

2 multi blocks :

 

large.echinocorys-group-2.JPG.ed8ba61345

 

large.echinocorys-group-1-view2.JPG.15a7

 

 

global view of the whole trip result :

 

large.groupe.JPG.83c6f3c9705a9298a3e2d5e

 

 

The whole trip galery on TFF

The whole trip on flickr : https://flic.kr/s/aHskXPHvyd

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Wrangellian

That is quite a haul!

Echinoids in my area (Santonian) are scarcer and usually crushed or incomplete.

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caterpillar

Only echinoids? No ammonite, shark, crab,...

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elcoincoin

3 shark teeth and that's it. Nothing worth mentionning really.

And to JPC, the word "compte-rendu" would fit the best i think

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jewelonly

Lovely, informative report! Thank you for sharing. :) 

 

Leah

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