Introduction: Landscapes and Landforms of France, A Large Diversity
The extraordinary diversity of landscapes observed in France is widely related to the geological and geodynamic characteristics of its territory, although it also represents the marks of past and present bioclimatic conditions and the results of the labor of hundreds of human generations. Among the physical conditions, geomorphic factors control, for example, the features of many urban sites and create strong constraints on the territorial organization or the rural activities, since they influence other characteristics of the environment (soils, local climates, hydrogeology, distribution of morphogenetic processes, etc.) and of the economic or everyday life (terrestrial or fluvial communications, hazards and risks, natural heritage, etc.). Among these controlling factors, one can find the stream patterns and the way they are inset into regional structures and landforms (e.g., sites of wind or water gap through folded ridges); the configuration of hill slopes, related or not with stepped systems of surfaces and structural asymmetries; or the contrasts in morpho-pedological and hydrological aptitudes between a karstic plateau and the surrounding depressions shaped into impermeable clay or marl.
KeywordsForeland Basin Paris Basin Crest Line Messinian Salinity Crisis Exceptional Collection
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