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The Seine River from Ile-de-France to Normandy: Geomorphological and Cultural Landscapes of a Large Meandering Valley

  • Jean-Pierre PeulvastEmail author
  • François Bétard
  • Christian Giusti
Chapter
Part of the World Geomorphological Landscapes book series (WGLC)

Abstract

Rich in historical and cultural heritages, the stretch of the Seine valley that links Île-de-France to Normandy, between Mantes-la-Jolie and the Eure and Andelle confluence zone, belongs to one of the major sets of entrenched meanders known in the world. The valley presents steep hillsides punctuated by white chalk pinnacles alternating with deep funnels, contributing to the picturesque landscape of the valley segment. The geomorphic history of the Seine valley is inseparable of the Quaternary bioclimatic history, with its alternating glacial-interglacial and stadial-interstadial periods. All along the Pleistocene, periglacial processes interacted with fluvial erosion, leading to the formation, deepening, enlargement, and migration of the large meanders. The resulting, present-day geomorphological landscapes are enriched by many cultural treasures. Its emblematic sites are the medieval castles of La Roche-Guyon and Les Andelys (Château-Gaillard) which were built on rocky promontories on the concave sides of two large meanders. The mid-Seine valley is also known as a high place of the impressionism, the founder and master of which, Claude Monet, settled here for the second half of his life and created the wonderful gardens of Giverny on the lower Epte River. He and many other impressionist and postimpressionist painters, sensitive to a certain harmony of the local landforms, magnified and immortalized the surrounding landscapes.

Keywords

Meanders Chalk erosion Periglacial features Impressionism Castles 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Pierre Peulvast
    • 1
    Email author
  • François Bétard
    • 2
  • Christian Giusti
    • 3
  1. 1.GeomorphologyUniversity of Paris-SorbonneParisFrance
  2. 2.Physical GeographyParis-Diderot UniversityParisFrance
  3. 3.Physical Geography and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Paris-SorbonneParisFrance

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