Chaîne des Puys

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chaîne des Puys
Come pariou.jpg
View of the Chaîne des Puys from Puy de Dôme
Elevation max. 1,464 m (4,803 ft) at Puy de Dôme
Location Auvergne, France
Range Massif Central
Coordinates 45°30′N 2°48′E / 45.5°N 2.8°E / 45.5; 2.8
Type cinder cones, lava domes, and maars
Age of rock < 95,000 years
Last eruption 4040 BCE ± 150 years

The Chaîne des Puys is a north-south oriented chain of cinder cones, lava domes, and maars in the Massif Central of France. The chain is about 40 km (25 mi) long, and the identified volcanic features include 48 cinder cones, eight lava domes, and 15 maars and explosion craters. Its highest point is the lava dome of Puy de Dôme, located near the middle of the chain. The name of the range comes from a French term, puy, that refers to a volcanic mountain with a rounded profile.

View of Puy de Dôme from the west

The chain is famous in the history of volcanology, as it was the subject of the pioneering research of English geologist George Julius Poulett Scrope, starting in the 1820s. In 1827 he published his classic Memoir on the Geology of Central France, including the Volcanic formations of Auvergne, the Velay and the Vivarais, which was later re-published in a revised and somewhat more popular form in The Geology and extinct Volcanos of Central France in 1858. These books were the first widely published descriptions of the Chaîne des Puys, and the analysis therein laid the foundation for many of the basic principles of volcanology.

While formerly the date of 4040 BP was usually given for the last eruption of a Chaîne des Puys volcano,[1] more recent studies place the date of the most recent eruption between 7788 and 7419 BP[2]>


  1. ^ e.g. in Redfern, Gayle (2010). Ancient Wisdoms. AuthorHouse. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-4490-5760-2. 
  2. ^ Boivin Pierre et al. (2004). Volcanologie de la Chaîne des Puys, Massif Central Français. Clermont-Ferrand: Parc Naturel Régional des Volcans d'Auvergne. OCLC 634970268. 


Gour de Tazenat, a maar in the Chaîne des Puys.
Panorama of the Chaîne des Puys from Puy de Dôme in winter