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Home > Research Groups

Quaternary environments and geoarchaeology

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The research of our group is characterised by the multidisciplinary approach of Quaternary environments (from 2.4Ma to the late Holocene). Our aim is to reconstruct the evolution of environments inhabited by humans at different spatial and time scales by integrating the data from surface geosciences (geomorphology, stratigraphy, pedology, sedimentology, isotopic geochemistry), bio-indicators (molluscs, pollens, phytoliths, vegetal macro-remains), geochronology (C-14, TL, OSL, ESR, cosmonuclides ...) and archaeology.
The fine and systemic analysis of the records makes it possible to understand the variability of their responses to the climatic constraints from large-scale interglacial cycles to millennial cycles for the Last Glacial. This approach also integrate the impact of tectonic and volcanic factors as well as the influence of human activity.

The variety of the sedimentary contexts (fluvial, lacustrine, volcano-sedimentary, aeolian, periglacial ...) and the various documented periods (lower Pleistocene to the Holocene) contribute to a diachronic and multi-scalar comparative analysis of the Quaternary environments. Our projects are based on a fundamental fieldwork approach, which constitutes one of the originalities of the team within the sphere of Geography. In this context, our research group develops a unique expertise in palaeoenvironments and palaeo-biodiversity linked to scientific partners (archaeologists, geologists, geochemists, geophysicists, climate modellers etc.) and institutions (local authorities, public and private companies ...).
Members ofour research group are active in many countries and regions of the world (France, Central Europe, the Russian Federation, the Mediterranean region, Mongolia, the Americas, Africa, Indonesia and the Polar regions).

Axis 1: Quaternary climatic cycles: large time-scale environmental dynamics and Palaeolithic settlements.
1.1. Pleistocene Interglacials and fluvial terraces
1.2. Long lacustrine sequences and tephrochronology

Axis 2: Last Glacial: responses of the continental environments and Human settlements to millennial climatic variability
2.1. Loess environments and permafrost
2.2 Fluvial and fluvio-aeolian dynamics
2.3 Palaeo-glaciers: their margins and associated palaeoclimate since the LGM

Axis 3: Environmental evolution and geoarchaeology during the Holocene
3.1 Holocene environments and human impact in Europe: valley bottoms and humid areas
3.2 Holocene environments and human impact in the Mediterranean area
3.3 Social crisis and palaeoenvironmental evolutions in Tropical areas