La Barde, France — Today Team France returned to the Gironde Estuary on the southwest coast of France to study the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) fossiliferous limestones and marls. We visited new sites and some we scouted out last week. Above is Pointe de Suzac, just south of Royan, where the Aubeterre Formation is well exposed. It was another beautiful day. Rather cool, in fact, during the morning.
The southern side of Pointe de Suzac shows at least six of these oyster beds in the Aubeterre Formation, each separated by a thin marl rich in erect bryozoan fragments. The bedding planes are also exposed here, giving us a three-dimensional view of the deposits.
The sediments below the oyster beds are rich in other fossils. Macy found regular echinoids, rudists, pectenids, unknown flat bivalves, and isolated large oysters. The unit is thoroughly riddled with Thalassinoides shrimp burrows.
The headlands of Pointe de Suzac are dominated by thick concrete bunkers and gun emplacements that were part of the “Atlantic Wall” built by the Germans in World War II. Note the battle damage on this one.
This area held the last pockets of German resistance to the Allies in Europe. It was heavily bombed and shelled in 1945 during the liberation of Royan, which was a horrible event for the local French citizenry.
Later in the day we returned to the roadcut above Plage des Nonnes to see the oyster beds in the Aubeterre Formation. Macy and Paul are examining the shells in, again, six beds, separated by the same fossiliferous marls.
Another successful day. Thank you again to Paul for the expert guidance and driving!
|Pointe de Suzac||168||Aubeterre||N45° 34.933′ W0° 59.352′|
|Pointe de Suzac south||169||Aubeterre||N45° 34.599′ W0° 59.382′|
|Mirambeau||170||Barbezieux||N45° 22.211′ W0° 34.252′|