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In the Somme bay area in France you can find nice fossils. The coastal cliffs at Ault and Le Tréport consist of fine grained limestones friom the middle Turonian and Coniacian (part of the upper Cretaceous period). The sediments contain bivalves, brachiopods and sea urchins. The fossils usually are easy to clean with a brush. The cliffs are up to 80 metres tall. Use a hard hat when collecting close to the cliffs. The collapsed parts of the cliff are good spots to collect fossils.
For the sea urchin lovers: Besides the articles in the Dutch magazine GEA, there is anoher article about the Micrasters of the Picardie region ("L'évolution des Micraster (Échinides, Spatangoïdes) dans le Turonien-Coniacien de Picardie Occidentale (Somme), author Monique Fouray, 1981). In the article the exposed sediments and the sea urchins are described.
Since summer 2010 it is not allowed anymore to collect fossils at some stretches of the beach near Ault due to construction work.
Photo 1 of 14
The cliffs at Ault.
Added by: jbas on 21-06-2011
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The site is located at the French north coast, northeast of Dieppe. From the Somme bay until Ault there are lowlands with beaches. The cliffs start at Ault and continue to the Seine river at Le Havre. Due to the high cliffs you can only access the beach at certain places (see map):
- Between Ault and Mers only at le Bois de Cise
- At Mers-les-Baines
- You will pass the Le Treport harbour, at Le Treport you can access the beach at "Calvaire des Terasses", nice view !
- Passed Le Treport you can oly access the beach after about 10 kilometres at Mesnil-Val.
Bivalves, brachiopods and sea urchins from the upper and middle Turonian and Coniacian (part of the upper Cretaceous period). You can find several species of Micrasters (i.e. Micraster leskei from the Turonian and Micraster decipiens from the Coniacian). Other sea urchins are less common Conulus and Echinocorys, and if you are lucky the regular sea urchin Salenia and Stereocidaris.
Some rocks contain large (up to 40 centimetres) bivalves Inoceramus. You can find several species of brachiopods (i.e. Terebratula semiglobosa), the bivalve Spondylus spinosus, and crinoid stems (Isocrinus). Ammonites are not found here.
Literature recommended by members
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Other locations in the area
Fossil location: Dannes (groeve / quarry)
Thanks to John Bastiaansen for sending this description.
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