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Information > Field Trips & Visits

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Field trips & Visits

Several excursions are proposed to the participants on Wednesday 3rd July. The meeting will introduce students to field relations of the Kimmeridgian organic-rich shale, two French research facilities for clay mineral research, historical tours with clay science emphasis or a visit to the Sèvres porcelain museum. Beware, excursions will only take place if there is a minimum number of participants registered (see refund policy here).
NEW! Your conference badge also gives you free access to the outstanding Minerals Collection of Pierre & Marie Curie University on Wednesday morning.


Andra underground laboratory (Full day trip)

Located at some 300 km from Paris, in the Meuse and Haute Marne districts, the underground laboratory is a high-level technological and scientific tool operated by Andra essential for the design of Cigéo, the geological disposal facility project for High-Level Waste (HLW) and long-lived intermediate-level waste (ILW-LL) in a claystone formation. The center encompasses three research and development facilities: the Underground Research Laboratory (URL), the Technological Exhibition Facility and the Perennial Observatory of the Environment (POE).
Designed and constructed under Andra’s supervision following its own specifications, the URL has been the location of numerous scientific and technological experiments since 2000. It “provides an access to the geological environment under realistic repository conditions” in order to:

  • Evaluate the geological environment of the future DGR
  • Collect data from the clay formation in order to assess the performances of the future DGR
  • Test and demonstrate the constructability of the future DGR

Kimmeridgian and Tithonian mudrocks in the Boulonnais (Full day trip)

A potential petroleum source rock deposited in a clastic-dominated ramp environment: the Argiles de Châtillon Formation (Kimmeridgian-Tithonian, Boulonnais area, northern France) was deposited along a proximal-distal gradient on this ramp affected by syn-sedimentary faulting. A sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical study showed that distribution patterns of sedimentary parameters along such a depth increase over the ramp. The smectite distribution follows the lateral depth evolution and contains significant organic matter that is preserved despite the presence of reactive Fe-smectite.

Soleil synchrotron (Half day excursion)

A state-of-the-art facility, SOLEIL is both a source of electromagnetic radiation spanning a wide range of wavelengths (from infrared to X-rays), a research laboratory at the forefront of experimental techniques dedicated to the analysis of up to the atomic scale, and a service platform open to all scientific and industrial communities.


Sevres porcelain Museum (2 to 3hr excursion)

This field trip will explore the ancient uses and technologies of clays in production of porcelain products used historically and commercially.


Walking tour on history of science inside Paris with "Parcours des Sciences" (2ht excursion)

Field Trip #1: "From Maria Sklodowska expectations to the scientific recognition of Mme Pierre Curie". With striking illustrations, this guided walk covers every aspect of Maria's career, including her youth, the wedding with Pierre Curie, former discoverer of piezoelectricity and specialist of magnetism (the Curie point). Following Marie Curie’s steps, discover the paths and the landmarks of this pioneer’s life: the Sorbonne, the institute of radium, the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielles where Pierre and Marie discovered polonium and radium. Included, a visit of the Cuvier Pavilion, part of the "Laboratoire du radium" she ran after her husband death, until 1914.
2 sessions scheduled, 25 p. max, Meeting in Place de la Sorbonne, 75005, in front of Auguste Comte statue (bus n°21,27, 38, 85 or 5 min from RER B: Luxembourg station). Registration mandatory.


Field Trip #2: "Around Ulm Street: A cultural journey through the world of scientific research on Sainte Geneviève mountain". Take a stroll up the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, passing scientific landmarks on the way. On a journey through space and time, we will explore the world where the seemingly austere work of researchers has been carried out for a century and a half. The stroll starts inside the famous École Normale Supérieure and includes a visit of the office where Louis Pasteur spent most of his career. Our tour will end in front of the "Laboratoire de Chimie Physique" founded by Nobel recipient Jean Perrin, close to the Radium institute held at that time by Marie Curie and where the Joliot-Curies discovered induced radioactivity in 1934.
2 sessions scheduled, 25 p. max, Meeting at n°46 Ulm Street, 75005 (bus n°21 or 27, or 10 min walk from RER B: Luxembourg station). Registration mandatory.

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