Viewing platform across the Auvergne
Before becoming a plateau, Gergovia was formed of volcanoes!
Around 20 million years ago, a massive volcanic eruption created by the convergence of magma and water gave rise to a new form of rock, peperite. In Gergovia, numerous peperite volcanoes were created when these overlapped. The craters, or maars, formed a lake that dried out by being filled with sediment that was then submerged in lava flow. This basalt layer offered protection against erosion.
A few million years later, this phenomenon of differential erosion resulted in the morphology of the current plateau, which presides over the magnificent Auvergne landscape:
- the high plateaus of Forez and Livradois to the east;
- the chaîne des Puys to the west;
- the massif du Sancy to the southwest;
- the Cézallier plateau to the south;
- and of course the large number of volcanic structures that give the Limagne des Buttes its name.