La Tranchée des Malécots & Mines des Malécots 1 et 2

In Chaudefonds-sur-Layon (Maine-et-Loire, France), in the South of the Armorican Massif, lies a disused stone quarry. This important site, known as “La Tranchée des Malécots”, is situated next to two abandoned Carboniferous coal mines of the same name. This site provides a unique window into the Namurian (326.4–315 Ma) aged palaeoflora of the region.

Local map with the various mine workings shown

However, since the site was first mentioned almost 100 years has past, the combined actions of weathering and modern vegetational growth has taken its toll. Here, we present our work to conserve this unique fossil forest site for future generations using digital photogrammetry. Employing ultra high-resolution photography captured with a hand-held camera, combined with high resolution aerial photography from a light weight commercial UAV (i.e. drone).