The river Kanentelos (ancient greek name of the river Charente ) is named for the first time at the IInd century AD in the writings of Ptolemee. In the IVth century, Kanentelos turns in Carentonus in Latin, in Auson poems. At that time, the word meant “the quiet river”.
Etymologically, this word can have two origins :
from the Celt “carat”, meaning “friend”: The Charente would be a friendly river.
from the pre-Celt “caranto”, meaning “sand” : the Charente would be a river with sandy riverbanks.
The Charente Catchment Area was formed by the creation, during the first era, of two big mountain chains (the Massif Armoricain and the Massif Central ) and of two big basins (Bassin Parisien and Bassin Aquitain). During the second era, the place is fulled with the sea. Later, lakes are created, and then the Charente Catchment Area in the shape we know it nowadays.
• The first shelf is made of granites and of schists.
- The big sediment group of the secondary era is made of various scales.
- At the Triassic (from -230 to -200 M.Y.), the Poitou-Charentes was emerged. There is no trace of marine sediments at that time.
- At the Jurassic (-200 to -140 M.Y.) starts a phase of transgression. Almost all the region is under a big calcareous marine sedimentation.
- At the Cretaceous (-140 to -65 M .Y.), after a period of emersion, during which the jurassic limestones of the region is alterated, a low sea sets up and leaves clays, sands and chalks.
• The third era
- At Eocene (from -65 to -35 M.Y.), the hot and damp climate (tropical type) alterates deeply the rocks of the shelf and forms continental sediments (clays or sands).
- At the Oligocene (from -35 to -25 M.Y.), muds, more or less calcareous, lay in the soft water big lakes.
- At Miocene and Pliocene (-25 to -1,8 M.Y.), erosion goes on.
• The fourth age : frost and thawing alterate some rocks and form glacial metflows.
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