During the primary era, the ground was essentially composed of granite. At this time the region's predominantly tropical climate caused the warm, agitated sea to advance eastward.
The sea covered the entire region nearly throughout the secondary era before slowly retreating. The secondary era is divided into three periods: Triassic, Jurassic and Cretacean. In receding, the sea left sedimentary rock that resulted in the make up of the soil of Burgundy today.
During the tertiary era the sea completely receded and the formation of the Alps was the cause of major tectonic shifts. Strongly felt in Burgundy, these movements were the origin of the fault that crosses the region North/South. The landscape of Burgundy has changed little since the birth of the Alps.
We are now in the quaternary era which began with the ice age. Burgundy, situated on the border of the icecap, was not covered by glaciers, however it did suffer a succession of freezes and thaws that affected the limestone. In spite of this its landscape was not transformed. Today we are in the second phase of the quaternary era, know as the Holocene.
The region is divided into five large geologically characteristic zones (see map) defined by the different soil compositions.
See map of basins