The Zone-Atelier Seine (ZA Seine, ZAS)  is one of 14  zones-atelier supported by CNRS.  It is one of the zones-ateliers based on river basins, as the ZABR (Rhône basin), the  ZAM (Moselle), the ZAL (Loire), and the ZA ZA PYGAR (Pyrennées-Garonne).

Its general objective is to develop a vision of the entire system encompassing the hydrographic network (including the estuary and near-shore), the global watershed and the human society living on this resource.

The main structuring element for the Zone-Atelier Seine is the water cycle. Water is an essential and shared element, with multiple functions (essential to the ecological functioning of the territories, and to a larger number human activities, industry, agriculture, feeding of the cities ...). The water circulation is a strong structurating force in the territory :  upstream pollution influences downstream water quality, floods are influenced by changes in land use, migration of fish species is a global habitat problem, downstream cities  put pressure on upstream water resources...  Many human activities are de facto territorialized by these links, and it is no mistake when the society sets up management structures related to the water cycle (Water Agency, SDAGE and SAGEs ...) based on the hydrological delineations, that will interact with all other institutional setups.

This vision is a long-term one because society has modified landscapes, land use and the circulation of materials in the river basins ecosystem very long ago. And many of these former modifications still shape the present landscape. The study of the evolution of the functioning of the ecosystem, in connection with that of the society, is therefore of major interest. Theses studies concern traces left by the past that permeate the environment for very long periods (morphology, contaminations ...). The conducted studies are also oriented towards the future. Constructing different self-coherent visions of the future of the functioning of the socio-ecosystem helps to stimulate reflection, and a to better understand the present trends, sometimes antagonistic, visible in the territory. Consistent with the global Sustainable Development scenarios and the IPCC, the scenarios can be evaluated by models developed within the Zone-Workshop at the scale of the entire basin.

Our ambition is to support the public policies, by identifying the keys of a coherent management of the system through a long-term retrospective and prospective analysis of socio-ecological trajectories, without neglecting to answer to the requests on shorter term. Most of the projects led by the Zone-Atelier Seine and its science teams are strongly supported by the various bodies in charge of the management of the basin.

In the Zone-Atelier Seine the scientific project is structured by 3 coordinated programs carrying complementary stakes, and based on different geographical sectors inside the Seine basin (see below). Platform sites that are more specific to certain issues make it possible to build long-term projects on a smaller scale. Research projects whose influence or scope exceeds teh coordinated programs are carried directly by the Zone-Atelier.


The PIREN-Seine program focuses on the functioning of the river basin

The OPUR program focuses on urban area

The Seine-Aval program focuses on the estuary and the coastal zone


presentation card

Presentation Card