Detailed information about the course

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General Alpine Geology in the Engadine


3–10 July 2022

Responsable de l'activité

Sébastien Castelltort


Dr. Anna Rauch, consultante indépendante en géologie alpine et cartographie géologique, 7554 Sent


The aim of this course is to transmit to the PhD-students a general, yet rigorous and advanced overview of the alpine geology. It contains aspects of tectonics, geodynamics, but also sedimentology, stratigraphy and metamorphism. The Lower Engadine Window (LEW) suits perfectly for this undertaking as it not only displays almost all the major units of the tectonic structure of the Alps (except of the Helvetic nappes), it also contains some spectacular outcrops, which are unique worldwide.

Geodynamics - Rift: The Tasna Ocean-Continent-Transition shows the intact pre-alpine transition between the continental and the oceanic crust.

Geodynamics – Ocean-spreading: Several ophiolite bodies are exposed within the LEW - serpentines, gabbros, pillow lavas.

Geodynamics – orogeneses: The structure of the tectonic window illustrates the nappe stacking in the Alps in general.

Deformation structures and metamorphism: A high variety of styles of deformation and metamorphism facies ranging from non-deformed to blue-shist-facies.

Sedimentology/stratigraphy: Deep-sea depositional systems of the "Penninic Units" in contrast to the "Austroalpine Units": A very thick Triassic dolomite sequence followed by colourful radiolarite layers and other Jurassic (to early Cretaceous) limestone sequence.

Comparison of the different basin conditions of the paleogeographic regions: Apulian Plate, European Plate and Alpine Tethys.

(Additional interesting aspects: The history of glaciation based on geomorphological features or the mystery of the occurrence of chemically very various mineral sources (famous in the region).)

This overview of different aspects of alpine geology will allow us to discuss about the most important debates that are going on within the Alpine Geology community. In addition, it is intended to give a more profound lecture (around 1 day) in the field on swiss geological mapping in the alps: the tools, the focuses, the problems, the future of maps. The course will mainly take place in the field, which means in the mountains, often between 2000 and 3000m of altitude. Several hikes (of several km of distance) are planned. We will stay within the Swiss borders. 


Genève et Basse Engadine



Deadline for registration 01.06.2022
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