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, Cartogrip ScRL, Sent


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.
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. 

Date Program Hike
Sunday, July 3rd Arrival at 17:00 in Scoul  
Monday, July 4th

Motta Naluns, N of Scuol: Ocean-Continent-Transition (Tasna- Nappe) – Rift dynamics, alpine geodynamics

8km, easy hiking, 3h30, 600m D+/ 700m D-

Tuesday, July 5th

Ravaischer Salaas, N of Samnaun: Tectonic Mélange (Fimber-Zone) – Relationship between sedimentation and tectonics in accretionary channel

9.5km, 4h, 500m D+/ 1150m D-

Wednesday, July 6th

Piz Mundin, N of Tschlin: Deep Sea Stratigraphy (Bündnerschiefer) and ophiolites – Stratigraphy of « Valais Basin » and implications on alpine geodynamics

10km, rather difficult, 5h 900m D+/ 1400m D-

Thursday, July 7th

Scuol and surroundings: Mineral springs of Lower Engadin, a walk or bike tour from source to source – Geochemistry and structural implications with lower Engadine Window

Max 2km walk, or 5km by bike, easy (“rest” day)

Friday, July 8th

San Jon - Lischana, S of Scuol: Engadine Line and Ramosch Serpentinites – structure of the Lower Engadine Window, petrology of “Zone of Ramosch” and implications on alpine geodynamics

4.5h / 10 km, 1400m D+ (!!) / 100m D- (Shorter version possible)

Saturday, July 9th

Lischana - Uina, S of Inn: Sediments of Adriatic margin (S-charl-Nappe and Ötztal-Nappe) – Sedimentation milieu, stratigraphy, structures

4h / 11km /
600 D+ / 1350m D-

Sunday, July 10th

Departure at 11:00 from Scuol


Link to Map


Basse Engadine




Aim: Transmit a general and broad overview of the alpine geology and discuss ongoing debates within the alpine geology community

Content: Aspects of tectonics, geodynamics, sedimentology, stratigraphy, and metamorphism

Place: The Lower Engadine Window (LEW), the easternmost tip of Switzerland, displays almost all the major units of the tectonic structure of the Alps (except of the Helvetic nappes) and contains some spectacular outcrops, which are unique worldwide.

Course type: The course will mainly take place in the field, which means in the mountains, often between 2000 and 3000m of altitude. We will visit the outcrops by hiking! Hikes of several km of distance are planned. Please see the description for each hike below to judge the physical capacity needed to accomplish the hikes.

Logistics: Base Camp in Scuol (Grisons), from where we tackle the different hikes. We will meet directly in Scuol on Sunday, July 3rd. Participants are recommended to take the train to Scuol.

Equipment: Hiking equipment (mandatory for everybody!) – especially good mountain shoes, good rain protection, small backpack. Field equipment (for those who have it) – hammer, magnifier, acid (HCL), notebook, also field tablet, field-glasses



Deadline for registration 27.05.2022
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