Alps Excursion 2013


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Welcome to the website of the Alps excursion 2013!

From the 26th August to the 5th of October twenty-four students experienced the most famous European orogen under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Littke and Prof. Dr. Urai.
We covered a distance of roughly 1865 km in order to first cross the Rhine graben and the Jura Mountains to arrive at the Swiss rock laboratory Mont Terri. It was very interesting to visit the Swiss way of approaching a repository for nuclear waste in contrast to the German site Gorleben. The days in Switzerland led us to the top of the Säntis (2,502 m a.s.l.) as part of the Helvetic nappes and the rock fall of Flims. The highlight was probably the Glarus thrust on day 4. The UNESCO world heritage remained a mystery to geologists for a long time until the theory of a large overthrust of Permian rocks onto Eocene flysch was established in the late 19th century. The group spent a cosy night at the Sciora cabin at 2120 m a.s.l. in the Bergell granite before continuing towards the Bernina Pass in Eastern Switzerland and the Morteratsch glacier. The Giudicarie fault zone around the Castelllo Altaguardia (Bresimo) as well as the Naif fault (Falzeben) were observed in the Italian Alps close to Meran. The last days we passed at the Stettiner Cabin in South Tyrol. There, in the Schneeberg complex, Prof. Dr. Urai introduced us to the metamorphic Austroalpine nappes: mica schists, amphibolites, marbles derived not from the European but the Adriatic continental plate.
Conclusively, we, the students, all agree on the enormous output of this learning experience. Therefore the website aims at encouraging other students and teaching staff to include the Alps into the curriculum in order to learn about structural geology and hydrocarbon reservoir formation. In class or at best in the mountains!

The site provides the viewer with detailed reports of each excursion day, including information about the outcrops and the route of the particular day. Further different topics concerning the alps geology have been worked out by the students during the excursion. The topics are listed below and can be downloaded.

Have fun with the following informations!



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Daily Reports


Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11


The Rheingraben - Bresse graben System, European Crust and Topo Europe Verena Gennes
Evolution and geometry of the Jura mountains: Fernschub mechanics Tabea Kleineberg
Radioactive waste disposal in Switzerland: plans, activities and overview of main results in the Mont Terri laboratory Benjamin Halstenberg
Rock falls and landslides in the Alps in the past 15,000 years Arne Grobe
The Molasse Basin: tectonics, sea level and basin dynamics Eva Görke
The Jura - Molasse system: hydrocarbon system and exploration Simon Freitag
Evolution of the Helvetic Continental margin Christoph Klein
Evolution of the Helvetic nappes - geometry and mechanics, P-T-t history Christian Hermanni
Evolution of the Penninic distal domain Sebastian Thronberens
Evolution of the Pennininc nappes: geometry, P-T-t history and mechanics Kevin Urhahn
Alpine granites Jacqueline Engmann
Plate tectonic evolution of the Mediterranean Marco Van Veen
Tectonic evolution of the Alps Daniel Kummert
Subduction zone evolution and deep slab structure in the Mediterranean Michaela Biela
The Periadriatic lineament and the role of strike slip faulting in Alpine tectonics Bernadette Bastian
Glaciers, Ice ages and Alpine Geomorphology Fabian Schneider
Structural and Metamorphic evolution of the Schneeberg Complex Gunnar Oeltzschner
Recent vertical and lateral movements and seismicity in the Alps/ future of the Alps Lucian Rinke-­Hardekopf
Evolution of the Southeren Alps and Dolomites Jan Gronewald
Evolution of the Eastern Alps Christina Schmidt
Recent heat flow and hot springs in the Alps - Geothermal energy Thimo Philipp



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