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Bild: Naturmotive, stock-adobe.commehr


Various excursions are organized by different sections of the SGS. These trips are generally restricted to members of the SGS. If you would like to participate in any of the excursions, kindly register to the SGS.

Swiss Tectonic Studies Group Excursion 2024

6-8th of September 2024

The nappe stack in the Cignana valley, Valtournanche (Aosta Valley): from subduction to exhumation

Main topics:

The Valtournenche valley (Aosta valley, Italy) exposes a section across the Penninic nappes from the Zermatt Zone to the dent-Blanche nappe. In the Cignana area, one is able to walk across all tectonic boundaries, and therefore identify the main structural and petrological discontinuities. This provides an exceptional opportunity for discussing the mechanism of exhumation of UHP/HP rocks.

Day 1 : Friday 06 September 2024

Meeting point : car park at the entrance of Crépin, Valtournenche (valle d’Aosta) at 14.00h (this should allow most people to join us by car from Switzerland to Aosta across the Grand Saint-Bernard tunnel)

Afternoon: walk from Crépin (1594m) to the Refuge/Rifugio Barmasse (2175m) – c. 575m of elevation gain

Geological interest: cross-section through the eclogite-facies oceanic units (Zermatt Zone)

Day 2 : Saturday 07 September 2024

Full day: walk from the Refuge/Rifugio Barmasse (2175m) to the top of the Pancherot (2616m), i.e. 400m about of elevation gain, using an easy footpath with some exposed (but short) sections. Needs one full day to be completed, taken into account the number of interesting geological topics to be seen and discussed.

Geological interest: Exceptional section trough the nappe stack of the blueschist-facies oceanic and continental (cover) units (Combin Zone). Panoramas up to the Cervino/Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, full view of the nappe stack

Day 3: Sunday 08 September 2024

Morning: Let’s go to the contact between the Zermatt and Combin Zones

At about noon, return down to Crépin carpark in the early afternoon.

Additional possibility (displacement by car to Cheneil, with an excellent viewpoint on the right side of the Valtournenche, with a general view on the section we have done Saturday

General discussion on the structure (geometry, and potential kinematic models)

End of the field excursion no later than 16.00.

Excursion leaders: Michel Ballèvre (, Paola Manzotti (

Cost of the excursion: Half-pension in the Refuge Barmasse in Cignana €55 for each night (we stay there two nights, so the total cost will be €110) – to be paid in cash on the spot

Maximum amount of participants: 20 (the Refuge Barmasse is rather small, and will be almost fully occupied by us). When the maximum number of participants is reached, please note that members of the Swiss Geological Society will be given priority.

To book your participation to the excursion: please send an e-mail to Vénice Akker (and eventually a copy to Michel Ballèvre

See you in September !

Swiss Tectonic Studies Group Excursion 2023

The easternmost Jura Mountains revisited following Nagra’s regional exploration: Extent, Age and Impact

This years STSG excursion will lead into the easternmost Jura mountains, a region whose tectonics have been intensively investigated by Nagra including field work, seismic surveying and deep exploration drilling. During the first day, some key outcrops around Brugg/Baden will be visited to discuss structure, extent and age of this part of the thrust-belt. On the second day, Nagra will kindly provide access to its corelab where we will be able to study drillcores from the evaporitic section representing the décolllement horizon of the thrust belt and the above-lying units including the Opalinus Clay.

More information on the flyer!

Swiss Tectonics Studies Group, Field excursion 2022

Relations between the Middle and Upper Penninic nappes (Mont-Fort and Tsaté nappes) between the Val de Bagnes and Mattertal.

Friday 26.08.2022 – Sunday 28.08.2022

Lead: Adrien Pantet and Jean-Luc Epard

Meeting point: Friday 26.08.2022, Martigny station, 09h00

End of Field trip: Sunday 28.08.2022, Sion station, around 18h00

Limited to 24 persons. Transportation in the field will be provided by minibuses (UNIL).

Program: In the Western Swiss Alps of Valais, some series close to the boundary between the Middle and Upper Penninics raise problems regarding their tectonic and paleogeographic attribution. These include the series of Mesozoic rocks originally associated to a continental basement that constitute the "Faisceau Vermiculaire" of Argand, the “Cimes-Blanches” nappe or the Frilihorn series. Their relationship with the "Schistes Lustrés" of the Tsaté nappe is also problematic. New data collected between the Val de Bagnes and Zermatt allow to revise some tectonic and paleogeographic attributions and to present a new tectonic model for the area.

Day 1: Val de Bagnes, Mauvoisin. Evolène series (Mont-Fort) and Tsaté nappe

Day 2: Val d’Hérens, Evolène area.

Day 3: Täschtal: Alphubel anticline and its sedimentary cover. Relations between folds associated to nappe emplacement and the early Mischabels backfold.

Follow the link below for more information.

STSG Excursion 2021 to the Aar Massif

The Swiss Tectonic Studies Group excursion visited the Aar Massif from 27-29 August, 2021.

The excursion was led by Lukas Nibourel, Marco Herwegh and Alfons Berger. Lukas Nibourel completed his PhD in Geology at the University of Bern in 2019. He studied the structural and thermo-kinematic evolution of the eastern Aar Massif in the Swiss Central Alps, and now works at the Georesources Switzerland Group at the Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich.

The participants visited spectacular outcrops, mostly along the basement-cover contact, to discuss the structural and thermo-kinematic evolution of the eastern Aar Massif. The massif's deformation and exhumation history was reconstructed based on field observations and low-T thermochronological data. The influence of inherited normal faults on the distribution and geometry of Alpine compressional fault zones was another important topic.

The excursion guide is available on request at .

Err detachment
Err detachment

Excursion photos

  • Bösentrift - Täsch valley
  • Mont Rouge - Hérens valley
  • Panorama Täsch valley
  • Polymict Breccia -  Bagnes valley
  • Polymict breccia - Evolène Series
  • Sasseneire - Hérens valley
  • Sattelspitz - Täsch valley
  • Valley Cignana
  • Bösentrift - Täsch valleyBild: Adrien Pantet1/8
  • Mont Rouge - Hérens valleyBild: Adrien Pantet2/8
  • Panorama Täsch valleyBild: Adrien Pantet3/8
  • Polymict Breccia - Bagnes valleyBild: Adrien Pantet4/8
  • Polymict breccia - Evolène SeriesBild: Adrien Pantet5/8
  • Sasseneire - Hérens valleyBild: Adrien Pantet6/8
  • Sattelspitz - Täsch valleyBild: Adrien Pantet7/8
  • Valley CignanaBild: Swiss Tectonic Studies Group8/8