Excursions of the Swiss Tectonic Studies Group

STSG Excursion of 2020 to the Aar Massif is cancelled; it will now be held in 2021

The Swiss Tectonic Studies Group will organize an excursion to the Aar Massif in the summer of 2021, from 27-29 August.

The excursion will be led by Lukas Nibourel, Marco Herwegh and Alfons Berger. Lukas Nibourel completed his PhD in Geology at the University of Bern in 2018, studying the structural and thermo-kinematic evolution of the eastern Aar Massif of the Swiss Central Alps, and now works at the Georesources Switzerland Group at the Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zürich.

We will visit 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 will be 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 will be another imporrtant topic.

Day 1: Meeting point is 10 a.m. at Engelberg train station.

Topic: frontal thrusts at the external massif front, Engelbergertal

Day 2: N-S-change of the overall structural appearance along the Reusstal transect. Transfer to the Sustenpass, overview Färnigen Zone

Day 3: Färnigen Zone. Inherited normal faults and Alpine inversion, overprinting relationships, metamorphic evolution and exhumation processes.

See the approximate excursion program under the following link (minor changes are possible): https://s.geo.admin.ch/87028de6e8

Accommodation: Spannort Inn, Engelberg (first night) / Berglodge Steinalp, Sustenpass (second night)


Costs for accommodation, food, etc. will be paid individually by the participants during the field excursion. Estimated overall costs for the three day excursion are CHF 190.- per person (CHF 75 per night and person including dinner and breakfast; CHF 40 per person for transportation with minibuses).


Participants travel to Engelberg individually. Alternatively, it might be possible to travel with one of the three minibuses leaving Friday morning from the University of Lausanne, University of Bern or from ETH Zürich. Meeting points and minibus departure times will be announced. Accommodation and transport from Engelberg onward will be organised by the leaders of the excursion. Some of the key outcrops are located in remote, steep terrain. Approximately 1000 m up/down hiking per day will be required, sometimes off path. Please bring adequate mountain gear, in particular mountain boots, warm clothing and a thin sleeping bag for the second night at the Berglodge Steinalp. An excursion guide will be distributed at the beginning of the excursion.


Students are particularly encouraged to participate. The SGS will support students with a contribution of CHF 100 towards the costs of the excursion, if they become a member of the SGS (membership fee for students is only CHF 50 per year; send an email to office@geolsoc.ch if you would like to become a member).


Please send an email to lukas.nibourel@erdw.ethz.ch if you would like to participate in the excursion. The maximum number of participants is 24.

Please register before 30. April 2021. Registration will be on a first come - first served basis.

STSG Excursion 2018
STSG Excursion 2018

The 2019 Swiss Tectonic Studies Group (STSG) excursion of the SGS visited the Zermatt region from 27-29 September, 2019. The excursion was led by Prof. Lukas Baumgartner of the University of Lausanne.

In summer 2018 the Swiss Tectonic Studies Group visited the Alpine nappe stack at the northeastern border of the Lepontine dome (Swiss Central Alps). The excursion took place from 24th to 26th of August and was led by Michael Wiederkehr (Swiss Geological Survey, Wabern), Federico Galster (University of Texas, Austin) and Jacek Kossak-Glowczewski (University of Bonn).

Below an impression of the La Sarraz Fault Zone at Eclepens visited during a 2017 Swiss Tectonic Studies Group excursion. The excursion was guided by Jon Mosar of the University of Fribourg.

La Sarraz Fault at Eclepens
La Sarraz Fault at Eclepens