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Zermatt 2011


Field trip Zermatt 2011

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Geowissenschaftliches Institut

Leader: Prof. Kurt Bucher

Duration: 7 days (30.08.2011 - 03.09.2011)

Subject: Zermatt ophiolite, metamorphic petrology

Even though the weather forecast was pretty bad, a group of five elite M.Sc. students decided to go on a field-trip to the Zermatt-Saas region together with Prof. Dr. Kurt Bucher. We arrived in Täsch on Sunday 23.October 2011 in the late evening. While Prof. Dr. Bucher enjoyed his well heated apartment in Zermatt, we spent the biting-cold night all together in our VW-van in Täsch. After some hours of sleep we took the train to Zermatt and met our well rested professor. At 7.00 o´clock we took the mountain railway to Riffelalp (2222 m a.s.l.) and joined a beautiful sunrise with the Matterhorn panorama in the background. On the way to the “Pfluwe Pass” we studied the Zermatt ophiolite including serpentinites, blueschists, eclogites and the host rocks. We focused on the metamorphic processes and features of this area. The studied rocks show clear evidence for high pressure, subduction related metamorphism. Especially minerals as omphacite, garnet, glaucophane, pseudomorphs after lawsonite, Mg-chloritoid, Ti-clinohumide are well developed and easily recognizable.

After a long climb down back to Zermatt, we enjoyed a delicious tin-food dinner and looked forward to another closely spaced night in the coldness. Happy, all of us survived the night in the frost, we expected a second extraordinary day. Unfortunately, the weather forecast proved to be right and all wonderful outcrops were covered with fog and snow. After a short consultation with professor Bucher, we decided to decamp. Due to the extreme precipitation, we abused the parking garage in Täsch as drying room, fitting room, bath room and kitchen and returned exhausted but happy back to Freiburg.

Mr. Bucher, thanks for this great field-trip adventure! To be continued in 2012 …

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