Return to the Western Alps

This month I was lucky enough to again participate in the “Anatomy of an Orogeny” field course in the  Alps with the University of St Andrews. Last year I had four posts outlining our transect from Milan, Italy to Berne, Switerzland (clockwise from upper left: Sesia-Lanzo, Ivrea Verbano, Flysch and Molasse, Helvetic Nappes).

This year we had great weather and a great group of students. Below left: me taking magnetic suseptibility measurements of a pyroxenite; right: a student who forgot his notebook in the minibus.

Blueschist from Quincenetto (glaucophane, garnet, jadite, phengite) 
Lago Blu and Cervino (Italian side of the Matterhorn) at Breuil Cervinia
Acid mine drainage from Cu-Fe Cervette mine, Saint Marcel valley, Italy
“Eve Verda” near the Chuc mine in the St Marcel valley. The left stream is coming from the Fe-Cu mine drainage in Cervette (above) and the right stream drains the Cu Chuc mine. The coloration of the left stream is due to saturation of sulfide minerals (pH = 2) whereas the right is due to copper (pH = 7.5). At the confluence, the mixing waters of different pH drives the composition into a supersaturated state causing the precipitation of an amorphous Cu hydroxide (Woodwardite).
Our fearless leaders: Drs Ed Tipper and Tony Prave at Salanfe
Dr Tipper collected an ice sample at Salanfe

S-folds at Salanfe
Reservoir at Salanfe


I am loving the versatility of the iPhone to take timelapse shots. Adding a very simple and relatively cheap rotating tripod head (here), the effect is much more striking. Thanks to Camille for finding the music from Waylon Thorton (“Eight”).


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