Description ED1819-S15: Metamorphism Field Course in the Western Alps

The aim of this course (offered to Master students of IPGP) is to understand deep deformation processes in the heart of a mountain belt across space and time scales. The Western Alps corresponds to a former subduction zone which has been exhumed during Alpine orogeny. The goal of this 5-day trip is to identify the various tectonic events and their petrological/mineralogical records studying metamorphic rocks ranging from greenschist to eclogite-facies conditions, in the Aosta valley (NW Italy).

The students will be trained to:
(i) identify the (beautiful) mineral parageneses representative of each metamorphic grade and each lithology;
(ii) draw panoramas and understand the stacking of tectonic nappes in the internal zones of the Alps;
(iii) reconstruct a chronology of events that affected the belt from the early Mesozoic up the mid-Cenozoic times.

Highly motivated students with good geological background (and basic knowledge in petrology) are welcome.

Additonal information:
Get ready for hiking: there will be several day excursions requiring good physical conditions (~500 m denivelate).
Please send a motivation letter and a short CV to if you want to participate. Candidatures will be carefully evaluated.
Cost (for non-IPGP or non-ENS students) will be around 600 euros (all included from Paris and back).