AT2(IT) - Transect through the Eastern Alps: Petrology and geology in the surroundings of the Brenner Base Tunnel

Leaders: Bernhard Fuegenschuh (University of Innsbruck, bernhard.fuegenschuh@uibk.ac.at), Peter Tropper (University of Innsbruck)

Practical information:
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Pre-conference: 19.08.2010 Innsbruck - 20.08.2010 Innsbruck
  • Length: 200 km (excluding travel to Budapest)
  • Min. number of participants: 5
  • Max. number of participants:20
  • Field trip registration fee
    • Student/young scientist: EUR 30
    • Normal: EUR 60
  • Accommodation and meals cost: EUR 50
  • Demands: Most of the outcrops are alongside the roads but the trip includes some half-day hiking trips in high-Alpine terrain. Normal field trip equipment is recommended.
  • Means of transport: bus / van
  • Accommodation: Double room
    (for single possibilities contact Robert Hohol)
Full technical details in PDF format
Detailed itinerary in PDF format

Photo: View towards west from Brenner pass (AT)
View towards west from Brenner pass (AT)


Scientific focus (keywords): metamorphic petrology; Brenner fault zone; Ötztal Complex; Variscan; Eoalpine metamorphic event

The visited area highlights spectacularly the polyphase tectonic and metamorphis evolution of the Eastern Alps. While the Austroalpine units bear substantial information related to the Cretaceous evolution/orogeny, the Tauern Window exposes units and rocks of European provenance, metamorphosed and deformed during Tertiary collision. With stops in the Southern Alps the excursion provides insight into the pre-Alpine (Variscan, Permian) evolution of this area. During the Neogene the final shaping of this area occurred in the context of lateral extrusion and exhumation. The excursion stops range from the Sillschlucht near Innsbruck which shows the typical greenschist-facies quartzphyllites to Nösslach where from bottom to top, Zentralgneiss, Schieferhülle, Tarntaler Mesozoic, Innsbrucker Quartzphyllite, Northern Calcareous Alps, Ötztal Stubai Complex and Steinacher nappe can be seen. In the village of Mules/Mauls (south of Vipiteno/Sterzing) we can touch the contact between the metamorphosed Austroalpine basement and the unmetamorphosed southern Alpine basement together with a small Oligocene tonalite body. At the Passo di Monte Giovo/Jaufenpass the Giovo/Jaufen fault zone, separating Cretaceous metamorphic Austroalpine basement (ÖSC) from Austroalpine units, which lack substantial metamorphic overprint (Merano-Mules/Meran-Mauls Basement), can be seen. Further stops at the Timmelsjoch, Sölden and Burgstall show the Variscan eclogite-facies overprint in the Ötztal Complex. The last stop in Köfels shows a Quaternary, massive landslide, which led to the formation of friction melts.


Daily programme:

Day 1 (19 Aug): Innsbruck - Sillschlucht (Stop 1) - Stefansbrücke (Stop 2) - Nösslach (Stop 3) - Brennerpass (Stop 4) - Fortezza/Franzensfeste (Stop 5) - Mules/Mauls (Stop 6) - Vipiteno/Sterzing (accommodation) (~75 km)

Austroalpine, Penninic and Southalpine units (Innsbruck Quartzphyllites, Upper Schieferhülle, Brixen Granodiorite): quartzphyllites, greenschists, metacarbonates, tonalites, granodiorites. Alpine fault zones: Brenner normal fault, Periadriatic lineament.

Day 2 (20 Aug): Vipiteno/Sterzing - Passo di Monte Giovo/Jaufen pass (Stop 1) - Saltusio/Saltaus in Passeier (Stop 2) - Timmelsjoch (Stop 3) - Burgstall (Stop 4) - Köfels - (Stop 5) - Innsbruck: ending around 3 PM. Travel to Budapest (~700km) is not included!

Austroalpine units, Quarternary rock slide (Ötztal Complex, Schneeberg Complex): metapelites, eclogites. Alpine fault zones: Brenner normal fault, Periadriatic lineament.

On-line registration >>


Map of the field trip with the key locations (or download Kml file for Google Earth):


View AT2: Transect through the Eastern Alps: Petrology and geology in the surroundings of the Brenner Base tunnel in a larger map