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Excursions & TravelsPublished on 21 July 2024

Geological excursion the Salassic

Event Date

  • Sunday 09:00 - 17:15
Arolla (VS)

What is the Salassic?

Event Details

Language of the event



Division Swiss Geological Survey
Seftigenstrasse 264
3084 Wabern

On the occasion of the new Tectonic Map of Switzerland 1:500'000, swisstopo is organizing a geological excursion to discover the Salassic, a new tectonic unit. The Salassic is composed of rocks that once formed part of the southern margin of the ancient Tethys Ocean. Our Salassic was transported north-westwards by Africa, collided with Eurasia around 30 million years ago and was consequently deformed and metamorphosed. Here it formed a large plate that stacked on top of the other units that were in its path. Today the Dent Blanche Nappe covers the these rocks of the ancient Tethys Ocean.

En route from Arolla to Plan Bertol, we will be able to retrace this history of the formation of the Alps, a real journey through time.

Useful information

  • Meeting point : Service station Tamoil, Rte du Manège 62, 1950 Sion (car sharing to bus stop Arolla, Magine) ( or bus stop Arolla, Magine, 1986 Arolla (
  • Finish point : Bus stop Arolla, Magine ( or service station Tamoil Sion (
  • Time : 09:00 am (service station Tamoil Sion) / 10:00 am (bus stop Arolla Magine) to 4:20 pm (bus stop Arolla Magine) / 5:15 pm (service station Tamoil Sion)
  • Walking time : 4 hours. 700 m ascent, 700 m descent. Distance 13 km
  • Language : French
  • Guide : Matthieu Girard, freelance geologist
  • Equipment : Good walking shoes, clothing suitable for cold, wet and/or sunny weather. Take along a picnic lunch in your backpack.

Sign up for the excursion on July 21, 2024