First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCO2045752, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC1180, Degree course structure A.Y. 2009/10, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination GEOLOGY OF THE ALPS
Department of reference Department of Geosciences
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge SILVANA MARTIN GEO/03

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses GEO/02 Stratigraphic and Sedimentological Geology 3.0
Core courses GEO/03 Structural Geology 3.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 No turn
Lecture 5.0 40 85.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2009 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
6 Commissione 2019/20 01/12/2019 30/11/2020 MARTIN SILVANA (Presidente)
NIMIS PAOLO (Membro Effettivo)
5 Commissione 2018/19 01/12/2018 30/11/2019 MARTIN SILVANA (Presidente)
NIMIS PAOLO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: The knowledge acquired during the Geology, Mineralogy, Petrography and Geophysics courses
Target skills and knowledge: The student will become able to gain a global vision of the geology of the Alps. The course will allow the student to analyze the complex structure of an orogenic chain formed following subduction and collision processes, but still evolving as indicated by the current seismicity. The course can provide useful elements for the analysis and evaluation of the geological hazard in the mountain areas.
Examination methods: Analysis of a geological section across the Alps, from the northern to the southern forelands, chosen by the student or proposed by the teacher, integrated by a written report. The geological section will be realized using all the available digital cartography and using software gis (eg. Qgis).
Questions regarding his geological section and the general program will be proposed to the student.
Assessment criteria: The evaluation will be based on the acquired knowledge and skills, on the ability to analyze geological elements, on the properties of the terminology, on the ability to use cartographic and computer tools.
Course unit contents: Analysis of the current structure of the chain from the tectonic, morphological and geophysical point of view. Origin of the Alps. Notes on the characteristics of the basement and Paleo-Mesozoic sedimentary sequences prior to the Alpine orogeny and Cenozoic sequences post-orogenesis. Characteristics of the Early- and Neo- alpine chains. Exhumation process.
The Alps and the current kinematics in the Mediterranean area, and relations with the Dinaric and the Apennine chains. Comparison with other world chains (Himalayas, Andes, Rocky Mountains).

The characteristics of the central and peripheral sectors of the Alpine forelands are analyzed from the tectonic, gravimetric, geothermal and seismic point of view.

Constructions of various serial geological sections through different parts of the Alps with the help of geological digital maps, DTM, orthophotos and thematic maps, and seismic profiles.

Notes on glacial and post-glacial evolution. Notes on the geological hazard in the Alps.

Lectures will be given by colleagues who are experts on particular topics both at this university and at other universities.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Acquisition and study of presentations (power points) and publications provided gradually by the teacher (Moodle). Reading and critical commentary on scientific publications.

Analysis of geographic, geological and structural maps, digital maps and geological profiles and material (from CAB and websites) by groups of 2-4 students, aimed at the realization of new serial geological profiles through the chain.

Geological excursion along a geological section of the Alps.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Geological maps at various scales from the Italian geological Survey site (ISPRA)
Regional geological guides published by the Italian Geological Society.
The updated historical and scientific literature will be provided by the teacher.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Bigi G., Cosentino D., Parotto M., Sartori R. & Scandone P., Structural model of Alps, scale 1:500.000.. Firenze: Selca, 1990. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Oberhansli R., Metamorphic map of the Alps. --: Mitteilungen der Osterreichischen Mineralogischen, 2004.
  • Cassinis R., Reviewing pre-TRANSALP DSS models. --: Tectonophysics, 2006. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Pfiffner O.A., Lehner P., Heitzmann P., Mueller St. and Steck A., Deep Structure of the Swiss Alps. Basel: Birkha ̈ user Verlag, --. Cerca nel catalogo
  • K. Stuwe., Geodynamics of the lithophere. --: Springer, 2007.
  • Castiglioni, G.B., Ajassa, R., Baroni, C., Biancotti, A., Bondesan, A., Bondesan, M., et al, Carta geomorfologia delle pianura padana, scala 1:250.000 8MURST). Roma: Selca, 1997. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Dal Piaz G.V., Le Alpi dal Monte Bianco al Lago Maggiore. 2 volumi. Roma: Società geologica Italiana, 1992. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Allen P.A.,, Earth Surface processes. --: Blackwell, 1997. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Fowler C.M.R., The solid earth. Cambridge: Cambridge, 2005. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Scholz C.H., The mechanics of earthquakes and faulting. --: Cambridge, 2003. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Twiss R.J., Moores E.M., Structural Geology. New York: Freeman, 1992. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Case study
  • Working in group
  • Problem solving

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

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