Ibex in the Vanoise district of the French Alps.
Alpine Tectonics

The Western Alps form a spectacular natural laboratory for deducing the processes by which the continental crust can be stacked up to form mountain belts.   This web site provides a collection of research results from various parts of the chain under a variety of headings.

A general introduction to Western Alpine geology. This link will open a simple "virtual field trip" that introduces some of the main tectonic divisions of the Alps and shows you some of the rocks. It is not especially technical.

To find out more about the French Subalpine Chains (a major thrust belt that stacks up Mesozoic carbonates and shales).

To see images about deformation of turbidite successions – part of the Tertiary Alpine foreland basin, use this link.

The metamorphic western Alps is a great place to examine how high pressure metamorphic rocks get to the surface.

Rob Butler.

Banner photograph: Ibex gaze out towards Grande Motte in the Vanoise district of the French Alps.