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Underway in the Andes - Doctoral Students on an Excursion in Western Argentina

Panorama of Mendoza
Photo: Julia Pommerencke
Panorama of Mendoza

At the end of February, the doctoral students of the international StRATEGy Graduate College set out once again for a research expedition to the Argentine Andes. Together with their colleagues from partner universities in Buenos Aires, Salta, Jujuy, Mendoza and Tucumán, they are researching the tectonic, climatic and sedimentological processes that influence the formation of metallic natural resources and hydrocarbons. Their first expedition took place in the northwestern region of Argentina in 2016, and this time they are headed to the region around Mendoza and San Juan, and the geologically spectacular area around the highest mountain on the American continent: Aconcagua, which soars to almost 7000 m. The doctoral students are reporting on their findings and experiences in an online journal from February 28 to March 8.

Three geologists in their natural habitat. Photo: Sibiao Liu.

March, 13: Encounter of the Third Kind

On todays agenda is another round trip: from Cutral Có via Zapala, Las Coloradas, "Laguna Blanco" and back to Cutral Có.

Crossing the Neuquén River. Photo: Henry Wichura.

March, 12: The unconformity

We continue southwards within the fold-and-thrust belt of the Neuquén Basin. We find a striking layer of gypsum within the “Huitrin” Formation of the Upper

A landscape that is known as in movies about the wild west. Photo: Henry Wichura

March, 11: In the Wild West

We are planning a 200 km round trip around the “Cordillera del Viento” (the cordillere of the winds) and through the geology in Mapuche territory.

An eroded volcano and folded sediments along the "Ruta 40". Photo: Henry Wichura.0“. Photo: Henry Wichura.

March, 10: Volcanoes, folds and oil

Today we continue along the fold-and-thrust belt within the Neuquén basin and further south to Chos Malal, the ancient capital of the Neuquén province.

The fossils (ammonites) at 3000 meters altitude are witnesses of an earlier sea. Photo: Henry Wichura.

March, 9: Fossils in the late summer snow

We are leaving Mendoza and drive to the South along the famous “Ruta 40”, the longest road in South America. Today we are heading to Malargüe and the north

Enigmatic Seedpod of native plants. Photo: Henry Wichura.

March, 6-8 2017: „Show and Tell“ in San Juan and Mendoza

We are driving from Rodeo to San Juan. No stops are planned for today but we enjoy the beautiful scenery and geology from the bus. We have to be in time fo

Travel group takes a break. Photo: Christian Meeßen.

March, 5 2017: The spirit of “Gauchito Gil” – The Robin Hood of Argentina

On a bright sunny morning we start our fourth day in Rodeo. The wind here is so strong that almost all the trees are tilted towards the West, and we could

Sun is shining. Perfect weather to be in the field. Photo: Henry Wichura.

March, 4 2017: Between two cordilleras

Sun is shining. Perfect weather to be in the field. After breakfast, we start traveling from Uspallata to Rodeo – the most northern region of our trip. We

Group picture of the “Strategy” Fieldschool. Photo: Leonardo Escalante.

March, 3 2017: Following Darwins steps to the roof of the Americas

Today we follow the footsteps of Charles Darwin 170 years later after he crossed the Andes from Chile during his famous Beagle expedition around the world.

Group picture at the "Ruta 7". Photo: Heiko Pingel.

March, 2 2017: On the journey with San Martín

We begin the first day in Mendoza, where all 35 participants arrived safely and are eager to begin our geological journey. Our first stop is at „Cerro de l

Panorama and evening atmopshere in Mendoza. Photo: Julia Pommerencke.

March, 1 2017: First contact with wine and Andes

Potsdam - Berlin - Frankfurt - Buenos Aires. At the airport of the Argentine capital we meet old friends and colleagues from Potsdam.

Impressions from Western Argentina