Underway in the Andes – March, 13: Encounter of the Third Kind

Travel Journal: Doctoral Students on an Excursion in Western Argentina
Three geologists in their natural habitat. Foto: Sibiao Liu.
Three geologists in their natural habitat. Foto: Sibiao Liu.

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

After a brief overview of the platform of the Neuquén basin, we examine the core of a large-scale folding structure. We see the granitic Permo-Triassic besement and thus the oldest rocks of this excursion. Two eagles hover over our heads, watch our studies, and remind us that we are in the middle of the Argentine Pampa. 

Later, we find petrified dunes in the "Tordillo" and conglomerates in the "Lajas" formation, which point to a continental deposit environment in the middle Jurassic. With a little luck we could have found fossils of terrestrial reptiles in these layers. But fortuna is not with us today.

We have lunch at an idyllic river, which we have to cross through the running water afterwards. On the other side of the river a gaucho prepares the course for a horse race. We wave, he nods.

In the afternoon, we have an encounter of the third kind. A Chinese PhD student is sitting with her Chilean supervisor on the base of an outcrop and collects data for her doctoral thesis. We stop, warmly welcome each other, and discuss our various projects in Argentina. In particular for our Chinese PhD student this is a nice opportunity to speak his mother tongue after a long time. We exchange contacts and addresses and continue our trip. We pass the "Laguna Blanco" (the White Lagoon), see ostriches on the roadside and reach Cutral Có in the early evening. Tired, we go to bed.

Text: Christian Meeßen, Henry Wichura
Published online by: Agnetha Lang
Contact for the online editorial office: onlineredaktionquni-potsdam.de

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