Prof. Paola Vannucchi and Dr. Giulio Solferino guided the 4th year MSci field course on the Isle of Elba.
The fourth-year field course of our MSci programmes is held on Elba Island (Italy) over four days of intense and exciting reflections before world-class outcrops.
Despite its small size, roughly 20x30 km across, Elba presents one of the most complex geological evolution histories of all of Italy, reflected by the varied nature of its terranes, structures, and rock types.
From ophiolites to multi-stage plutons, and then imbricated tectonic stack hosting some of the most amazing iron ores in the world. Alpine orogenesis overimposed onto Ercinian (aka Variscan) structures and fabrics. Thermal metamorphism overprinting regional metamorphic fabric and mineral growths. It seems that Elba Island was created as a laboratory to test the knowledge of even the most expert geologist and, thus, it is the perfect location to challenge 4thyear students to use their mature geological knowledge to infer the processes and sequences of events that yield various parts of this island.
This year we were fortunate to be met with the perfect fieldwork weather and had a chance to visit all planned outcrops and be amazed by the staggering beauty of Elba’s rocks and mineralisation.
You can see a magnificent example of this in the photo of the Rio Marina skarn deposit hosted by calc-schists of the Aquadolce Unit.