Walter Wildi


Walter Wildi was a professor of geology at the University of Geneva from 1986 to 2013. During his career he carried out research on many topics concerning the geological history of the Alpine ranges of North Africa and Europe. In recent years, his main interest has been in environmental geology, particularly natural lakes and reservoir lakes. He also taught geomorphology and glacial geology.

Walking: Afternoon Outdoor Activity 13.30 – 16.30 (Monday, Tuesday)

GEO EXCURSION  (Environmental Excursion to the Zinal Glacier Valley)

Meeting Point: Zinal Congress Office ( Time to be determined)

Language: Français & English & German

The participants will discover during a walk of approximately 3 hours the geological history of the Zinal Valley and the history of its human occupation. The various rock formations on the slopes of the high mountain peaks give access to the history of a period of nearly 500 million years, encompassing two geological cycles of openings of ocean basins between Africa and Europe, then their re-closure accompanied by the formation of mountain ranges. This story ends with glaciations during the last two million years as a result of major climate crises. It is the glaciers that have dug the deep valleys. Human presence is attested in the Val d’Anniviers for the past 3,500 years, but the village of Zinal did not emerge until the 18th century. The current development is highly dependent on tourism-related activities and will be strongly conditioned in the future by the evolution of various natural hazards, such as avalanches and mudslides,particularly related to climate change.