Lay summary

This project is directed to the determination of the erosion of the Bergell intrusion in the southern Alps of Italy and Switzerland. The Bergell intrusion is 30 Million years old, but it has been brought to the Earth's surface much more recently. We will measure the cooling ages in the mineral apatite by measuring the Uranium, Thorium and Helium. The ratio of these elements gives us the time at which the mineral cooled below 100 degrees. By measuring apatite cooling ages from throughout the Bergell, we can determine the pattern of cooling and thus the pattern of erosion of the surface. We will determine whether this erosion pattern implies control by tectonic processes or climatic processes, for example related to the onset of glacial erosion 1 to 2 million years ago.