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Table 1 Geology of the four regional catchments (Fig. 1)

From: Rocks control the chemical composition of surface water from the high Alpine Zermatt area (Swiss Alps)

Region Geology Snow, glacier cover Catchment boundary Vertical extent Surface water Bedrock lithology
Mellichbach Mainly in the ZS ophiolite nappe, 6 km at NE of Zermatt 55% of watershed area of 25 km2 is covered by several glaciers Leiterspitzen, Kinhorn, Täschhorn, Alphubel, Allalinhorn, Rimpfischorn, Pfulwe From 2200 m at Mellichbach to 4490 m Täschhorn Spread several streams joining the main river Mellichbach Eclogite, blueschist, serpentinite
Rotbach subcatchment: paragneiss
Findelbach ZSO on the N side; Monte Rosa on the S side, 6–11 km east of Zermatt 40% of watershed area of 37 km2 is covered by Findelngletscher and other glaciers Oberrothorn, Adlerhorn, Schwarzberghorn, Cima di Jazzi, Stockhorn and Gornergrat From 2000 m at Findelnbach to 3803 m Cima di Jazzi Spread small lakes and streams; one main river Findelbach N side: metabasalt, serpentinite, calcareous micaschist, marbles,
S side: granite, gneiss,
Trockener Steg Mainly ZSO, 5 km at SW of Zermatt 50% of watershed area of 18 km2 is covered by Theodulgletscher Hirli, Matterhorn, Furgghorn, Theodulhorn From 2200 m at Furggbach to 4477 m Matterhorn Spread small lakes; one stream, Furggbach E side: serpentinite
W side: metabasalt, micaschist, marbles
Gornera Monte Rosa and ZSO, 5 km south of Zermatt 80% of watershed area of 82 km2 is covered by several glaciers which are tributary to Gornergletscher Breithorn, Liskamm, Dufourspitze, Cima di Jazzi, Gornergrat From 2005 m at the Gornera water intake to 4634 m Dufourspitze Spread small streams; only one river, the Gornera Granite, gneiss in MR nappe, serpentinite (Breithorn), metabasalt, calcareous micaschist and marble in lower part
  1. ZSO Zermatt-Saas ophiolite nappe, MR Monte Rosa