It is divided longitudinally into an outer zone of Molasse and an inner zone of Flysch.
The line of separation is very clearly defined; nowhere does the Molasse pass beyond it to the south and nowhere does the Flysch extend beyond it to the north.
The Molasse, in the neighbourhood of the mountains, consists chiefly of conglomerates and sandstones, and the Flysch consists of sandstones and shales; but the Molasse is of Miocene and Oligocene age, while the Flysch is mainly Eocene.
Along the line of contact, which is often a fault, the oldest beds of the Molasse crop out, and they are invariably overturned and plunge beneath the Flysch.
The zone of the Molasse is little changed, but the Flysch is partly folded in the Mesozoic belt and no longer forms an absolutely independent band.
P. Protogine connexion, that the pebbles of the Swiss Molasse are not generally such as would be derived from the neighbouring mountains, but resemble the rocks of the Eastern Alps.
The Klippen are, no doubt, the remains of a much larger mass brought into the region upon a thrust-plane, and much of the Molasse has been derived from its destruction.
In the Western Alps the outer border of Molasse persists; but it no longer forms so well-defined a zone, and strips are infolded amongst the older rocks.