Mandate SED

The verification work carried out by the Swiss Seismological Service is based on tasks jointly assigned to us by the Swiss Federal Department of the Interior and the Department of Foreign Affairs. Our role in fulfilling these tasks entails:

  • very reliably operation of the seismic auxiliary station DAVOX, using regularly calibrated instruments;
  • providing high-quality data through the AutoDRM interface when requested by the IDC and documenting performance by taking appropriate measurements;
  • automatically monitoring the health of our data archive and alerting the seismologist on duty to any failures;
  • providing expertise and first-hand information to Swiss government authorities and representing Switzerland at scientific and technical meetings of the State Signatories to do with the establishment and implementation of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO);
  • maintaining contact with other National Data Centres (NDCs) and the IDC to cooperate in areas such as common scientific projects, knowledge transfers and task sharing.

Main Activities at the Swiss National Data Centre (NDC)

The main seismic verification activities at the Swiss National Data Centre are quality control and applied research into improved data exchange features, discriminating earthquakes from explosions, and studying the consequences of using different geographical coordinate systems.

We also represent Switzerland at meetings of Working Group B at the Vienna International Centre.

Switzerland's Participation in the Group of Scientific Experts (GSE)

From 1989 to 1996 Switzerland participated in the work of the Group of Scientific Experts (GSE) and was a member of several working groups (it still is a member of the Group of Scientific Experts' Technical Test Three (GSETT-3) Working Group on Planning).

The Conference on Disarmament tasked the GSE with developing a system to detect and identify seismic events. An experimental system of this kind has been in operation since 1 January 1995 (GSETT-3). During 1996 the GSETT-3 network was gradually modified and integrated into the IMS network set-up. Since 1990, the GSE has developed a comprehensive set of data exchange formats that are also widely used for other seismological purposes.

Between 1 January 1995 and 31 May 1996, Switzerland's three-component station APL Alpnach was part of the GSETT-3's auxiliary network. During 1995, the IDC retrieved a total of 9,372 digital waveforms (seismograms) from the Swiss station using the e-mail-based data transfer system AutoDRM. From mid-April 1996 to mid-February 2002 the designated auxiliary IMS station near Davos (code: DAVOX) was part of the GSETT-3 network. Since 2003, the new certified DAVOX station has been part of the IMS.