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Swiss Seismological Service (SED)

The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich is the federal agency for earthquakes. Its activities are integrated in the federal action plan for earthquake mitigation.

Latest Earthquakes Switzerland

Felt Earthquakes in Switzerland

Local Time
Mag.
Location
Felt?
2021-09-13 12:36 3.3 Albstadt D Probably not felt

Latest Earthquakes

Local Time
Magnitude
Location
2021-09-26 23:40 1.1 Bourg-Saint-Pierre VS
2021-09-26 11:14 0.9 Chamonix F
2021-09-26 08:05 1.1 Ebnat-Kappel SG
2021-09-26 07:34 1.6 Ebnat-Kappel SG
2021-09-26 05:08 1.5 Annecy F
2021-09-25 22:32 0.0 Lenk im Simmental BE

Swiss Earthquakes Counter

since 01.01.2021 
000

Earthquake Map of Europe, last 90 days, Mag. 4.5+

Recent earthquakes magnitude 4.5 or greater

Time (UTC)
Mag.
Region
2021-09-21 16:09:45 4.5 CENTRAL TURKEY
2021-09-14 02:32:02 4.5 Svalbard, Norway, region
2021-09-13 06:15:36 4.8 NORWEGIAN SEA
2021-09-08 15:43:01 4.5 Iran-Iraq border region
2021-09-07 11:15:00 4.5 Turkey
2021-09-06 15:04:39 4.6 Dodecanese Islands, Greece
2021-09-03 03:34:49 4.8 CAUCASUS REGION, RUSSIA
2021-08-31 11:04:27 5.1 Turkey
2021-08-28 11:20:50 5.1 STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR
2021-08-27 10:41:10 4.6 North of Svalbard
2021-08-22 13:42:57 4.5 Greenland Sea
2021-08-19 11:26:33 4.7 Dodecanese Islands, Greece
2021-08-16 23:58:56 4.6 Northwestern Balkan Peninsula

Earthquake Map of the world, last 90 days, Mag. >= 5.5

Recent earthquakes magnitude 6 or greater

UTC Time
Magnitude
Location
2021-09-24 11:52:31 6.1 Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, United States
2021-09-22 09:57:08 6.5 Near coast of Nicaragua
2021-09-21 13:14:32 6.4 Near coast of central Chile
2021-09-20 20:25:25 6.0 Kuril Islands, Russia
2021-09-13 05:18:13 6.2 Chile-Argentina border region
2021-09-08 01:47:47 7.0 Near coast of Guerrero, Mexico
2021-09-07 09:49:57 6.0 Fiji Islands region
2021-08-31 02:52:50 6.3 Kermadec Islands, New Zealand
NEWS

2021-09-15

Fieldwork in Iceland for geothermal energy

Ten researchers from the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich went to Iceland in June and August 2021 to support two projects with a seismic measurement campaign. In a collaborative effort with the German Research Centre for Geoscience (GFZ) and Reykjavik Energy (ON Power), the team set up a network of 500 seismic nodes across the Hengill geothermal field. It is the largest and densest network of measuring stations installed in the country so far. 

This fieldwork in Iceland was part of a seismic measurement campaign for a geothermal project in Iceland and "DEEPEN" (DErisking Exploration for geothermal Plays in magmatic ENvironments), a European research project in the field of geothermal energy. DEEPEN aims at establishing an approach to minimise the risk of field exploration in deep geothermal energy and at contributing to a higher probability of success when drilling for geothermal fluids in magmatic systems.

The seismic nodes that were used are 5Hz geophones with integrated battery and digitiser (SOLOS provided by the University of Geneva) and 5Hz geophones with external digitiser and batteries (provided by the Geophysical Instrument Pool of the GFZ). Data from such dense seismic node deployments allow the researchers to gain a better understanding of the sub-surface. Thanks to the small size of the nodes, the research team finished the deployment within two weeks in June, despite the tough weather condition, steep terrain and long hikes to reach each dedicated site.

With the network, a special focus was given to the Northern region around Nesjavellir and the Southern Hverahlid, where the most productive boreholes of the geothermal field are located. A vehicle called vibrotruck (see fig. 2) passed through the Northern array and provided an additional source signal during the deployment time. Typically used in seismic exploration, the vibrotruck pressed a vibrating plate onto the earth’s surface. The low-frequency vibrations propagate underground and are reflected by the rock strata. These seismic waves were recorded by the installed geophones and gave further insights into the geological sub-surface.

After the deployment, the network was running successfully for two months and overlapped with another seismic network (COSEISMIQ), which is also operated by the SED. In August 2021, the research group travelled again to Iceland to dismantle both networks. The researchers expect that the high-density seismic imaging will allow them to illuminate the sub-surface in unprecedented detail.

2021-08-05

A better understanding of slow slips offers insights into earthquakes

Earthquakes are caused by the sudden release of stress along faults in the Earth's crust. The resulting seismic waves of this fast ruptures of the Earth crust propagate through the ground, causing the shaking we perceive as earthquakes. But there are also more gentle processes, non-shaky versions of seismic fractures. These so-called "slow slips" attracted the attention of a research team from the Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zürich, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, the University of Geneva in Switzerland, the German Research Centre for Geoscience (GFZ) and the University of Bologna in Italy.

Slow slip events are fractures of the Earth's crust that propagate very slowly without generating considerable ground shaking. This fracture process can last from less than a day to more than a year. Yet, slow slips have the potential of triggering earthquakes or earthquakes swarms – a process that is not fully understood so far.

Slow slips are most common in regions where tectonic plates slide over each other (in subduction zones), especially all around the edge of the Pacific Ocean, including Japan, New Zealand, North and Central America or near volcanoes such as Mt. Etna in Italy or Kilauea in Hawaii.

The team analysed the correlation between the characteristics of each slow event and the triggered seismic activity. The results show that shallower slow slips are more likely to generate larger seismicity compared to deeper slow slip processes. This information can now be used to improve a model to predict the changes and hazards associated with these specific types of events. The researchers hope that the database and modelling can be developed further to build a better understanding of those complex processes.

The research was recently published in the scientific journal “Science Advances” and is accessible under the following link: https://advances.sciencemag.org/lookup/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abg9718

2021-07-07

[Available in DE / FR] Verspürtes Beben bei Eglisau

[Available in DE / FR] Verspürtes Beben bei Eglisau

Ein Beben der Magnitude 2.0 ereignete sich am Mittwoch, 7. Juli 2021, um 10:25 Uhr (Ortszeit) bei Eglisau (ZH) in einer sehr geringen Tiefe, innerhalb der obersten Kilometer der Erde. Weil sich das Beben so nahe der Erdoberfläche ereignet hat, war es trotz seiner kleinen Magnitude in Eglisau deutlich zu verspüren. Dies belegen die ungefähr 50 Verspürtmeldungen, die in den ersten beiden Stunden nach dem Beben beim Schweizerischen Erdbebendienst (SED) an der ETH Zürich eingegangen sind. Auch typisch für solch schwache, untiefe Beben ist, dass sie teilweise als Knall und weniger als Bodenerschütterung wahrgenommen werden. Bei einem Erdbeben dieser Stärke sind keine Schäden zu erwarten.

Das Gebiet von Eglisau ist seit 1984 für seine seismische Aktivität bekannt, die durch sehr schwache und selten spürbare Beben in geringer Tiefe charakterisiert ist. Das letzte etwas stärkere Beben bei Eglisau, mit einer Magnitude von 3.1, ereignete sich am 12. September 1999. Das aktuelle Beben ist das stärkste Ereignis seit diesem Datum; in den Jahren 2004 und 2015 gab es jeweils ein Ereignis mit einer Magnitude von knapp 2. Die Charakterisierung der tektonischen Strukturen, die für diese Erdbeben verantwortlich sind, ist Gegenstand von laufenden wissenschaftlichen Untersuchungen.

2021-07-01

Earthquake near Furkapass

Earthquake near Furkapass

On Thursday, 1 July 2021 at 13:11 local time an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.0 has hit the region north of the Furkapass. The hypocenter was at a depth of about 7 km. The event was mostly felt in the north-south extent up to Zurich and Schaffhausen as evidenced by the more than 500 felt reports handed in up to now. We have received only  few felt reports from Western Switzerland and the cantons of Grisons. No damage is reported up to now. Notable damage is not expected for an event of this magnitude, even less as its epicenter is in a scarcely populated region.

The area from the Valais over Central Switzerland to the Grisons is known for higher-than average earthquake activity. However, for the greater Furka region no damaging earthquakes are known for the past centuries.

TOPICS

Earthquake

Help, the Earth Is Shaking!

Help, the Earth Is Shaking!

Earthquakes are inevitable, but the damage they may be expected to cause can be mitigated in relatively simple ways. Find out the recommended behaviour before, during and after a powerful earthquake.

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Knowledge

Earthquake Country Switzerland

Earthquake Country Switzerland

Switzerland experiences between 1'000 and 1'500 earthquakes a year. Swiss citizens actually feel somewhere between 10 and 20 quakes a year, usually those with a magnitude of 2.5 or above. Based on the long-term average, 23 quakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or above occur every year. Find out more about the natural hazards with the greatest damage-causing potential in Switzerland.

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Alerting

Always Informed

Always Informed

If you want to be kept informed at all times, here you will find an overview of the various information services provided by the Swiss Seismological Service (SED).

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Knowledge

Earthquake Hazard

Earthquake Hazard

In Switzerland, earthquakes are the natural hazard with the greatest potential for causing damage. They cannot currently be prevented or reliably predicted. But, thanks to extensive research, much is now known about how often and how intensely the earth could shake at a given location in the future. Consult a variety of different maps using our interactive web tool to find out how likely certain earthquakes are in Switzerland.

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Research & Teaching

Fields of Research

Fields of Research

We are often asked what staff at the SED do when no earthquakes are occurring. The answer is they conduct research in a variety of fields, constituting SED's main scientific activities described in our research field section.

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About Us

Swiss Seismological Service (SED)

Swiss Seismological Service (SED)

The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich is the federal agency responsible for monitoring earthquakes in Switzerland and its neighboring countries and for assessing Switzerland’s seismic hazard. When an earthquake happens, the SED informs the public, authorities, and the media about the earthquake’s location, magnitude, and possible consequences. The activities of the SED are integrated in the federal action plan for earthquake mitigation.

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Earthquakes

Earthquake Monitoring

Earthquake Monitoring

Around 10 to 20 times a year you will hear or read about an earthquake occurring in Switzerland. However, the vast majority of quakes recorded by the SED go unnoticed by the general public because they fall below the threshold of human perception and can only be detected by sensitive measuring devices. The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) operates a network of more than 200 seismic stations across Switzerland.

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Research and Teaching

Products and Software

Products and Software

Go to our Products page for access to seismic data and various apps.

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