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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 precaution.

Felt Earthquakes in Switzerland

Local Time
Mag.
Location
Felt?
2017-06-06  09:18 3.3 Schwarzsee FR Felt
2017-06-04  20:00 3.6 Lago di Garda I Slightly felt
2017-06-02  21:05 3.3 Sion VS Probably not felt

Latest Earthquakes

Local Time
Magnitude
Location
2017-06-21 07:49 0.9 Graechen VS
2017-06-20 22:03 0.9 CHAMPERY VS
2017-06-20 03:52 0.9 Kandersteg BE
2017-06-18 18:55 0.9 Sion VS

Swiss Earthquakes Counter

since 01.01.2017 
000

Recent earthquakes magnitude 4.5 or greater

Time (UTC)
Mag.
Region
2017-06-22 02:48:53 4.9 Aegean Sea
2017-06-19 04:55:37 4.5 Greece
2017-06-19 02:19:33 4.5 Greenland Sea
2017-06-17 19:50:04 5.0 NEAR THE COAST OF WESTERN TURKEY
2017-06-17 03:40:37 4.6 Aegean Sea
2017-06-16 23:42:40 4.9 Southern Greece
2017-06-12 12:28:37 6.3 NEAR THE COAST OF WESTERN TURKEY
2017-06-09 20:49:50 5.2 Greenland Sea
2017-06-07 18:25:42 5.1 GEORGIA (SAK'ART'VELO)
2017-06-02 16:09:57 4.6 IRAQ
2017-06-02 06:15:20 4.6 Eastern Caucasus
2017-05-31 20:25:23 4.5 Poland
2017-05-31 13:59:12 4.8 Svalbard, Norway, region

Recent earthquakes magnitude 6 or greater

UTC Time
Magnitude
Location
2017-06-22 12:31:46 6.626913698 Off Coast of Mexico
2017-06-22 12:31:04 6.8 Near coast of Guatemala
2017-06-17 22:26:02 6.1 South of Fiji Islands
2017-06-15 00:26:17 6.0 Kermadec Islands, New Zealand
2017-06-14 07:29:05 6.9 Guatemala
2017-06-12 12:28:37 6.3 NEAR THE COAST OF WESTERN TURKEY
2017-06-02 22:24:47 6.8 Near Islands, Aleutian Islands, United States
2017-05-29 14:35:21 6.6 Sulawesi, Indonesia
NEWS

06/16/2017

A seismic risk model for Switzerland

A seismic risk model for Switzerland

What damage could earthquakes cause in Switzerland? At present, only a patchy can be given to this important question. Thanks to the Swiss seismic hazard model developed by the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich, we know where and how often certain types of earthquake can be expected and how strong the tremors they cause will be at a given location. Yet, it remains largely unclear what damage earthquakes could cause to buildings and infrastructure. The Federal Council has now commissioned the SED, in cooperation with the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP), to plug this gap and devise a seismic risk model by 2022.

Based on the seismic hazard, the risk model takes account of the influence of the local subsurface and of the vulnerability and value of buildings and infrastructure. In future it will enable cantonal and national authorities to draw up improved risk overviews and use them to optimise their planning . Besides prevention, the model will serve to quickly assess where damage can be expected in the occurrence of an event. The development of the model is being financed by contributions from the FOEN, FOCP and ETH.

In addition, the earthquake risk management programme for the years 2017 to 2020 also provides for the following seismic measures, which are described in detail in the federal government press release and will aim to:

  • ensure institutionalised cooperation at the federal level;
  • complete the renewal of national earthquake measuring systems;
  • improve the bases for hazard assessment and seismic safety requirements;
  • to inventorise the earthquake-resistance of important federal buildings in Switzerland and abroad;
  • to safeguard the quality of earthquake protection measures in construction projects involving Switzerland's Federal Building and Property Services;
  • to draft principles and criteria for the assessment and treatment of cantonal applications for special federal financial aid in the event of an earthquake;
  • to draw up a concept for the establishment and operation of a claims organisation in conjunction with insurance companies and the cantons.

In addition to devising the seismic risk model, the SED is responsible for renewing Switzerland's national seismic network.

06/14/2017

Begin of the Opening of the Geothermal Borehole in Basel

Begin of the Opening of the Geothermal Borehole in Basel

On 28 March 2017, in consultation with Basel Industrielle Werke (IWB) the Department of Health of the Canton of Basel decided to re-open the borehole in late June created in Basel as part of the "Deep Heat Mining" geothermal power project 2006. The decision was prompted by an increase in microearthquake activity in the immediate vicinity of the borehole over the past few months. An extensive scientific study by the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at the ETH Zurich revealed that the increased earthquake activity will most probably subside again in the long term if the borehole is opened.

With the support of IWB, the SED has stepped up its seismic monitoring on behalf of the Canton of Basel-Stadt. In addition to routine seismic monitoring, the SED conducts a very thorough daily search for earthquakes near the borehole and automatically transmits the results to the Canton and IWB. These earthquake notifications form the basis of the traffic-light system defined by IWB, which is an important measure for reducing earthquake risk. All detected earthquakes are immediately published on the "List of Earthquakes" page.

The decision to open the borehole was prompted by an increase in microearthquake activity in the immediate vicinity of the borehole over the past few months. An extensive scientific study by the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at the ETH Zurich revealed that the increased earthquake activity will most probably subside again in the long term if the borehole is opened.

Further information on the opening process of the borehole can be found in the press release of the canton Basel-Stadt.

Further information about the geothermal project in Basel is available here.

06/06/2017

[Available in DE/FR] Leicht verspürtes Erdbeben bei Schwarzsee (FR)

[Available in DE/FR] Leicht verspürtes Erdbeben bei Schwarzsee (FR)

Am Dienstag, 6. Juni 2017 ereignete sich um 09:18 Uhr (Lokalzeit) in der Nähe von Schwarzsee (FR) ein leichtes Erdbeben mit einer Magnitude von 3.3. Die Einwohner der Gemeinden in einem Umkreis von rund 30 km haben das Beben verspürt. Auch in den Städten Bern und Fribourg wurde das Beben vereinzelt verspürt. Innerhalb der ersten Stunde nach dem Beben sind von mehr als fünfzig Personen entsprechende Meldungen auf unserer Webseite eingegangen. Schäden sind bei einem Beben dieser Stärke nicht zu erwarten.

Das Erdbeben steht wahrscheinlich im Zusammenhang mit der Fribourger Verwerfungszone, einer in Nord-Süd-Richtung verlaufenden Scherzone, die sich in den Erdbebenkarten als 20-30 km lange, lineare Struktur abzeichnet. Das aktuelle Erdbeben ist Teil dieser linearen Struktur. Im Jahr 1999 ereignete sich ein Erdbeben der Magnitude 4.3 (ML) auf dieser Verwerfungszone, dessen Herdtiefe in nur 2 km Tiefe und somit in den Sedimentgesteinen des Schweizer Molasse Beckens lag (Kastrup et al. 2007).

In der Schweiz ereignen sich jedes Jahr einige Beben mit einer Magnitude grösser als 3. Stärkere Beben mit einer Magnitude von ungefähr 5, die möglicherweise Schäden verursachen, sind nur alle 8 bis 15 Jahre zu erwarten.

06/02/2017

[Available in DE/FR] Verspürtes Erdbeben bei Sion (VS)

[Available in DE/FR] Verspürtes Erdbeben bei Sion (VS)

Am Freitag, 2. Juni 2017 ereignete sich um 21:05 Uhr (Lokalzeit) in der Nähe von Sion (VS) ein leichtes Erdbeben mit einer Magnitude von 3.3. Die Einwohner der Stadt Sitten und der umliegenden Gemeinden haben die Erschütterungen deutlich verspürt. Auch in angrenzenden Gebieten der Kantone Bern und Waadt ist das Beben bis in eine Distanz von rund 50 km vereinzelt verspürt worden. Von rund 400 Personen sind entsprechende Meldungen auf unserer Webseite eingegangen. Schäden sind bei einem Beben dieser Stärke nicht zu erwarten. Das letzte Beben mit dieser Stärke in der Region Sion ereignete sich vor gut einem Jahr. Allerdings gab es an der dort aktiven Verwerfung seither Dutzende von Beben unterhalb der menschlichen Wahrnehmungsgrenze. Im gesamten Wallis ereignen sich durchschnittlich etwas mehr als 200 Beben pro Jahr.

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 500 and 800 earthquakes a year, around 10 of which are powerful enough (with a magnitude of approximately 2.5 or higher) to be felt by the country's inhabitants. 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 precaution.

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Earthquakes

Earthquake Monitoring

Earthquake Monitoring

Around 10 times a year on average 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 150 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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