MENU
The page content begins here

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?
2019-01-19 04:01 2.6 Davos GR Slightly felt
2019-01-15 00:03 4.6 Northern Italy Widely felt
2019-01-10 19:42 2.9 Merano I Probably not felt
2018-12-29 09:29 2.9 Fribourg FR Felt

Latest Earthquakes

Local Time
Magnitude
Location
2019-01-23 04:11 0.4 Courmayeur I
2019-01-23 02:08 0.9 Courmayeur I
2019-01-22 22:02 0.3 Courmayeur I
2019-01-22 20:50 0.2 Sanetschpass VS

Swiss Earthquakes Counter

since 01.01.2019 
000

Recent earthquakes magnitude 4.5 or greater

Time (UTC)
Mag.
Region
2019-01-22 20:12:07 4.8 Dodecanese Islands, Greece
2019-01-20 15:49:50 4.9 Eastern Mediterranean Sea
2019-01-17 03:36:33 4.5 SOUTHERN GREECE
2019-01-16 22:44:10 4.8 NORWEGIAN SEA
2019-01-15 01:25:04 4.5 GREECE
2019-01-15 00:56:19 4.5 Iran-Iraq border region
2019-01-14 23:03:56 4.6 Northern Italy
2019-01-14 18:18:01 4.6 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
2019-01-10 18:24:41 4.8 CRETE, GREECE
2019-01-10 17:30:14 4.8 Ionian Sea
2019-01-06 14:15:15 4.8 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
2019-01-06 13:41:58 5.7 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
2019-01-04 19:27:38 4.8 Albania

Recent earthquakes magnitude 6 or greater

UTC Time
Magnitude
Location
2019-01-22 19:01:43 6.7 Prince Edward Islands, South Africa, region
2019-01-22 05:10:03 6.4 Sumba, Indonesia, region
2019-01-21 23:59:22 6.0 Sumba, Indonesia, region
2019-01-20 01:32:51 6.7 Near coast of central Chile
2019-01-18 16:40:42 6.0 Northern East Pacific Rise
2019-01-18 13:18:32 6.0 Vanuatu Islands
2019-01-17 15:06:35 6.2 Bismarck Sea
2019-01-15 18:06:34 6.6 Vanuatu Islands
NEWS

2019-01-17

Experiment investigates how faulted rock retains CO2

Experiment investigates how faulted rock retains CO2

In order to achieve the ambitious UN climate targets, it is not enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a complementary option, one can capture CO2 directly from industrial production or from the atmosphere and store it permanently in the deep underground. For enabling so-called negative emissions, sequestrated CO2 needs to be safely retained for centuries. Once injected into a reservoir, CO2 may escape again in two ways: through existing boreholes or through existing faults in the rock above the reservoir meant to seal it. Faults in this caprock may not only influence the long-term containment of CO2. They are also the place, where earthquakes may occur.

Currently, the physical and chemical parameters governing leakage through faults, and the effects of rock deformation and chemical interactions leading to induced seismicity, are not fully understood. There is further limited knowledge on Swiss-specific conditions, making it difficult to judge to what extent underground CO2 storage could be an option in this country. This is why scientists from the Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich and the SCCER-SoE are conducting an experiment, in collaboration with the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering and the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zurich as well as Swisstopo and EPFL. The experiment is taking place at the Mont Terri rock laboratory and part of the ELEGANCY project funded by the European Commission and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.

Scientists will investigate how CO2 migrates withing a rock with faults, under what circumstances induced seismicity may occur, and how such a storage should be monitored best. Therefore, they will inject small amounts of CO2-enriched saltwater into a borehole that cuts through a small fault zone. To study how the fault zone reacts to the CO2 injected, they will observe the stability of the rock and analyse the coupling between fault slip, pore pressure, and fluid migration. Active and passive seismic sensors will monitor the variations of seismic velocities around the injection and register possible micro-earthquakes with magnitudes below zero.

In contrast to a full-scale CO2 storage project, this experiment only investigates the relevant processes with small amounts of CO2-enriched saltwater. Nonetheless, its findings will contribute to a better understanding of the relevant processes influencing the migration of CO2 in faults. Thereby, the experiment will also contribute to an enhanced site characterization. Worldwide, about twenty CO2 storage projects are already in operation, each sequestering up to three million tons of CO2 per year, and numerous plants are in the planning. In Switzerland, there is currently no CO2 storage project planned. 

Learn more about the ELEGANCY project:

www.sintef.no/elegancy/

www.sccer-soe.ch/research/pilots-demos/elegancy/

2018-12-29

Weak Earthquake near Fribourg

Weak Earthquake near Fribourg

On 29 December 2018 at 9:30 a weak earthquake with a magnitude of 2.9 was observed between Fribourg and Düdingen. The event was mainly felt in these two municipalities, but the Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich also received felt reports also from other places within a radius of roughly 15 km. Damages are not expected due to such an event.

The region of Fribourg is well known for weak and shallow earthquakes. In the past numerous similar events were detected every year. However they are typically too weak to be felt by the public.

2018-12-19

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This year's Christmas wreath is decorated with red and orange berries. They show the location of the earthquakes with a magnitude of 2 or greater recorded by the national seismic network from January to November 2018.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2018-11-26

InSight landed on Mars!

InSight landed on Mars!

On 26 November 2018 the time had come: InSight successfully landed on the Elysium plain. This was not an easy task. It was only possible thanks to technologies that had been tried and tested in earlier missions and played together perfectly. The InSight mission had to overcome additional difficulties: Compared to other Mars missions, it entered the atmosphere with a slower velocity, was heavier, landed at a higher point and at a meteorologically less favourable time due to a high risk of sandstorms. Beginning from the entry into the atmosphere, the entire landing took six minutes. By this time, the mission had already covered a distance of approximately 483 million kilometres and spent 205 days in space.

The successful landing is an important milestone in fulfilling the scientific objectives of the mission. We are particularly interested in the origin and development of Mars and its inner structure. We can therefore hardly wait until the seismometer is set down on the surface of Mars and the first measurement data arrives, which we will then immediately evaluate together with researchers from the Institute of Geophysics. InSight is thus also the start of a new era: For the first time, scientific data on the before-mentioned topics will be collected and the first results will be awaited with anticipation. First marsquake measurements are expected for early January if everything goes according to plan.

Have you missed it? Watch the landing here.

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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).

Learn more

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.

Learn more

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.

Learn more

 

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.

Learn more

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 150 seismic stations across Switzerland.

Learn more

Research and Teaching

Products and Software

Products and Software

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

Learn more