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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?
2018-11-03 01:20 2.9 Martigny VS Widely felt
2018-11-03 01:20 2.9 Martigny VS Slightly felt

Latest Earthquakes

Local Time
Magnitude
Location
2018-11-16 05:22 1.2 Sion VS
2018-11-13 23:05 0.5 Bourg-Saint-Pierre VS
2018-11-13 21:26 0.9 Domodossola I
2018-11-13 12:22 0.2 Graechen VS

Swiss Earthquakes Counter

since 01.01.2018 
000

Recent earthquakes magnitude 4.5 or greater

Time (UTC)
Mag.
Region
2018-11-15 17:16:57 4.6 Ionian Sea
2018-11-15 11:00:05 4.6 IONIAN SEA
2018-11-15 09:09:25 4.7 Ionian Sea
2018-11-15 09:02:05 4.9 Ionian Sea
2018-11-15 01:57:41 4.6 IONIAN SEA
2018-11-15 00:09:04 5.2 JAN MAYEN ISLAND REGION
2018-11-13 13:47:51 4.8 Albania
2018-11-13 09:06:10 4.6 JAN MAYEN ISLAND REGION
2018-11-12 09:47:35 4.5 NORWEGIAN SEA
2018-11-12 06:50:28 4.8 Ionian Sea
2018-11-11 23:38:35 4.8 Ionian Sea
2018-11-11 22:03:30 4.6 IONIAN SEA
2018-11-10 02:31:52 4.6 IONIAN SEA

Recent earthquakes magnitude 6 or greater

UTC Time
Magnitude
Location
2018-11-16 03:26:55 6.2 Bougainville - Solomon Islands region
2018-11-15 23:09:01 6.3 Southern East Pacific Rise
2018-11-15 20:02:21 6.3 South Sandwich Islands region
2018-11-14 21:21:51 6.0 Near east coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
2018-11-11 14:03:59 6.2 North Atlantic Ocean
2018-11-10 08:33:16 6.2 Tonga Islands
2018-11-09 01:49:39 6.8 JAN MAYEN ISLAND REGION
2018-11-05 11:46:34 6.1 Northwest of New Caledo
NEWS

2018-11-15

Watch InSight land on Mars

Watch InSight land on Mars

After a voyage lasting a good six months and covering some 485 million kilometres, NASA’s InSight lander is set to touch down on Mars on 26 November 2018. The landing promises to be a nail-biting spectacle: only if countless processes work together seamlessly will researchers from the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich and the Institute of Geophysics be able to gather seismic data that will reveal more about the interior of the Red Planet.

Before landing, InSight will turn so that its heat shield enters the atmosphere first. The shield protects the lander from temperatures of up to 1,500°C. Once the lander has entered the atmosphere, its parachute will deploy, slowing its initial fall velocity (385 m/s) for landing. The lander’s descent engines will fire over the last 100 metres, providing reverse thrust. A seismometer will be positioned as soon as the lander has touched down safely. The seismometer’s data-collection and control electronics were developed at ETH Zurich, and the seismic measurements it records will be analysed by seismologists from the SED and the Institute of Geophysics.

Come and help us cheer InSight on! NASA’s coverage will be broadcast live at bQm from 8.00 p.m. on 26 November 2018. The landing is scheduled for around 8.50 p.m., and the first images of Mars are expected at around 9.15 p.m. Since seating is limited, we would advise you to come early. More details can be found in the invitation flyer.

Find out more about the InSight mission and ETH Zurich’s activities at www.insight.ethz.ch.

Alternatively, you can watch the landing online here.

2018-11-03

[Available in DE/FR] Erdbeben bei Martigny

[Available in DE/FR] Erdbeben bei Martigny

Am Samstag, dem 3. November 2018 hat sich um 01:20 Uhr (Lokalzeit) südlich von Martigny (VS) in einer Tiefe von ca. 10 km ein Erdbeben der Magnitude 2.9 ereignet.

Die Erschütterungen waren im Unterwallis, vorwiegend im Gebiet um Martigny, bis Saxon und Collonges gut zu spüren. Zudem haben auch im unteren Rhonetal bis Aigle einige Personen das Beben wahrgenommen. Dies aufgrund seiner Bodenbeschaffenheit (weiche Sedimente) und der damit verbundenen Verstärkung der Erdbebenwellen. Bei einem Erdbeben dieser Stärke sind in der Regel keine Schäden zu erwarten.

Die Region um Martigny wurde bereits am 23. August dieses Jahres von einem Erdbeben am Dent de Morcles mit der Magnitude von 3.2 erschüttert (siehe Aktuellbeitrag vom 23.08.2018). Solche Erschütterungen sind für diese Region nichts Ungewöhnliches, ist das Wallis doch der Kanton mit der höchsten Erdbebenaktivität in der Schweiz.

2018-10-23

New procedures used in test to control induced seismicity

New procedures used in test to control induced seismicity

How can induced earthquakes occurring when deep geothermics are used, best be monitored, predicted and controlled? The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich is addressing this question within the framework of the COSEISMIQ project (COntrol SEISmicity and Manage Induced earthQuakes), which has just been launched near Reykjavik. In the wake of the induced earthquakes in Basel and St. Gallen, finding answers to these questions is important for all present and future geothermal energy sites, especially for Switzerland.

Together with Reykjavik Energy, GeoEnergie Suisse and scientists from Iceland, Ireland and Germany, 'adaptive traffic-light systems' will be tested under realistic conditions for the first time. The aim is to develop a system that can learn in real time and takes account of new data and local circumstances and events to minimise the risks of induced earthquakes while maximising energy extraction.

In recent weeks, as a first step, 23 seismic stations have been set up in the vicinity of the Hengill geothermal area, 30 km east of Reykjavik. Iceland is an ideal location for research because of its many successful geothermal projects, frequent instances of induced seismicity and sparse population. In a next step, induced seismicity during the stimulation of newly created boreholes will be recorded and (largely automatically) analysed. The data thus obtained should then serve as a basis for geomechanical modelling that enables the operator to observe and optimise the development of the reservoir in close to real time. The hope is that in future the adaptive system will help operators adopt targeted measures aimed at limiting induced seismicity. COSEISMIQ is part of the EU-funded GEOTHERMICA research programme.

2018-10-01

Earthquake and Tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Earthquake and Tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia

On 28 September 2018, several strong earthquakes shook the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The strongest earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.5, triggered a tsunami and, according to knowledge to date, claimed more than a thousand lives.

The earthquake occurred about 80 kilometres north of the provincial capital Palu on the coast at a depth of about 10 km. The quake was triggered by a sudden horizontal movement of rocks along the Palu-Koro fault. The north-south running fault through the Bay of Palu is similar in type to the San Andreas fault in California. Initial analyses indicate that the rock on both sides of the fault have shifted several metres in relation to each other in the area North of the town of Palu.

Horizontal displacements such as those of this earthquake rarely trigger large tsunamis. This usually requires a vertical movement of the seabed. When a block of rock beneath the water surface rises or falls rapidly due to an earthquake, the water column above it is raised or lowered and a tsunami is triggered. The exact cause of the tsunami in the Bay of Palu is not yet known. Possible causes are the pronounced topography of the coastal area and the seabed, whereby horizontal movements could also shift large masses of water, and / or underwater landslides caused by the quake.

After the earthquake, the tsunami waves took about half an hour to reach Palu. This appears long in comparsion to the relatively short distance to the epicentre. The reason for this is the depth of the water; the greater the depth, the faster the waves spread. At a shallow water depth of 200 m, as it is likely to prevail between the epicentre and the city of Palu, the speed of propagation is about 160 km/h. This is much slower than the speed of the seismic waves, and also much slower as if the sea depth was at 4 km, typical in the deep ocean. In this deep case, the tsunami waves would have arrived at Palu in under 10 minutes. In addition, the narrow geometry of the bay north of Palu is very likely to have significantly amplified the height of the tsunami wave.

As always, the sequence of strong quakes has redistributed the tectonic stresses in the region. In the coming days, further, sometimes violent aftershocks at the Palu-Koro fault as well as at neighbouring fault lines are to be expected. Indonesia lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where 90 percent of all earthquakes worldwide occur.

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 precaution.

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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 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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