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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?
2018-04-17 07:38 2.8 Lago di Garda I Probably not felt
2018-04-12 04:23 3.2 Montafon A Slightly felt
2018-04-08 23:50 2.9 CHATEAU-D'OEX VD Felt
2018-03-30 02:11 2.7 Merano I Probably not felt
2018-03-27 15:29 3.0 2 km S Lusernetta (TO) Probably not felt

Latest Earthquakes

Local Time
Magnitude
Location
2018-04-25 13:41 2.0 Breil/Brigels GR
2018-04-24 11:05 1.0 Bourg-Saint-Pierre VS
2018-04-24 07:01 0.4 Sanetschpass VS
2018-04-24 04:32 1.4 Bormio I

Swiss Earthquakes Counter

since 01.01.2018 
000

Recent earthquakes magnitude 4.5 or greater

Time (UTC)
Mag.
Region
2018-04-25 00:06:56 5.3 JAN MAYEN ISLAND REGION
2018-04-24 20:47:41 4.5 CAUCASUS REGION, RUSSIA
2018-04-24 00:34:31 5.2 Turkey
2018-04-23 15:48:52 4.7 Northern Algeria
2018-04-21 00:20:06 4.8 Aegean Sea
2018-04-20 21:58:55 5.2 Baltic-Belarus-NW Russi
2018-04-13 17:14:01 4.8 Turkey
2018-04-10 15:56:19 4.9 Dodecanese Islands, Greece
2018-04-10 03:11:30 4.6 2 km SW Muccia (MC)
2018-04-07 21:16:33 4.7 Turkey
2018-04-01 08:35:30 5.4 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
2018-03-19 19:32:22 5.1 Northern and central Iran
2018-03-19 04:30:47 5.0 Southern Iran

Recent earthquakes magnitude 6 or greater

UTC Time
Magnitude
Location
2018-04-19 21:09:17 6.0 Prince Edward Islands, South Africa, region
2018-04-14 08:17:56 6.3 Bouvet Island region
2018-04-10 10:19:34 6.2 Near coast of central Chile
2018-04-09 00:20:20 6.3 South Sandwich Islands
2018-04-07 05:49:15 6.0 Near n coast of New Gui
2018-04-07 05:48:39 6.3 New Guinea, Papua New Guinea
2018-04-05 09:13:01 6.1 North Pacific Ocean
2018-04-05 09:10:20 6.0 Fiji region
NEWS

2018-04-19

Bundesrat bewilligt neues Massnahmenpaket zum Schutz vor Naturgefahren

Bundesrat bewilligt neues Massnahmenpaket zum Schutz vor Naturgefahren

Im Rahmen des Projekts «Optimierung von Warnung und Alarmierung bei Naturgefahren» (OWARNA) verbessern Bund und Kantone seit 2010 laufend ihre Zusammenarbeit sowie Vorhersagen, Warnungen und Informationen bei Naturereignissen wie Hochwasser, Sturm, Lawinen oder Erdbeben. Die zuständigen Fachstellen des Bundes koordinieren ihre Anstrengungen im Lenkungsausschuss «Intervention Naturgefahren» (LAINAT). Der Bundesrat hat an seiner Sitzung vom 18. April 2018 den neuesten OWARNA-Bericht zur Kenntnis genommen und für die Periode von 2019 bis 2023 entsprechende Ressourcen bewilligt. Neben der Fortführung der bisherigen Massnahmen steht in den nächsten Jahren vor allem die Anpassung und Weiterentwicklung von Produkten und Warnungen zu klimatischen Gefahren im Vordergrund.

2018-04-18

Alpine orogeny: Did the mountains form after ballast was jettisoned, rather than after being squeezed up in a collision between tectonic plates?

Alpine orogeny: Did the mountains form after ballast was jettisoned, rather than after being squeezed up in a collision between tectonic plates?

A recently published new model of the Alpine orogeny suggests that the rocks comprising the Alps rose to form a mountain range because they broke free of the heavier lower layer of the subducting European plate. This is the theory proposed by Edi Kissling from the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zurich and Fritz Schlunegger from the Institute of Geological Sciences at the University of Bern. Previous assumptions were based on the hypothesis that the Alps were pushed up when two tectonic plates, the Adriatic in the south and the European in the north, collided. However, various recent geophysical and geological findings contradict the old bulldozer model.

The rigid rocky shell of the Earth - the lithosphere - is divided into plates that float, like rafts, on the viscous mantle beneath. These plates consist of two layers, the crust on top and the so-called mantle lithosphere underneath. The crust provides uplift and prevents the heavier mantle lithosphere from sinking into the mantle. The oceanic parts of lithospheric plates have a far thinner crust than the plates' continental parts. This makes them far less buoyant, so in so-called subduction zones the oceanic lithosphere can sink as a whole in the mantle and thereby help to push the continental part of the plate across the Earth's surface.

When the Alpine orogeny began, such a subduction occurred, when the former oceanic part of Europe was pushed underneath the Adria/African continent further south. After the whole ocean was subducted, the two continental lithospheric plates collided, much like two rafts might do. According to the previous orogenic model for the Swiss Central Alps, the collision between the two continental plates pushed together the rock material between them, causing it to surge upwards.

But recent geophysical data on the deep structure of the Alps and geological findings about how the Swiss Mittelland (or Swiss Plateau) arose indicate that this coming together, if anything, only played a very minor role in the formation of the mountain range. Instead, the Alps were pushed up to form mountains because the continental crust had freed itself from the heavy lower layer of the subducting European plate. This gave the crust, which is up to 60 km thick, tremendous additional uplift, and it has easily borne the weight of the mountains ever since, similarly to the way in which icebergs float on water. The greater uplift of the continental crust is constantly compensating for the height of the mountain range, which would otherwise decrease through erosion processes. Rivers and glaciers shape the mountains by carrying away soil and depositing sedimentation in the foreland basin, previously on the Swiss Plateau and today in the Po Valley.

So the concepts looming largest in the new model on the formation of the Alps are the floating tectonic plate's gravitational (and thus vertical) forces. This differentiates the model posited by the two authors from the previous bulldozer model, in which horizontal forces predominate.

Publication: "Rollback orogeny model for the evolution of the Swiss Alps", Tectonics, 2018

Further information: Edi Kissling, Fritz Schlunegger

2018-04-08

[Available in DE/FR] Neues Beben in der Nähe von Château-d’Oex

[Available in DE/FR] Neues Beben in der Nähe von Château-d’Oex

Am Sonntag, dem 8. April 2018 hat sich um 23:50 Uhr (Lokalzeit) in der Nähe von Château-d’Oex (VD) in einer Tiefe von ungefähr 6 km ein Erdbeben der Magnitude 2.9 ereignet.

Die Erschütterungen waren vorwiegend im Gebiet um Château-d’Oex gut zu spüren. Zudem haben auch im unteren Rhonetal viele 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 Château-d’Oex wurde bereits 2016 und 2017 von zahlreichen Erdbeben erschüttert. Das stärkste Beben mit einer Magnitude von 4.3, gefolgt von zahlreichen Nachbeben, ereignete sich am 1. Juli 2017. Das Beben vom Sonntag wurde etwa 3 km südöstlich der Erdbebenschwärme im Jahr 2016 und 2017 lokalisiert.

2018-03-12

[Available in DE] Erdbeben an der deutsch-schweizerischen Grenze nahe Laufenburg

[Available in DE] Erdbeben an der deutsch-schweizerischen Grenze nahe Laufenburg

Am Montag, 12. März 2018 hat sich kurz nach Mitternacht um 00:29 Uhr (Lokalzeit) ein Erdbeben der Magnitude 3.1 in Deutschland ereignet, ungefähr 13 km nördlich von Laufenburg. Das Erdbeben ereignete sich in 17 km Tiefe und wurde in der Nähe des Epizentrums und auch auf der schweizerischen Seite der Grenze deutlich verspürt. Schäden sind bei einem Erdbeben dieser Stärke in der Regel nicht zu erwarten.

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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