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 program for earthquake risk reduction.
Earthquake sequence near Sion (VS) continues
Friday morning, June 21 at 6:12h (local time), an earthquake of magnitude 3.2 occurred at a depth of 8 km between the villages Grimisuat, Ayent and St. Léonard (VS). It was clearly felt in the city of Sion and in the neighboring villages: We have received about 300 felt reports on our website. No damage is expected for an earthquake of this size.
This earthquake is part of an earthquake swarm that started on June 20, 2015 with an event of magnitude 3.0. After a calm period, the sequence reactivated in May 10, 2016, and included a felt event of magnitude 2.9 on May 21 at 5:49h. This type of earthquake swarm is quite common for Switzerland. However, the further development of the sequence is not predictable: typically swarm activity usually end after a few weeks or months, though in rare cases the strength and number of the earthquakes increase over time.
How Do Mountains Form? New Monitoring Stations for AlpArray
AlpArray is a European initiative in order to advance our understanding of mountain building processes and create 3D images of the lithosphere and upper mantle. To achieve this, AlpArray establishes and operates a seismic monitoring network (AASN) that combines existing stations of 24 seismological observatories with eventually more than 250 new temporary stations in 12 countries covering the Alps, the Northern Apennines and their forelands.
The Swiss contribution to the AASN is now completed by having installed 27 temporary stations in Switzerland (3), Italy (12), Hungary (6), Bosnia and Herzegovina (3), and Croatia (3). All stations of the Swiss digital seismic network also contribute to the AASN. The Seismology and Geodynamics group (SEG) and the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH in Zurich take leading roles in this project.
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