MENU
Der Seiteninhalt beginnt hier

Vergangene Projekte

Auf dieser Seite finden Sie ausgewählte vergangene Projekte, die Mitarbeitende des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes (SED) federführend betreut oder an denen sie in zentraler Rolle mitgewirkt haben. Es handelt sich nicht um eine abschliessende Aufstellung, sondern um eine Auswahl zentraler und umfangreicher Projekte. Die Projekte sind nach ihrem Hauptforschungsfeld geordnet.

Interdisziplinäre Projekte

ENVRIplus is a Horizon 2020 project bringing together Environmental and Earth System Research Infrastructures, projects and networks as well as technical specialist partners to create a more coherent, interdisciplinary and interoperable cluster of Environmental Research Infrastructures across Europe. The project has 37 partners from 13 countries, representing 27 European Research Infrastructures.

Environmental Research Infrastructures provide key tools and instruments for researchers to address specific challenges within their own scientific fields. However, to tackle the grand challenges facing human society (for example climate change, extreme events, loss of biodiversity, etc.), scientific collaboration across the traditional fields is necessary. The Earth system is highly interlinked and the area of focus for environmental research is therefore our whole planet.

Collaboration within ENVRIplus will enable multidisciplinary Earth system science across the traditional scientific fields, which is so important in order to address today’s global challenges. The cooperation will avoid the fragmentation and duplication of efforts, making the Research Infrastructures’ products and solutions easier to use with each other, improving their innovation potential and the cost/benefit ratio of the Research Infrastructure operations.

ENVRIplus is organized in 6 overarching themes. SED leads the workpackage 'A Framework for Environmental Literacy' in Theme 4 'Societal Relevance and Understanding', and participates in the WP 'Developing an Ethical Framework for Research Infrastructures' in that Theme. We also participates in various workpackages and activities in Theme 2 'Data for Science' and Theme 3 'Access to Research Infrastructures'.

Project Leader at SED

Florian Haslinger

SED Project Members

Michèle Marti, Carlo Cauzzi, Philipp Kästli, Marcus Herrmann. Former staff: Jeremy Zechar, Isabell Schlerkmann

Funding Source

SBFI (for EU Horizon2020)

Duration

May 2015 – April 2019

Key Words

Environmental Research, Earth System Research, Infrastructure, Earth System science

Research Field

Earth System Science

Link To Project Website

Project Website

The European Plate Observing System (EPOS [www.epos-eu.org]) is a single, sustainable, permanent research infrastructure for solid Earth sciences in Europe. EPOS integrates existing geophysical monitoring networks (e.g. seismic and geodetic networks), local observatories (e.g. volcano observatories) and experimental laboratories (e.g., experimental and analytic lab for rock physics and tectonic analogue modeling) across Europe and adjacent regions to form a federated, coherent multidisciplinary infrastructure.

The EPOS components provide key parameters for the multidisciplinary study of the interior structure, composition and dynamics of the Earth, for exploration activities related to the identification and exploitation of natural and energy resources and for the assessment and monitoring of natural hazards. In addition to Earth scientists, users of EPOS data include engineers and private practitioners, public offices, construction industry and critical infrastructures, and the (re)insurance sector.

EPOS-IP is an EU Horizon 2020 project supporting the implementation of EPOS. This project brings together 47 consortium members and 6 associate partners from 25 countries, covering all involved scientific domains as well as coordinated IT developments and legal and financial aspects in the preparation for the establishment of EPOS as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) by late 2018.

The SED and the professorship of Seismology and Geodynamics at ETH Zürich have been playing a leading role in the development of EPOS since its conception in the early 2000s. In EPOS-IP, SED coordinates the build-up of the Thematic Core Service (TCS) Seismology [https://www.epos-ip.org/tcs/seismology], and is strongly involved in the TCS Near-Fault Observatories [https://www.epos-ip.org/tcs/near-fault-observatories], where we contribute the monitoring infrastructure operated by the SED in the Valais. As one of the services in the TCS Seismology, SED hosts the coordinated European Seismic Hazard and Risk platform EFEHR.

Project Leader at SED

Florian Haslinger

SED Project Members

Main contributors: Stefan Wiemer, John Clinton, Philipp Kästli, Laurentiu Danciu

Funding Source

EU Horizon2020

Duration

October 2015 – September 2019

Key Words

Solid Earth, seismological data, products, services, ERIC

Research Field

Earthquakes, Earth Structure Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Historical Seismicity, Seismotectonics, Real-time monitoring, Engineering Seismology, Solid Earth Sciences

Link To Project Website

Project Website

project image

The "Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructure Alliance for Europe" (SERA) aims to reduce the risk posed by natural and anthropogenic earthquakes. SERA will significantly improve the access to data, services and research infrastructures, and deliver solutions based on innovative research and development projects in seismology and earthquake engineering. SERA is a Horizon 2020-supported programme responding to the priorities identified in the call INFRAIA-01-2016-2017 “Research Infrastructure for Earthquake Hazard”. SERA involves 31 partners and 8 linked third parties in Europe.

To reach its objectives, SERA will…

  • collaborate with the communities involved in previous successful projects including NERA and SERIES
  • facilitate access to the largest collection of high-class experimental facilities in earthquake engineering in Europe.
  • offer virtual access to the main data and products in seismology and anthropogenic seismicity in Europe.
  • promote multi-disciplinary science across the domains of seismology, anthropogenic seismicity, near-fault observatories, and deep underground laboratories to achieve an improved understanding of earthquake occurrence.

These efforts will lead to a revised European Seismic Hazard reference model for consideration in the ongoing revision of the Eurocode 8 and to a first, comprehensive framework for seismic risk modeling at European scale. SERA will further develop new standards for future experimental observations in earthquake engineering, for the design of instruments and networks for observational seismology, and reliable methodologies for real-time assessment of shaking and damage. By expanding the access to seismological observations and assisting in connecting infrastructures and communities in the fields of deep seismic sounding, experimental earthquake engineering and site characterization SERA facilities collaboration and innovations in the respective areas. SERA will also contribute meaningfully to the construction and validation of EPOS and effectively communicate its activities and achievements to the relevant stakeholders.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Stefan Wiemer

SED Project Members

Dr. Florian Haslinger, Dr. Laurentiu Danciu, Michèle Marti, Stephanie Schnydrig, Dr. Francesco Grigoli

Funding Source

SBFI

Duration

2017 - 2020

Key Words

seismology, earthquake engineering, seismic hazard and risk, anthropogenic seismicity, deep underground, earth structure, georesources, geohazards

Research Field

Seismic Hazard and Risk, Earthquake Engineering, Operational Earthquake Forecasting, Induced Seismicity

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Seismische Gefährdungsbeurteilung

project image

Following the seismic microzonation of Basel, the project «Basel Erdbebenvorsorge» was funded by the canton Basel-Stadt. It aimed first at improving the seismic network in Basel and collecting data for the next generation of microzonation studies, and second at proposing earthquake scenarios and risk computations for all cantonal school buildings. This study sets the framework for studies including the whole city, supporting earthquake mitigation and crisis management.

In a first phase, 6 new modern strong-motion stations have been installed, complementing the installations from the SSMNet renewal project. The sites have been characterized through geophysical measurements. In addition, 5 temporary stations have been installed for the period of the project. In a second phase, a new amplification map was developed accounting for all information collected for the completed microzonation study and more recent data. The third phase was the development of a risk framework using the Openquake software. The company Resonance Ingénieurs-Conseils performed the assessment of the capacity curves of the school buildings, that were implemented through fragility curves. A particular focus of the project was put on the uncertainties of the risk-calculation process. Scenarios for typical events of the area were assessed, based on the historical seismicity and the de-aggregation of the regional seismic hazard. The effect of retrofitting of the school-building stock through the ongoing HARMOS project was quantified with a cost-benefit analysis.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Clotaire Michel

Involved Institutions

Kantonales Laboratorium Basel-Stadt, Résonance Ingénieurs Conseil, Hochbauamt Kanton Basel-Stadt

Funding Source

Kanton Basel-Stadt

Duration

2013-2016

Key Words

Seismic risk, seismic vulnerability, microzonation, school buildings, site effects, Openquake, strong motion

Research Field

Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Engineering Seismology

Publications

Michel, C., Hannewald, P., Lestuzzi, P., Fäh, D., & Husen, S. (2017). Probabilistic mechanics-based loss scenarios for school buildings in Basel (Switzerland). Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering 15(4), 1471–1496. doi: 10.1007/s10518-016-0025-2

Michel, C., Fäh, D., Edwards, B., & Cauzzi, C. (2017). Site amplification at the city scale in Basel (Switzerland) from geophysical site characterization and spectral modelling of recorded earthquakes. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C 98, 27-40. doi: 10.1016/j.pce.2016.07.005

Michel C., Fäh D. (2016). Basel earthquake risk mitigation - Computation of scenarios for school buildings. Technical Report. Zürich, Switzerland: ETH-Zürich. doi: 10.3929/ethz-a-010646514

Michel C., Fäh D., Edwards B., Cauzzi C. (2016, in press). Site amplification at the city scale in Basel (Switzerland) from geophysical site characterization and spectral modelling of recorded earthquakes. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth Special Issue “Advances in seismic site response: standard-practice and innovative methods”. doi: 10.1016/j.pce.2016.07.005

Michel, C., Fäh, D., Lestuzzi, P., Hannewald, P. and Husen, S. (2015). Detaillierte Erdbeben-Schaden-szenarien für die Schulgebäude im Kanton Basel-Stadt. Dokumentation SIA D 0255 Erdbeben und bestehenden Bauten, 14. D-A-CH-Tagung, Zürich. 

Michel C., Hannewald P., Lestuzzi P., Fäh D., Husen S.  (2016, in press). Probabilistic mechanics-based loss scenarios for school buildings in Basel (Switzerland). Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering. doi: 10.1007/s10518-016-0025-2

Résonance (2016). Basel earthquake risk mitigation – Capacity curves of school buildings. Technical Report. Zürich, Switzerland: ETH-Zürich. doi: 10.3929/ethz-a-010647300

project image

The objective of this project is the microzonation of the Bucharest city (Romania).

For a better understanding of the geological structure under Bucharest, non-invasive methods are used, as: wavelet-polarization analysis at each station, H/V for ambient vibrations and earthquakes, and the three-components array analysis of ambient vibration recordings from URS experiment, in order to retrieve the characteristics of surface waves. Surface wave dispersion curves, their ellipticity and the data from boreholes (depth < 100m) are jointly inverted to estimate the velocity structure under the city.

The final 3D structure will be used for the numerical simulation of the seismic waves propagation from the Vrancea intermediate-depth source to the city in order to investigate the seismic hazard in the city.

Data used in this project are from: National Institute of Earth Physics, CRC461-Proiect URS – URban Seismology 2003-2004, BIGSEES ”BrIdging the Gap between Seismology and Earthquake Engineering: from the Seismicity of Romania towards a refined implementation of seismic action EN1998-1 in earthquake resistant design of buildings”

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Elena Manea, Clotaire Michel, Manuel Hobiger, Valerio Poggi

Involved Institutions

National Institute for Earth Physics (NIEP), Bucharest, Romania

Doctoral School of Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

Funding Source

Sciex-NMSch Programme, No. 13.123

Duration

2014-2015

Key Words

Ambient Vibration, Array Processing, 3D Geophysical Model, Seismic Hazard

Research Field

Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Engineering Seismology

Publications

Manea, E.F, Michel C., Poggi V., Fäh D., Radulian M., Bălan S.F. (2016). Improvement of the shear wave velocity structure beneath Bucharest (Romania) using ambient vibrations. Geophysical Journal International, under review. 

Manea, E.F., Michel C., Hobiger M., Fäh D., Cioflan C.O., Radulian M. (2016). Analysis of the seismic wave field in the Moesian Platform (Bucharest area) for hazard assessment purposes. In preparation. 

Presentations

Manea E. F., Hobiger M., Michel C., Fäh D., Cioflan C. O. (2016). Analysis of the seismic wavefield in the Moesian Platform (Bucharest area). Geophysical Research Abstracts Vol. 18, EGU 2016, 930.  Access for SSA members only 

Manea E. F., Michel C., Fäh D., Poggi V., Edwards B., Cioflan C. O., Radulian M., Balan S. F. (2015). Improvement of the Shear Wave Velocity Structure Beneath Bucharest (Romania) Using Non-Invasive Techniques. Seismological Society of America (SSA 2015) Annual Meeting, Pasadena, California, 21-23 April 2015.  Access for SSA members only 

project image

NERA was a project in the Seventh Framework Program (FP7) of the European Commission (EC) that integrated key research infrastructures in Europe to monitor earthquakes and assess their hazard and risk to improve and make a long-term impact on the assessment and the reduction of the vulnerability of constructions and citizens to earthquakes.

Our group was involved in the Work package JRA1, Waveform modelling and site coefficients for basin response and topography, and Workpackage NA5, Networking near-fault observatories.

The key objective of JRA1 was to establish some scientifically solid and practically acceptable propositions to incorporate basin and surface topography effects in seismic design (building codes, microzonation studies, critical facilities). We contributed with a systematic study of the topographic site effects with emphasis on reasonable characterization of the both topographic site structures and observed effects on ground motion. We gathered available earthquake and ambient vibration recordings from sites with pronounced topography (Europe, Japan) and performed joint analysis with digital elevation models.

The results and final recommendations have been published in a report. These conclusions contribute to the ongoing (light) revision of EC8.

The objective of NA5 was to collaborate in sharing of technological and scientific experience and know-how between the near-fault observatories. We shared our experience with the installation (including data gathering and data archiving) of various instruments in the Valais region. This workpackage represented an infrastructural support for workpackage 2 of the project REAKT.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Jan Burjanek

Involved Institutions

SED, CNRS(ISTerre), INGV, AUTH, GFZ, and others

Funding Source

EC

Duration

2010-2014

Key Words

Topography, site-effects, near-fault observatories

Research Field

Publications

Burjanek, J., Edwards, B. and Fäh, D.  (2013). Empirical evidence of topographic site effects: a systematic approach. Geophys. J. Int. 197, 608-619. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggu014

Reports / Deliverables

In the 1990s the Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (HSK) identified the need to update the seismic hazard assessments for Swiss NPPs and in 1998 asked the Swiss NPP operators to draw up a new hazard study that would comply with SSHAC level 4 (SSHAC, 1997) requirements. Nagra (the National Co-operative for the Disposal of Radioactive Wastes) was commissioned to plan, organize and perform such a study – the PEGASOS project (Probabilistische Erdbeben-Gefährdungs-Analyse für KKW-Standorte in der Schweiz). The project involved more than 20 experts from seven European countries, with support provided by 25 Swiss and foreign specialists and consultants. The project was completed in the summer of 2004.

In 2008 the "PEGASOS Refinement Project" was launched in order to address potential refinements. As part of this project the SED was commissioned to provide input and to develop specific products:

  • A revision and update of the Earthquake Catalogue of Switzerland (ECOS-09)
  • Earthquake source studies related recent earthquakes
  • Determination of site information for seismic stations in Switzerland
  • New Swiss stochastic ground motion prediction equation

Finite-fault near-source broadband ground-motion simulation

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

Involved Institutions

SED

Funding Source
Duration

2008-2013

Key Words

Earthquake catalogues, earthquake sources, ground motion prediction equations, numerical ground-motion simulations

Research Field

Seismic hazard assessment

project image

COGEAR was an interdisciplinary natural hazards project investigating the hazard chain induced by earthquakes. It addressed tectonic processes and the related variability of seismicity in space and time, earthquake forecasting and short-term precursors, and strong ground motion as a result of source and complex path effects.

We studied non-linear wave propagation phenomena, liquefaction and triggering of landslides in soils and rocks, as well as earthquake-induced snow avalanches. The Valais, and in particular parts of the Rhone, Visper and Matter valleys have been selected as study areas. Tasks included detailed field investigations, development and application of numerical modelling techniques, assessment of the susceptibility to seismically induced effects and installation of different monitoring systems to test and validate our models. These systems are for long-term operation and include a continuous GPS and seismic networks, a test installation for observing earthquake precursors, and a system to study site-effects and non-linear phenomena in two test areas (Visp, St. Niklaus-Randa). Risk-related aspects of impacts on buildings and lifelines were also considered.

COGEAR was supported by the Competence Center for Environment and Sustainability (CCES) of ETH Zurich.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

Involved Institutions

ETHZ: SED, EngGeo, GGL, IKA, IGT, SEG, AUG, PRS

EPFL: LMS, IMAC

WSL: SLF

Funding Source

Competence Center for Environment and Sustainability (CCES) of ETH Zurich

Duration

2008-2012

Key Words

seismic ground motion, non-linear phenomena, landslides, earthquake precursors, earthquake forecasting, Switzerland.

Research Field

Link To Project Website

Archive

project image

For the city of Basel, a qualitative microzonation was performed in 1997. The zonation was mainly based mainly on the properties of the quaternary sediments. This triggered a study that provided a quantitative assessment of ground motion amplification in order to determine which levels of amplifications have to be taken into account a site-specific hazard assessment in the Basel area. It is the result of two large projects, the ETH project “Earthquake scenarios for Switzerland” (1997-2002) and the INTERREG project “Seismic Microzonation in the upper Rhine Graben area” (2003-2006) (Fäh end Huggenberger, 2006). Earthquakes in the Basel region triggered the strong motion network in Basel and provided a data set for comparison. Spectral ratios from recordings confirm the results of the microzonation study. Finally uniform hazard spectra were derived for each zone by combining the hazard on rock with the amplification functions. The microzonation is published on the Internet:

Basel Landschaft: http://geoview.bl.ch

Basel Stadt: www.geo.bs.ch/erdbebenmikrozonierung

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Hans Havenith, Ivo Oprsal, Brian Steiner, Sybille Steimen, Philipp Kästli, Gabriela Stamm, Johannes Ripperger, Jan Burjanek

Involved Institutions

AUG Uni Basel, Kantone BS und BL, Wenk Engineering

Funding Source

Interreg, Kantone Basel Stadt & Basel Landschaft

Duration

2003-2009

Key Words

Microzonation, Basel

Research Field

Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Engineering Seismology, Microzonation

Publications

Fäh, D. and P. Huggenberger (2006). INTERREG III, Erdbebenmikrozonierung am südlichen Oberrhein. Zusammenfassung für das Projektgebiet Gebiet in der Schweiz. CD and Report (in german; available from the authors). 

Fäh, D. and T. Wenk (2009). Mikrozonierung für die Kantone Basel Stadt und Basel Landschaft: Optimierung der Form der Antwortspektren und der Anzahl der Mikrozonen. In: Schweizerischer Erdbebendienst ETH Zürich: Abschlussbericht: Teilbericht B Projekt "Umsetzung der Mikrozonierung in den Kantonen Basel Stadt und Basel Landschaft". 

Fäh, D., Steimen, S., Oprsal, I., Ripperger, J., Wössner, J., Schatzmann, R., Kästli, P., Spottke, I. and P. Huggenberger (2006). The earthquake of 250 A.D. in Augusta Raurica, a real event with a 3D site-effect?. Journal of Seismology 10, 459-477. 

Fäh, D., Gisler, M., Jaggi, B., Kästli, P., Lutz, T., Masciadri, V., Matt, C. Mayer-Rosa, D., Rippmann, D., Schwarz-Zanetti, G., Tauber, J., Wenk, T. (2009). The 1356 Basel earthquake: an interdisciplinary revision. Geophys. J. Int. 178, 351-374. 

Fäh, D. Ripperger, J., Stamm, G., Kästli, P., and J. Burjanek (2009). Mikrozonierung für die Kantone Basel Stadt und Basel Landschaft: Validierung und Umsetzung der Mikrozonierung (2006-2008). In: Schweizerischer Erdbebendienst ETH Zürich: Abschlussbericht: Teilbericht A Projekt "Umsetzung der Mikrozonierung in den Kantonen Basel Stadt und Basel Landschaft". 

Havenith, H.-B., Fäh, D., Polom, U. and A. Roulle (2007). S-wave velocity measurements applied to the seismic microzonation of Basel, Upper Rhine Graben. Geophys. J. Int. 170, 346-358. 

Kind, F. (2002). Development of microzonation methods: application to Basel, Switzerland. Ph.D. thesis, ETH Zürich, Available in electronic form from www.ethbib.ethz.ch. 

Kind, F., Fäh, d., & Giardini, D. (2005). Array measurements of s-wave velocities from ambient vibrations. Geophysical Journal International 160, 114-126. 

Meghraoui, M., Delouis, B., Ferry, M., Giardini, D., Huggenberger, P., Spottke, I., & Granet, M. (2001). Active normal faulting in the Upper Rhine Graben and paleoseismic identification of the 1356 Basel Earthquake. Science 293, 2070-2073. 

Noack, T. (1993). Geologische Datenbank der Region Basel. Eclogae geol. Helv. 86, 283-301. 

Noack, T., Kruspan, P., Fäh, D., & Rüttener, E. (1999). Mikrozonierung von Basel-Stadt. Geologischer Bericht Nr. 24, Landeshydrologie und -Geologie Schweiz. 

Oprsal, I., Fäh, D., Mai, M. and D. Giardini (2005). Deterministic earthquake scenario for the Basel area - Simulating strong motion and site effects for Basel, Switzerland. J. Geophys. Res. 110, B04305. doi: 10.1029/2004JB003188

Oprsal, I., Fäh, D. (2007). 1D vs 3D strong ground motion hybrid modelling of site, and pronounced topography effects at Augusta Raurica, Switzerland - Earthquakes or battles? . 4th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, June 25-28, 2007, Paper No. 1416. 

Ripperger, J., Kästli, P., Fäh, D., Giardini, D. (2009). Ground motion and macro-seismic intensities of a seismic event related to geothermal reservoir stimulation below the city of Basel - observations and modelling. Geophysical J. Int. 179, 1757–1771. 

Zechner, E., Kind, F., Fäh, D., & Huggenberger, P. (2001). 3-D Geological model of the Southern Rhine Graben compiled on existing geological data and geo-physical reference modeling. Abstract Volume of the 2nd EUCOR-URGENT Workshop, 7.-11. October, Mont Saint-Odile, Strasbourg, France, p. 43. 

project image

Erdbeben sind für die Schweiz eine ernstzunehmende Bedrohung. Die Abschätzung der seismischen Gefährdung stellt den ersten Schritt dar, um das seismischen Risiko zu beurteilen und zu begrenzen. Folgende Elemente dienen dazu, die seismische Gefährdung zu bestimmen: Regionale Informationen aus der Erdbebengeschichte, Tektonik und Geologie, historische Schadensbeschreibungen und Modelle der Wellenausbreitung bei Erdbeben.

Auf diesen Seiten stellen wir Ergebnisse der probabilistischen seismischen Gefährdung 2004 in der Schweiz vor. Diese Analysen ersetzen die Erdbebengefährdungskarten von 1976, welche auf Intensitätsabschätzungen beruhten.

Project Leader at SED
Funding Source
Duration

Key Words

Erdbebengefährdung

Research Field

Erdbebengefährdung

Link To Project Website

Project Website

project image

Tsunamis do not only happen in oceans, but they do also occur in lakes. This project aims to understand the trigger mechanisms, preconditions, processes and impacts of lake tsunamis within an interdisciplinary environment (limnogeologists, seismologists, geotechnical specialists, hydraulic engineers and hazard specialists). Two Work Packages of this project (WPresponse and WPhazard/ Tsunami-CH) are conducted at SED.

WPresponse aims to characterize the sediment-mechanical characteristics,to estimate the volumes of the sediments in Lake Lucerne, and to study the stability of the sediments under seismic shaking. For this purpose, ocean bottom seismometers (OBS) are placed in Lake Lucerne at selected locations (see map). These OBS are recording the seismic signal on short (days) and long (months) intervals. Cone Penetration Test (CPT) measurements are used to define the geotechnical characteristics of the sediment. This WP is financed by SNSF and ETH.

WPhazard aims to assess the tsunami hazard in Switzerland. Even though historical reports and studies of lake sediments in Switzerland are documenting numerous tsunamis, the basics and methods for assessing this danger - and the resulting risk on land - are still lacking. Also the typical warning times, the possibilities and limits of alarming are currently only insufficiently known. This work package, financed by the FOEN, is intended to comprehensively characterize for the first time the danger of tsunamis in Swiss lakes such as Lake Lucerne, Lake Brienz, and others and thus contribute to a sustainable and practice-oriented risk management.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh, Stefan Wiemer

SED Project Members

Katrina Kremer, Agostiny Lontsi, Anastasiia Shynkarenko, Michael Strupler

Funding Source

ETH, SNF, FOEN

Duration

2017-2021

Key Words

Lake tsunami, slope stability, Tsunami hazard, Swiss Lakes, Ocean bottom seismometer

Research Field

Earthquake Hazard & Risk

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Publications

Nigg, V., Bacigaluppi, P., Vetsch, D. F., Vogel, H., Kremer, K., & Anselmetti, F. (2021). Shallow-water tsunami deposits: evidence from sediment cores and numerical wave propagation of the 1601 CE Lake Lucerne event. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 22 (12). doi: https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GC009753

Lontsi, A.M., Shynkarenko, A., Kremer, K., Hobiger, M., Bergamo, P., Fabbri, S., Anselmetti, F. and Fäh, D. (2022). A Robust Workflow for Acquiring and Preprocessing Ambient Vibration Data from Small Aperture Ocean Bottom Seismometer Arrays to Extract Scholte and Love Waves Phase-Velocity Dispersion Curves. Pure Appl. Geophys.  179, 105–123. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-021-02923-8

Shynkarenko, A., Lontsi, A.M., Kremer, K., Bergamo, P., Hobiger, M., Hallo, M., and Fäh, D. (2021). Investigating the subsurface in a shallow water environment using array and single-station ambient vibration techniques. Geophysical Journal International. 227 (3). doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/gji/ggab314

Fields of Research

Echtzeitüberwachung

project image

The study of small earthquakes related to glacier flow, so-called icequakes, can reveal important insights into the dynamics and hydraulics of glaciers. Icequakes near the glacier bed are particularly interesting, because they may be a manifestation of microseismic stick-slip sliding. This phenomenon is not fully understood and has yet to be captured in ice flow models. At the same time, basal seismicity can be a manifestation of hydraulic fracturing as melt water opens up new water channels within and beneath the glacier, a process, which is analogous to the hydraulic stimulation within geothermal reservoirs.

This project focuses on the occurrence of sliding-related stick-slip icequakes beneath Aletschgletscher. Whereas these events have been confirmed beneath the polar ice sheets (e.g. Smith et al., 2015; Roeoesli et al., 2016), it is to date not clear if they also exist beneath relatively flat Alpine glaciers. To this end, the SED conducted a two-step seismometer deployment on the glacier tongue. In a first step, three shallow borehole seismometers were installed and maintained for 1.5 years (January 2015-July 2016). These data identified an icequake cluster at the glacier bed, which was monitored in near-real time with the help of state-of-the-art real-time data communication. In June 2016, an additional network with six seismometers was installed above the cluster to confirm that the recorded icequakes are indeed stick-slip events and to provide better hypocenter locations.

The seismic Aletschgletscher record is unique in that it contains stick-slip icequakes recorded at an unrivaled quality over more than a year. This will provide an unprecedented look at seismogenic stick-slip sliding and its changes over the course of a full year. As a result of harsh weather conditions in high-melt areas, on-ice seismometer installations are extremely difficult on Alpine glaciers. Consequently, the Aletschgletscher data set offers a first-of-its-kind view on how stick-slip seismicity changes as the glacier reacts to climatic changes.

Our project is embedded in cross-disciplinary collaborative research between the Glaciology division at the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology, and Glaciology (VAW) at ETH Zurich and the Exploration and Environmental Geophysics group at the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zurich. In the past, these groups have collected milestone records in the field of glacier seismology (Podolskiy and Walter, 2016). The joint interpretation of the Aletschgletscher data will help to improve our understanding of glacier flow and its reaction to climate change and glacier retreat, also affecting the Swiss Alps.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Dr. Fabian Walter

SED Project Members

Prof. Dr. E. Kissling

Involved Institutions

Glaciology division at the Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology, and Glaciology (VAW) at ETH Zurich

Exploration and Enviromental Geophysics group at the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zurich

Funding Source

Swiss Seismological Service

Duration

2015-2016

Key Words

Glacier, Seismology, Climate Change, Cryosphere

Research Field

Glacier Seismology

Publications

Podolskiy E.A. and F. Walter  (2016). Cryoseismology. Reviews of Geophysics 54. doi: 10.1002/2016RG000526

Röösli C., A. Helmstetter, F. Walter, and E. Kissling (2016). Meltwater influences on deep stick-slip icequakes near the base of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 121, 223–240. doi: 10.1002/2015JF003601

Smith E. C., A. M. Smith, R. S. White, A. M. Brisbourne, and H. D. Pritchard (2015). Mapping the ice‐bed interface characteristics of Rutford Ice Stream, West Antarctica, using microseismicity. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 120(9), 1881-1894. 

project image

The SED participated in building a state-of-the art seismic network in the Arctic. We built and now continue to operate 3 stations in the new international broadband seismic capability for Greenland, the GreenLand Ice Sheet monitoring Network (GLISN). This real-time sensor array enhances and upgrades performance of the very limited pre-existing Greenland seismic infrastructure for detecting and characterizing glacial earthquakes and other phenomena emitting seismic waves. The Greenland Ice Sheet is changing, and seismology has the means to “hear” and measure these changes. Continuous, long-term monitoring of the dynamics of the Greenland Ice Sheet and its relationship to global climate change is a fundamental observational enterprise which requires multi-sensing techniques. The development of GLISN brings the seismology component into focus for monitoring Greenland’s Ice Sheet.

Glacial earthquakes have been observed along the edges of Greenland with strong seasonality and increasing frequency since 2002 by continuously monitoring data from the Global Seismographic Network (GSN). These glacial earthquakes in the magnitude range 4.6-5.1 may be modeled as a large glacial ice mass sliding downhill several meters (e.g. 10 km3 by 10 m) on its basal surface over a duration of 30 to 60 seconds. Although the mechanics of sudden sliding motions at the glacial base are not known, seasonal and temporal patterns are consistent with a dynamic response to climate warming driven by an increase in surface melting and supply of meltwater to the glacial base, and suggest that the glacial earthquakes may serve as a marker of ice-sheet response to external forcing.

Before GLISN, the detection and characterization of smaller glacial earthquakes was limited by the propagation distance to globally distributed seismic stations. Now, glacial earthquakes can be identified only using the more than 30 GLISN seismic stations within and surrounding Greenland. Because of the long durations of sliding, these glacial earthquakes do not appear in standard earthquake catalogs, and are best detected by broadband seismometers, which accurately measure both fast (< second) and slow (> 100sec) vibrations. Such seismic monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet via glacial earthquakes will complement both surficial GPS monitoring and remote sensing from satellites, by providing sensitivity to the dynamics of the glaciers at basal depths. In addition, real-time detection of glacial earthquakes permits rapid response and focusing of other sensing techniques to the dynamic region of the Ice Sheet.

All the data from the GLISN is openly available to anyone in real-time, without restriction.

Project Leader at SED

John Clinton

Involved Institutions

ETHZ, GEUS, USGS, IRIS, GFZ, IPGP, INGV, GSC, IGP

Funding Source

SNF R’Equip

Duration

2008-2010

Key Words

Greenland, Seismic Networks, Ice Sheet

Research Field

Seismic Network, Seismotectonics, Real-time monitoring

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Publications

Clinton, J. F., M. Nettles, F. Walter, K. Anderson, T. Dahl-Jensen, D. Giardini, A. Govoni, W. Hanka, S. Lasocki, W. S. Lee, D. McCormack, S. Mykkeltveit, E. Stutzmann and S. Tsuboi (2015). Seismic Network in Greenland Monitors Earth and Ice System. Eos Trans. AGU 95(2), 13-14. doi: 10.1002/2014EO020001

Erdbebenfrühwarnung

project image

Chile has been struck by a number of very large earthquakes (magnitude 7.5 or greater) and tsunamis in the past. There is a clear need for building a system to provide rapid situational awareness, as well as earthquake and tsunami early warning. Since scientific instruments are expensive, we are exploring the use of dense networks of seismic and geodetic low-cost sensors. The Earthquake Science Center oft he U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has recently started to deploy a prototype network of dedicated smartphone units along the Chilean coast (Brooks et al., 2016). Each sensor box contains a smartphone with integrated MEMS accelerometer, and an external consumer-quality GPS chip and antenna to determine real-time positioning data. The total cost of each box is on the order of a few hundred dollars, nearly two orders of magnitude lower than scientific-grade installations. A first subset of 9 smartphone-boxes has been installed in November 2015; another set of 200 units will be deployed by the end of 2016.

We will invert seismic and geodetic real-time data from the smartphone units to obtain finite-fault models of large earthquakes by joint application of the seismic FinDer algorithm developed at the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) (Böse et al., 2012, 2015) and the geodetic BEFORES algorithm developed by Minson et al. (2014).

The SED collaborates in this project closely with partners at the USGS, the University of Chile, Chilean National Seismological Center, University of Houston, and GISMatters Inc.

Project Leader at SED

Maren Böse

SED Project Members

John Clinton

Involved Institutions

US Geological Survey, Earthquake Science Center, Menlo Park, CA, United States of America

Centro Sismologico Nacional, Departamento de Geofísica, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile

GISMatters, Amherst, Mass., United States of America

US Geological Survey, Pasadena, CA, United States of America

NCALM, University of Houston, Houston, TX, United States of America

Funding Source

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA)

Duration

2015-2016

Key Words

Earthquake Early Warning, Seismic Networks, Low-cost Sensors, Smart-phones, Chile

Research Field

Earthquake Early Warning, Real-time monitoring, Network Seismology

EPOS IP is part of the long term EPOS integration plan to build an operational and sustainable platform of Earth Science services. The project is funded through the European Union.

In WP 9 (Near fault Observatories) of EPOS IP, we work with our colleagues at the University of Naples / AMRA, to build a testing center where a variety of scientific algorithms for real-time monitoring can be operated side-by-side and their performance independently evaluated. The initial demonstrations software for this testing center are 2 EEW approaches, the Virtual Seismologist (VS) software maintained by ETH, and PresTo from University of Naples / AMRA. The testing platform is the Irpinia seismic network near Naples.

Project Leader at SED

Dr. John Clinton

SED Project Members

Frederick Massin, Philipp Kästli, Enrico Ballarin

Involved Institutions

University of Naples, AMRA

Funding Source

EU

Duration

2017-2020

Key Words

Earthquake Early Warning, Testing Center

Research Field

Real-Time Seismology, Earthquake Engineering

Link To Project Website

Project Website

project image

The objective of the ShakeAlert project is to implement a prototype Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system for California and the pacific northwest of the United States. The system is currently sending warnings of imminent strong ground shaking to a selected group of test users. The project comprises algorithm development, EEW system design and implementation, and public outreach. The SED was involved in Phase I – III of the project, implementing and testing the Virtual Seismologist (VS) [Cua and Heaton, 2009], a Bayesian approach to EEW. In Phase III, the SED team also began to contribute to the development and implementation of FinDer, the first finite fault algorithm to be included in the prototype system. Currently about 300 scientists and engineers and several project partners from the public and private sector receive alerts from the ShakeAlert EEW system. The ShakeAlert project continues without formal ETH participation, though VS and FinDer continue to be core components in the development system.

Project Leader at SED

Georgia Cua (Phase I + II), John Clinton (Phase III)

SED Project Members

Michael Fischer (former member), Marta Caprio (former member), Men-Andrin Meier (former member), Yannik Behr (former member), Maren Böse

Involved Institutions

United States Geological Survey, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, California Geological Survey, California Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley, University of Washington, University of Oregon, ETH Zurich

Funding Source

United States Geological Survey

Duration

3 x 3 years

Key Words

Prototype Earthquake Early Warning system for California and the Pacific northwest of the United States

Research Field

Earthquake Early Warning

Link To Project Website

ShakeAlert

Publications

Meier, M.-A., T. Heaton, and J. Clinton (2015). The Gutenberg Algorithm: Evolutionary Bayesian Magnitude Estimates for Earthquake Early Warning with a Filter Bank. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 105(5), 2774-2786. doi: 10.1785/0120150098

Böse, M., C. Felizardo, T.H. Heaton (2015). Finite-Fault Detector Algorithm (FinDer): Going Real Time in Californian ShakeAlert Warning System. Seismological Research Letters 86(6), in press. 

Behr, Y., J. F. Clinton, P. Kästli, C. Cauzzi, and M.-A. Meier (2015). Anatomy of an Earthquake Early Warning ( EEW ) Alert : Predicting Time Delays for an End-to-End EEW System. Seismological Research Letters 86(3), 1-11. doi: 10.1785/0220140179

Cua, G. B., M. Fischer, T. H. Heaton, and S. Wiemer (2009). Real-time Performance of the Virtual Seismologist Earthquake Early Warning Algorithm in Southern California. Seismological Research Letters 80(5), 740-747. doi: 10.1785/gssrl.80.5.740

Presentations

G. Cua, R. Allen, M. Boese, H. Brown, D. Given, M. Fischer, E. Hauksson, T. Heaton, M. Hellweg, M. Liukis, T. Jordan, O. Khainovski, P. Maechling, D. Neuhauser, D. Oppenheimer, K. Solanki, M. Caprio Three Years of Comparative Real-Time Earthquake Early Warning Testing in California PDF 

Yannik Behr, John Clinton, Philipp Kästli, Roman Racine, Men-Andrin Meier, Carlo Cauzzi, Georgia Cua What to Expect from the Virtual Seismologist: Delay Times and Uncertainties of Initial Earthquake Alerts in California PDF 

project image

The general objective of this EC-FP7 funded joint project was to improve the efficiency of real time earthquake risk mitigation methods and its capability of protecting structures, infrastructures and people. REAKT aimed at establishing the best practice on how to use jointly all the information coming from earthquake forecast, early warning and real time vulnerability assessment. All this information needs to be combined in a fully probabilistic framework, including realistic uncertainties estimations, to be used for decision making in real time.

REAKT used a system-level earthquake science approach that required that the various temporal scales of relevance for hazard and risk mitigation in the various WPs are integrated through common tools, databases and methods. 

Our group was involved in the Work Package 2: Physics of short term seismic changes and its use for large earthquakes predictability. The key objective was to improve short-term forecasting of large earthquakes through the monitoring of the seismic and strain activity within specific fault systems. We contributed with the monitoring system, which has been installed in the Valais region including dense seismic network, GPS, geochemical and geomagnetic sensors. Special attention was paid to the analysis of seismic swarms.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Jan Burjanek

Involved Institutions

SED

Funding Source

EC

Duration

2011-2014

Key Words

short term seismic changes, earthquake precursors

Research Field

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Reports / Deliverables

Seismotektonik

project image

AlpArray is a European initiative to advance our understanding of orogenesis and its relationship to mantle dynamics, plate reorganizations, surface processes and seismic hazard in the Alps-Apennines-Carpathians-Dinarides orogenic system. The initiative integrates present-day Earth observables with high-resolution geophysical imaging of 3D structure and physical properties of the lithosphere and of the upper mantle, with focus on a high-end seismological array.

AlpArray is a major scientific collaboration with over 40 participant institutions. One of the main actions of the AlpArray initiative is to collect top-quality seismological data from a dense network of temporary broadband seismic stations. This complements the existing permanent broadband stations to ensure homogeneous coverage of the Alpine area, with station spacing on the order of 30km. 24 institutions are currently involved in the AlpArray Seismic Network (AASN), which will eventually install over 250 temporary stations in 12 countries. The AASN officially started on 1 January 2016 and will operate for at least 2 years. A complimentary ocean bottom seismometer (OBS) component is expected in 2017.

The Swiss contribution to the AASN is completed, with 23 temporary stations installed in Switzerland, Italy, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Croatia and Hungary. All national broadband stations also contribute to the AASN.

The Seismology and Geodynamics group (SEG) and the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at the ETH in Zurich take leading roles in the project. Prof Edi Kissling is the project coordinator. Irene Molinari (SEG), John Clinton (SED) and Gyorgy Hetenyi (former SED, now at the University of Lausanne) lead AlpArray working groups, Irene Molinari also manages the Swiss component of the AASN.

More information is available on the project website.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Edi Kissling (SEG)

SED Project Members

Irene Molinari (SEG), John Clinton, Stefan Wiemer, ELAB

Involved Institutions

Link

Funding Source

SNF

Duration

2015 - 2018

Key Words

Alps, earthquakes, seismic broadband network, tomography, geodynamics, surface process, orogenesis

Research Field

Seismotectonics, Real-time monitoring, Earthquake Hazard & Risk

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Proposal
Publications
project image

Um in Zukunft die Gefahren von natürlichen und induzierten Erdbeben besser abschätzen zu können, braucht es ein genaueres Verständnis von Verwerfungszonen in tektonisch aktiven Gebieten wie der Schweiz. Mit Hilfe geophysikalischer Abbildungsverfahren und geologischen Kartierungen wurden in den letzten Jahren zahlreiche Verwerfungen in den schweizerischen Alpen und im nördlichen Alpenvorland identifiziert. Allerdings treten in vielen Fällen Erdbeben abseits dieser kartierten Verwerfungen auf, was die Frage nach den tektonischen Prozessen und Mechanismen aufwirft, die diesen Erdbeben zugrunde liegen.  

Ziel dieses Projektes ist es, durch verbesserte geophysikalische Inversionsverfahren die Strukturen von Verwerfungszonen hochauflösend abzubilden und daraus Erkenntnisse über mechanische Eigenschaften der Bruchsysteme abzuleiten. Dazu werden unter anderem Verfahren der seismischen Tomografie mit hochauflösender Erdbebenlokalisierung kombiniert. Die Anwendung konzentriert sich auf zwei Regionen in der Schweiz: (i) einer äußerst aktiven Erdbebenzone nördlich des Rhônetals im Kanton Wallis, (ii) einer Verwerfungszone nahe St. Gallen, die während Stimulationsmaßnahmen für ein geplantes Geothermiekraftwerk aktiviert wurde.

Durch die Anwendung verbesserter Abbildungsverfahren erwarten wir zum einen neue Erkenntnisse über den Zusammenhang zwischen existierenden Verwerfungen und dem Auftreten von Erdbeben. Zudem sind die beiden Untersuchungsgebiete von hoher gesellschaftlicher Relevanz. Das Wallis ist die Region mit der größten seismischen Gefährdung der Schweiz und ein Großteil der gegenwärtigen Seismizität in diesem Gebiet steht in Verbindung mit der Erdbebenzone nördlich des Rhônetals. Die St. Gallen Verwerfungszone bietet Gelegenheit zur Untersuchung der Erdbebengefährdung im dicht besiedelten Molasse Becken, welches potentieller Standort zukünftiger Geothermieprojekte und atomarer Endlager ist.

Project Leader at SED

Dr. Tobias Diehl

SED Project Members

Edi Kissling, Stefan Wiemer

Funding Source

SNF

Duration

2016-2019

Key Words

seismicity, seismotectonic, earthquake location, seismic tomography, reflection seismics, induced seismicity, geothermal energy, fault zone, Rawil, St. Gallen, Valais, seismic hazard, Molasse basin

Research Field

Seismotectonics (main), but also: Induced Seismicity, Swiss Seismicity, Earthquake Statistics

Proposal
project image

The Eastern, "straight" part of the Alps is home to a number of open questions. The most widespreadly known question is about lithospheric slab hanging beneath the Eastern Alps. Is it Adriatic (Lippitsch et al. 2003)? Is it European (Mitterbauer et al. 2011)? What is its extent and the related velocity anomaly?

Beyond carrying out tomographic calculations, one can also characterize the fabric of the lower crust with receiver functions. In the India-Asia collision zone this has helped to point out that the main lithosphere boundary is located at a very different place than the surface boundary of deformation. Anisotropic receiver function calculations are therefore one of the first tools to be applied on EASI data, with the main question of determining the role of the lower crust in shaping the orogen.

A recent Moho map compilation reveals another interesting features beneath the Eastern Alps and between the Europe and Adria plates: a Moho "gap" or "hole" (Spada et al. 2013). Near 47°N latitude and between 12° and 15.5°E longitude the crust-mantle boundary is not defined, or at least it does not appear as a sharp discontinuity. Mapping the extent of this hole, and characterizing the velocity gradient from crustal to mantle conditions is an interesting goal to tackle.

The relationship of the Alpine orogen to the adjacent foreland basin and the lithospheric blocks of the Bohemian Massif, with their own characteristic seismic signatures, is a structural target of EASI.

Our research methods include tomography, ambient noise analysis and receiver functions, with anisotropy included in all three types of investigations. The depth range of investigations encompasses the crust and the mantle lithosphere, down to the LAB.

Project Leader at SED

György Hetényi

SED Project Members

Edi Kissling (SEG)

Involved Institutions

Institute of Geophysics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republi; Universiy of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland; INGV Rome-Bologna-Genova, Italy

Funding Source

ETH (for the Swiss part)

Duration

2 years

Key Words

Alps, continental collision, seismology, geodynamics, geophysics, crust, lithosphere, earthquake, seismotectonics, slab, Moho

Research Field

Earth structure, Seismotectonics, Geodynamics

project image

Bhutan, a kingdom in the Eastern Himalayas, is living in self-imposed isolation: in order to preserve local culture, traditions and the environment, foreigners can enter in groups and in limited number only. Consequently, our geoscientific knowledge is very limited compared to other parts of the orogen. The first geological map was compiled in 1983 by the famous Swiss geologist Augusto Gansser. From a geophysical perspective, Bhutan is almost a blank spot: only very limited information exists on seismicity which shows a lower level of earthquake activity compared to other parts of the Himalayas; there is knowledge neither of the structure nor of the physical properties of the crust and the lithosphere. Illuminating the deep structure of Bhutan and comparing it with the much better known Central Himalayas of Nepal is highly relevant both for evaluating the earthquake hazard and for improving our geodynamic picture of the orogen.

We conducted a temporary seismic experiment in Bhutan. Two densely spaced profiles across the orogen allow us to produce the first images of the structure of the lithosphere in the Eastern Himalayas, as well as give an insight into lateral variations along the mountain belt. Our network provides reliable information on seismicity in Bhutan and establishes the first seismic velocity model of the crust. Furthermore, we will apply ambient noise tomography to map the physical properties of the lithosphere. The results will be interpreted jointly with gravity data to build physical models of the Eastern Himalayas as well as to draw conclusions on its geodynamics. Especially, seismotectonic studies that we plan to conduct by comparing different segments of the Himalayas may shed light on the origin of the apparent seismic gap in Bhutan.

Augusto Gansser, "Geology Father of the Himalayas" and first geological mapmaker of Bhutan, has passed away earlier this year (2012), at the age of 101. We would like to dedicate this experiment to his memory.

Outreach

Project Leader at SED

György Hetényi

SED Project Members

Tobias Diehl, John Clinton, Julia Singer (SEG), Edi Kissling (SEG)

Involved Institutions

ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland; Department of Geology and Mines, Thimphu, Bhutan

Funding Source

SNF

Duration

3 years

Key Words

Himalaya, Bhutan, continental collision, seismology, geodynamics, geophysics, crust, lithosphere, earthquake, seismotectonics

Research Field

Earth structure, Seismotectonics, Geodynamics, Earthquake Hazard & Risk

Induzierte Seismizität

project image

DESTRESS is a Horizon 2020 supported programme aiming to demonstrate methods of EGS (enhanced geothermal systems) and thereby expanding knowledge and providing solutions for a more economical, sustainable and environmentally responsible exploitation of underground heat. EGS allow a widespread use of the enormous untapped geothermal energy potential. DESTRESS improves the understanding of technological, business and societal opportunities and risks related to geothermal energy.

The concepts explored are based on experiences in previous projects (e.g. GEISER), on scientific progress and developments in other fields, mainly the oil and gas sector. Recently developed stimulation methods are adapted to geothermal needs, applied to new geothermal sites and prepared for the market uptake. The main focus lays on stimulation treatments with minimized environmental hazard, which address site-specific geological requirements. The overall objective is to develop best practices in creating a reservoir with increased transmissivity, sustainable productivity and a minimized level of induced seismicity. Existing and new project’s test sites, pilot and demonstration facilities were chosen to demonstrate the DESTRESS concept.

DESTRESS assembles an international consortium involving major knowledge institutes and key industry from Europe and South Korea to guarantee the increase in EGS-technology performance and accelerated market penetration.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Stefan Wiemer

SED Project Members

Dr. Toni Kraft, Michèle Marti, Stephanie Schnydrig

Funding Source

SBFI

Duration

2016-2020

Key Words

EGS (Enhanced geothermal systems), induced seismicity, risk mitigation, stimulation, demonstration sites

Research Field

Induced Seismicity

Link To Project Website

Project Website

project image

RT-RAMSIS is a joint CTI project between the Swiss Seismological Service SED and GeoEnergie Suisse AG. It builds on research results from previous joint research projects GEOSIM and GEOBEST. We are developing and validating a near real time hazard and risk assessment framework for induced seismicity in geothermal projects. With fluid injection rates and micro-earthquakes recorded in near real-time and prepared as input, the framework uses statistical and hybrid statistical-hydromechanical ensemble models to forecast seismicity in six hour intervals. Subsequent stages then compute probabilistic seismic hazard and risk estimates based on different injection scenarios and thereby help the operator to balance risk and reservoir stimulation efficiency.

Core research activities in this project are in the development of fast, reliable and precise micro-earthquake detection algorithms, in the assessment and weighting of forecast model performance and in the enhancement and validation of statistical and mechanical seismic forecast models.

Project Leader at SED

Stefan Wiemer

SED Project Members

Lukas Heiniger, Dimitrios Karvounis, Daniel Armbruster

Involved Institutions

SED, Geo-Energie Suisse (GES)

Funding Source

KTI, GES

Duration

1.1.2016 – 30.6.2019

Key Words

Induced Seismicity, advance traffic light system, seismic hazard and risk, anthropogenic seismici-ty, deep underground, ensemble modeling

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Swiss Seismicity, Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Real-time monitoring

project image

In the last few years, major and damaging earthquakes were felt in regions supposedly affected by a low rate of natural seismicity. Such events have become an extremely important topic of discussion in both Europe and North America, since several major events were associated to industrial activities. The main focus of this proposed research is the study of induced seismicity during exploitation of natural underground resources. More specifically, this proposal focuses on one side on a detailed understanding of the deep fault and/or fractures reactivation associated with the fluid injection. On the other side, the proposed research plans to investigate the mitigation of large magnitude induced seismicity, which may pose at risk the affected population and structures, as well as acting as obstacle to the development of new techniques for the exploitation of deep underground resources. First the project aims to understand the physics associated with the induced seismicity caused by anthropogenic activities. Secondly, the project aims to investigate in which conditions fluid-induced seismicity can be used as a tool. For example, the shearing process of fault and fracture, or the creation of new fractures, are needed to increase the permeability, and hence to enhance the fluid circulation at depth, eventually resulting in a more efficient energy production. However, such processes may, at the same time, produce seismicity that can be felt by local population.

  • How is the induced seismicity affecting the growth of a geothermal reservoir? When does it act as a potential seal breaching during storage operation?
  • Is it possible to use induced seismicity to develop a high permeability system, while constraining the earthquakes maximum magnitude? Or can a gas be stored in a safe (no seismic) way?

Understanding the fundamental processes will help in finding new methods to safely extract energy, whose request nowadays is constantly increasing.

The project will address the above open questions by theoretical studies, laboratory, and applied fieldwork. I plan to use data collected from on-going experiments (laboratory and in-situ) to improve numerical models. Numerical tools to be used include: thermo-hydromechanical modeling (THM), discrete fracture network (DFN), and statistical, as well as hybrid simulators.

Project Leader at SED

Dr. Antonio Pio Rinaldi

SED Project Members

Dominik Zbinden (PhD)

Funding Source

SNF

Duration

2015 - December 2018

Key Words

Numerical modeling, Geomechanics, Hydrogeology, Multi-scale

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Geothermal Energy, CO2 sequestration

project image

The first phase of this project involves the participation in the In-situ Stimulation and Circulation (ISC) experiment at the Grimsel Test Site. Goal of the experiment series is the permeability enhancement of a decameter rock volume intersected with two fault zones. The permeability enhancement process is accompanied by slip along the faults, which is achieved by high-pressure fluid injection (i.e. hydraulic shearing). Fluid injection is performed in several borehole sections distributed over two injection boreholes drilled trough the target fault zones. During the experiment hydraulic processes, mechanical processes and induced micro-seismicity are monitored with an unprecedented multi-sensor monitoring system leading to a unique and high quality dataset.
The goal of the second phase of the project is the detailed processing of recorded micro-seismic data. The objective is to determine a wide range of earthquake source parameters. The adaptation and further development of seismological processing techniques to the decameter scale make this task particularly delicate.

The third phase of the project will bring together micro-seismic data and other measured data during the experiment and shed light into the physical understanding of induced earthquakes.

Finally, forecasting skills of models for induced seismicity are tested on the Grimsel high quality dataset.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Stefan Wiemer

SED Project Members

Paul Selvadurai, Linus Villiger

Funding Source

ETH

Duration

September 2016 to September 2019

Key Words

Induced seismicity, Hydraulic stimulation, Crystalline rock

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Engineer Seismology

project image

Im Rahmen des Forschungsprojektes GeoBest führt der Schweizerische Erdbebendienst (SED) seit Frühjahr 2012 die seismologische Überwachung des Geothermieprojektes der Stadt St. Gallen durch. Dazu hat der SED in Zusammenarbeit mit den Sankt Galler Stadtwerken sechs neue Erdbebenmessstellen im Raum St. Gallen errichtet. Ziel der Überwachung ist es, mögliche kleine Erdbeben - sogenannte Mikrobeben - in der Umgebung der Tiefbohrungen zu detektieren und abzuklären, ob diese in Zusammenhang mit dem Geothermieprojekt stehen oder natürlichen Ursprungs sind. Ausserdem werden durch das Projekt wichtige Grundlagendaten für ein besseres Verständnis der Tiefengeothermie gesammelt, die als unentbehrlicher Erfahrungsschatz die Planungssicherheit der kantonalen Behörden und Projektbetreiber bei zukünftigen Geothermieprojekten gewährleisten sollen.

Nach der Einstellung des Geothermieprojekts im Frühjahr 2014 führt der SED die Überwachung in reduzierter Form bis mindestens September 2020 fort. Die Sankt Galler Stadtwerke unterstützen die Überwachung im Rahmen des EU-Projektes "Science for Clean Energy (S4CE)".

Project Leader at SED

Toni Kraft

SED Project Members

INDU group

Funding Source

Bundesamt für Energie, Sankt Galler Stadtwerke

Duration

2012-2020

Key Words

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Real-time monitoring

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Publications

Diehl, T., Kraft, T., Kissling, E. and Wiemer, S.  (2017). The induced earthquake sequence related to the St. Gallen deep geothermal project (Switzerland): Fault reactivation and fluid interactions imaged by microseismicity. Journal of Geophysical Research 122(9), 1-19. doi: 10.1002/2017JB014473

Edwards, B., Kraft, T., Cauzzi, C., Kastli, P. and Wiemer, S. (2015). Seismic monitoring and analysis of deep geothermal projects in St Gallen and Basel, Switzerland. Geophys. J. Int. 201, 1020-1037. 

Obermann, A., Kraft, T., Larose, E. and Wiemer, S. (2015). Potential of ambient seismic noise techniques to monitor the St. Gallen geothermal site (Switzerland). J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth 120(6), 4301–4316. doi: 10.1002/2014JB011817

Kraft, T. et al. (2015). Lessons learned from the 2013 ML3.5 induced earthquake sequence at the St. Gallen geothermal site. Schatzalp Workshop on Induced Seismicity, Davos, Switzerland. 

Diehl, T., Kraft, T., Kissling, E., Deichmann, N., Clinton, J. and Wiemer, S. (2014). High-precision relocation of induced seismicity in the geothermal system below St. Gallen (Switzerland). EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 16, 12541. 

Kraft, T., Wiemer, S., Deichmann, N., Diehl, T., Edwards, B., Guilhem, A., Haslinger, F. et al. (2013). The ML 3.5 earthquake sequence induced by the hydrothermal energy project in St. Gallen, Switzerland. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 3. 

project image

GEOTHERM-2 conducts cross-disciplinary research towards the development of Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). EGS is a technology that will allow the heat resources residing at several kilometers depths to be exploited for electricity and heat production. At present, EGS technology is not mature; two of the key challenges are the difficulty of (1) engineering a lasting heat exchanger with appropriate properties within deep, hot, low-porosity rocks, and (2) the risk of inducing felt and potentially hazardous seismic events during the development and operation of the heat exchanger.

GEOTHERM-2 continues the work initiate in the GEOTHERM-1 project (2009-2012). The project was conceived in order to provide a bridge to a major nationwide project in geothermal energy, the Swiss Competence Center Energy Research-Supply of Energy (SCCER-SoE), that was in its planning phase when GEOTHERM-2 was proposed, and has begun in the meantime.

In total thirty eight co-workers from various Departments and Institutes in ETH and in EPFL, and of the Paul Scherrer Institute contribute to the project.

The main strength of GEOTHERM-2 is to adopt a cross-disciplinary approach to the challenges mentioned above. The contributions of GEOTHERM-2 in terms of scientific results, capacity building and knowledge transfer are a therefore critical intermediate step towards successful future Pilot and Demonstration projects, and complement the activities conducted in SCCER-SoE.

The research activities in GEOTHERM-2 are organized in six Modules or work packages, which are designed to:

  • Develop and test novel observational tools for the geomechanics of reservoir creation;
  • Assess and mitigate the risks associated with noticeable induced seismicity;
  • Assess potential accidental risks leading to health and environmental impacts as well as public perceptions of risks associated with geothermal energy development;
  • Expand a multi-scale – multi-process modeling code for simulating the process of reservoir generation as well as the longer-term evolution of the reservoir during production;
  • Investigate the effects of chemical reaction between fluid and rock on long-term permeability evolution and heat extraction from the reservoir;
  • Design a decision-support tool for optimizing the use of geothermal energy in cities, by quantifying all interacting factors including geological and economic parameters, conversion efficiency and temporal heat storage, complementary energy sources and societal acceptance.
Project Leader at SED

Prof. Dr. Stefan Wiemer

SED Project Members

Prof. Dr. Stefan Wiemer, Dr. Alba Zappone, Dr. Laurentiu Danciu, Dr. Pierre Dublanchet, Dr. Valentin Gischig, Dr. Dimitrios Karvounis, Eszter Király, Dr. Toni Kraft, Lukas Heiniger, Marcus Herrmann, Dr. Anne Obermann, Dr. Arnaud Mignan, Barbara Schechinger

Involved Institutions

ETH:

  • Department of Earth sciences (ERDW): Geological Institute (GI); Institute of Geophysics (IG); Institute of Geochemistry and Petrology (IGP); Swiss Seismological Service (SED)
  • Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering (MAVT): Institute of Fluid Dynamics (IFD)
  • Department of Environmental Systems Science (USYS): Institute for Environmental Decisions (IED)

EPFL:

  • School of Engineering: The Civil Engineering Institute; Laboratory of Soil mechanics (LMS); Institute of Mechanical Engineering; Industrial Energy Systems Laboratory (IPESE)

Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI):

  • Laboratory for Energy Systems Analysis, Technology Assessment group (TA)
Funding Source

Competence Center Environment Sustainability (CCES), Competence Center Energy and Mobility (CCEM) and Bundesamt Für Energie (BFE)

Duration

2013 - 2016

Key Words

Energy, geothermy, multidisciplinary

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Geomechanics, Geochemistry, energy conversion systems, Social Acceptance

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Publications

Deichmann N., Kraft T. and Evans K.F.  (2014). Identification of faults activated during the stimulation of the Basel geothermal project from cluster analysis and focal mechanisms of the larger magnitude events. Geothermics 52, 84-97. doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2014.04.001

Driesner, T. (2013). The Molecular-Scale Fundament of Geothermal Fluid Thermodynamics. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry 76, 5-33. doi: 10.2138/rmg.2013.76.2

Gischig, V., and Wiemer, S. (2013). A stochastic model for induced seismicity based on non-linearpressure diffusion and irreversible permeability enhancement. Geophys. J. Int.. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt164

Hillers, G., Husen, S., Obermann, A., Planès, T., Campillo, M. and Larose, E. (2015). Noise based monitoring and imaging resolve reservoir dynamics associated with the 2006 Basel injection experiment. Geophysics 80(4), 51-68. doi: 10.1190/GEO2014-0455.1

Hingerl, F.F., Kosakowski, G., Wagner, T., Kulik, D.A. and Driesner, T. (2014). GEMSFIT: a generic fitting tool for geochemical activity models. Computational Geosciences 18(2), 227-242. doi: 10.1007/s10596-014-9405-3

Hingerl, F.F., Wagner, T., Kulik, D.A., Thomsen ,K. and Driesner, T. (2014). A new aqueous activity model for geothermal brines in the system Na-K-Ca-Mg-H-Cl-SO4-H2O from 25 to 300°C. Chem. Geol.  381, 78-93. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.05.007

Hirschberg, S., Wiemer, S. and Burgherr, P. (2015). Energy from the earth: Deep geothermal as a resource for the future?. TA-Swiss, Bern, Switzerland, 220-251. 

Kaiser, P.K., Valley, B., Dusseault, M.B. and Duff, D. (2013). Hydraulic Fracturing Mine Back Trials – Design Rational and Project status. In: Bunger, A.P., McLennan, J. and Jeffrey, R. : Effective and sustainable hydraulic fracturing. InTech. doi: 10.5772/56260

Kraft, T. and Deichmann, N. (2014). High precision relocation and focal mechanism of the injection induces seismicity at the Basel EGS. Geothermics 52, 59-73. doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2014.05.014

Obermann, A., Kraft, T., Larose, E. and Wiemer, S. (2015). Potential of ambient seismic noise techniques to monitor reservoir dynamics at the St. Gallen geothermal site (Switzerland). JGR. doi: 10.1002/2014JB011817

Preisig, G., Eberhardt, E., Gischig, V., Roche, V., van der Baan, M., Valley, B., Kaiser, P.K., Duff, D. and Lowther, R. (2015). Development of connected permeability in massive crystalline rocks through hydraulic fracture propagation and shearing accompanying fluid injection. Geofluids 15, 321-337. doi: 10.1111/gfl.12097

Rivera, J.A., Blum, P. and Bayer, P.  (2015). Analytical simulation of groundwater flow and land surface effects on thermal plumes of borehole heat exchangers. Applied Energy 146, 421-433. doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.02.035

Spada, M., Sutra, E., Wolf, S. and Burgherr, P.  (2014). Accident Risk Assessment for Deep Geothermal Energy Systems. In: Nowakowski, T., Mlynczak, M., Jodejko-Pietruczuk, A. and Werbinska-Woiciechowska, S.: Safety and Reliability: Methodology and Applications. Taylor and Francis Group, London UK. 

Stauffacher, M., Muggli, N., Scolobig, A. and Moser, C. (2015). Framing deep geothermal energy in mass media: the case of Switzerland. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 98, 60–70. doi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2015.05.018

Weis, P., Driesner, T., Coumou, D. and Geiger, S. (2014). Hydrothermal, multiphase convection of H2O-NaCl fluids from ambient to magmatic temperatures: a new numerical scheme and benchmarks for code comparison. Geofluids 14(3), 347-371. doi: 10.1111/gfl.12080

Zezin, D., Driesner, T. and Sanchez-Valle, C.  (2015). Volumetric Properties of Na2SO4–H2O and Na2SO4–NaCl–H2O Solutions to 523.15 K, 70 MPa. J. Chem. Eng. Data 60(4), 1181–1192. doi: 10.1021/je501152a

Zezin, D., Driesner, T. and Sanchez-Valle, C.  (2014). Volumetric Properties of Mixed Electrolyte Aqueous Solutions at Elevated Temperatures and Pressures. The System KCl–NaCl–H2O to 523.15 K, 40 MPa, and Ionic Strength from (0.1 to 5.8) mol·kg–1. Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data 59, 736-749. doi: 10.1021/je400761c

project image

The exploitation of underground energy resources as well as the use and expansion of hydropower are, like any other energy technology, not risk free. To address this risk, we develop upon the holistic concept of risk governance and community resilience, advocating a broad picture of risk: In addition to risk analysis and risk management, we also investigate how risk-related decision-making unfolds when a range of actors is involved. This requires coordination and possibly reconciliation between a profusion of roles, perspectives, goals and activities. Developments include: a rigorous common methodology and a consistent modelling approach to hazard, vulnerability, risk, resilience and societal acceptance assessment of energy technologies; a stress test framework and its application to assess the vulnerability and resilience of individual critical energy infrastructures, as well as the first level of interdependencies among these infrastructures; standardized protocols, operational guidelines and/or softwares for monitoring strategies, hazard and risk assessment during all project phases (including real-time procedures), and finally for mitigation and related communication strategies.

In phase II, the main activities of the group are in continuation with phase I but with increased interactions with Swiss P&D projects, including industrial ones and research underground labs. New applications are being developed and tested for induced seismicity risk mitigation. Those are also refined based on P&D project feedback. The main innovations in phase II are the testing of more sophisticated traffic-light systems and the inclusion of seismic risk models in economic models (including energy modelling, cost-benefit analyses and decision making under uncertainty). For the latter, interactions with SCCER CREST via a joint activity will help move forward with some legislative recommendations.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Stefan Wiemer

SED Project Members

Dr. Arnaud Mignan, Marcus Herrmann

Involved Institutions

ETH IfG, ETH D-BAUG, ETH D-USYS, ETH CRYOS

Funding Source

SCCER-SoE

Duration

2014-2017 (1st phase), 2018-2012 (2nd phase)

Key Words

Geo-energy, induced seismicity risk, risk governance, software

Research Field

Earthquake Hazard & Risk

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Reports / Deliverables

Novel unconventional geothermal technologies that require hydraulic stimulation through induced seismicity, also require Forecasting and Assessing Seismicity and Thermal Evolution in geothermal Reservoirs (FASTER). This task needs to be performed in real time and both regulators and operators wish to know the probability of a future undesired large induced event in time for risk mitigation measurements to be employed.

Fundamental and applied research with the ultimate goal to develop strategies and tools for managing and limiting induced seismicity is a major international focus of current research in geophysics and reservoir engineering. Moreover, predictive assessment of seismic risk in near‐real time is considered the most crucial aspect for proactive operational management of stimulation, exploitation or storage to minimize risk, avoid unacceptable seismic hazard and enhance the societal acceptance.

In the FASTER project, the software framework that is currently used by SED for fundamental research on seismic risk predictions and it performs complicated 3D Monte Carlo simulations is improved, extended, and adapted to current and upcoming generations of supercomputers. The software is customized to the needs of the Adaptive Traffic Light Systems through  accelerated algorithms, numerical solvers, probabilistic models and  Monte Carlo integrations, and computational bottlenecks due to coding are resolved.

Project Leader at SED

Dr. Dimitrios Karvounis

SED Project Members

Stefan Wiemer

Involved Institutions

CSCS, USI, ERDW-ETH

Funding Source

PASC

Duration

10.2017-09.2020

Key Words

Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Real-time monitoring, Enhanced Geothermal Systems

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Software Development, Probabilistic Methods, Code Optimization

project image

Storing CO2 underground (Carbon Capture and Storage CCS) is one technology among others that reduces emissions above ground and therefore supports the objectives of the Energy Strategy 2050.

Once the CO2 is stored, it may escape through the borehole used to pump in the CO2 or through faults in the rock above the reservoir meant to seal it. Those faults might not only influence the long-term containment of CO2, but also the occurrence of induced micro-seismicity. The presence of faults in the capturing rock therefore strongly affects the site characterization process in terms of safety and risk assessment, monitoring, verification, and with respect to the risk management plan.

To study these aspects, the Swiss Seismological Service and the SCCER-SoE conduct an experiment in close collaboration with the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering and the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zurich, with Swisstopo and EPFL, and with scientists from Norway, the Netherlands and the UK. The experiment is part of the ELEGANCY project, which is funded by the EU and the SFOE.

The main goal of the experiment is to understand the relevant processes governing movement of stored CO2 along faults, the occurrence of micro-seismicity and to contribute to an enhanced site characterization. This involves experimental work at the Mont Terri rock laboratory, where the scientists inject CO2 enriched salt water into a borehole that cuts through a major fault and monitor how the fault reacts.

Project Leader at SED

Dr. Alba Zappone

Involved Institutions

SCCER-SoE, ETH Zurich, Swisstopo, Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich, EPFL; Chevron, Total, DoE (Laurence Berkley National Labs)

Funding Source

Elegancy is a project financed by Norwegian, Dutch, German, UK and Swiss national funding agencies, the European Commission, and industry.

Duration

31 August 2017–31 August 2020

Key Words

Induced Seismicity, Carbon Capture and Storage

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Swiss Seismicity, Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Earthquake Statistics, Earthquake Early Warning, Historical Seismicity, Seismotectonics, Real-time monitoring, Engi-neer Seismology, Other

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Publications

Grab et al. (2022). Fluid pressure monitoring during hydraulic testing in faulted Opalinus Clay using seismic velocity observations. J. Geophys In print . 

Hopp, C., Guglielmi, Y., Rinaldi, A. P., Soom, F., Wenning, Q., Cook, P., Robertson, M., Kakurina M., Zappone A. (2021). The effect of fault architecture on slip behavior in shale revealed by distributed fiber optic strain sensing. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth. doi: 10.1002/essoar.10507120.1

Wenning Q., Madonna C., Kurotori T., Petrini C., Hwang J., Zappone A., Wiemer S., Giardini D., Pini R.  (2021). Chemo-mechanical coupling in fractured shale with water and hydrocarbon flow. Geophysical Research Letters. doi: 10.1029/2020GL091357

Wenning Q., Madonna C., Zappone A., Grab M., Rinaldi A.P., Ploetze M., Nussbaum C., Giardini D., Wiemer S.  (2021). Shale fault zone structure and stress dependant anisotropic permeability and seismic velocity properties (Opalinus clay, Switzerland). Journal of Structural Geology 144. doi: 10.1016/j.jsg.2020.104273

Zappone A. Rinaldi A.P., Grab M., Wenning Q., Roques C., Madonna C., Obermann A., Bernasconi S. M., Soom F., Cook P., Guglielmi Y., Nussbaum C., Giardini D., Wiemer S. (2021). Fault sealing and caprock integrity for CO2 storage: an in-situ injection experiment. Solid Earth Discussion. doi: 10.5194/se-2020-100

project image

To a large part, the seismicity of Switzerland is characterized by swarm-like earthquake sequences of natural, and to a minor extent of man-made origin. Many of these sequences have been studied using relative location techniques, which often allowed to constrain the active fault plane of the larger events in a sequence and shed light on the tectonic processes that drive the seismicity. Yet, in the majority of cases the number of located earthquakes was too small to infer the details of the space-time evolution of the sequences, and their statistical parameters (e.g. magnitude-frequency distribution, Omori parameters). Therefore, it has been largely impossible to resolve clear patterns in the seismicity of individual earthquake sequences that are needed to improve our understanding of the mechanisms behind, and the differences between natural and induced earthquake sequences.

In this project we aim to significantly improve the completeness of detected and located earthquakes in the Swiss catalog. We plan to develop techniques that take advantage of the waveform similarity in natural and induced earthquake sequences to detect seismic events several orders of magnitude below the detection threshold of classical signal energy based detectors. Waveform similarity will than further be exploited to derive accurate and consistent magnitudes and locations for even the smallest events of the sequences.

Building on the data from this analysis we plan to study the processes and physics behind natural and induced microseismicity, e.g.:

  • understanding why natural earthquakes occur in swarm-like sequences
  • identifying triggering mechanisms of natural and induced earthquake sequences
  • understanding the differences and similarities of natural and induced earthquake sequences
  • detect and study repeated earthquakes
Project Leader at SED

Toni Kraft

SED Project Members

Marcus Herrmann, Stefan Wiemer

Funding Source

SED, Bundesamt für Energie

Duration

2014-2016

Key Words

Induced Seismicity, Real-time monitoring, Earthquake Statistics

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Real-time monitoring, Earthquake Statistics

Publications

Kraft, T., Diehl, T., Korger, E. and Tormann, T. (2014). Taking Surface Seismic Monitoring to the Nano-Seismic Scale: Results from Natural and Induced Seismic Sequences in Switzerland. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 4552. 

At the geothermal project Schlattingen/TG a borehole was sunk to 1.2km depth and stimulated with acid in early 2013. The Swiss Seismological Service monitored the acid stimulation with borehole and surface seismometers and in this way created a highly sensitive system for the detection of smallest fracture processes. The goal of the monitoring was to better understand the fundamental processes of a chemical stimulation, and to test if the analysis of tiny earthquakes can be used for the calibration of seismic hazard models to shorten the death times of traffic light systems. By comparing downhole and surface data, the performance of the different network and the attenuation of ambient seismic noise with depth will be investigated. In the framework of the project GEOBEST the results will be used to develop guidelines for the design of seismic monitoring networks. 

Project Leader at SED

Toni Kraft

Funding Source

Bundesamt für Energie

Duration

2013-2015

Key Words

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Real-time monitoring, reservoir stimulation techniques

project image

The processes and conditions underpinning induced seismicity associated with deep geothermal operations are still not sufficiently well understood to make useful predictions as to the likely seismic response to reservoir development and exploitation. The empirical data include only a handful of well-monitored EGS experiments; models are consequently poorly constrained. Unfortunately, datasets of well-monitored deep hydrothermal experiments are missing and empirical constraints of induced seismicity models for these cases do not exist. Given that the majority of the projects underway or planned in Europe are of the hydrothermal type, there is hope that this deficit can be remedied in the near future through a close cooperation of geothermal industry, science and public authorities.

This is where the GeoBest project comes to play. By supporting selected pilot project for a limited time, SED facilitates the dialog with geothermal industry. Besides of the unique opportunity to collect high quality seismic data and being able to access relevant project data, gaining first hand practical experience in this field is of paramour importance for the development of significant best practice guidlines.

Project Leader at SED

Toni Kraft

SED Project Members

INDU group

Funding Source

Bundesamt für Energie

Duration

2011-2015

Key Words

Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS); Induced seismicity; High-precision hypocenter locations; Activated faults

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Earthquake Statistics, Seismotectonics, Real-time monitoring

Publications

Deichmann, N., Kraft, T. and Evans, K.F. (2014). Identification of faults activated during the stimulation of the Basel geothermal project from cluster analysis and focal mechanisms of the larger magnitude events. Geothermics 52, 84-97. doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2014.04.001

Diehl, T., Kraft, T., Kissling, E., Deichmann, N., Clinton, J. and Wiemer, S. (2014). High-precision relocation of induced seismicity in the geothermal system below St. Gallen (Switzerland). EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 16, 12541. 

Edwards, B., Kraft, T., Cauzzi, C., Kastli, P. and Wiemer, S. (2015). Seismic monitoring and analysis of deep geothermal projects in St Gallen and Basel, Switzerland. Geophys. J. Int. 201, 1020-1037. 

Evans, K.F., Zappone, A., Kraft, T., Deichmann, N. and Moia, F.  (2012). A survey of the induced seismic responses to fluid injection in geothermal and CO2 reservoirs in Europe. Geothermics 41, 30-54. doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2011.08.002

Goertz, A., Riahi, N., Kraft, T. and Lambert, M.  (2012). Modeling Detection Thresholds of Microseismic Monitoring Networks. 2012 SEG Annual Meeting. Society of Exploration Geophysicists. 

Kraft, T., Mignan, A. and Giardini, D. (2013). Optimization of a large-scale microseismic monitoring network in northern Switzerland. Geophysical Journal International 195, 474-490. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt225

Kraft, T., Wiemer, S., Deichmann, N., Diehl, T., Edwards, B., Guilhem, A., Haslinger, F. et al. (2013). The ML 3.5 earthquake sequence induced by the hydrothermal energy project in St. Gallen, Switzerland. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1, 3. 

Kraft, T. and Deichmann, N.  (2014). High-precision relocation and focal mechanism of the injection-induced seismicity at the Basel EGS. Geothermics 52, 59-73. doi: 10.1016/j.geothermics.2014.05.014

Kraft, T. (2015). A high-resolution ambient seismic noise model for Europe. EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts 16, 12407. 

Kraft, T. et al. (2015). Lessons learned from the 2013 ML3.5 induced earthquake sequence at the St. Gallen geothermal site. Schatzalp Workshop on Induced Seismicity, Davos, Switzerland. 

Obermann, A., Kraft, T., Larose, E. and Wiemer, S. (2015). Potential of ambient seismic noise techniques to monitor the St. Gallen geothermal site (Switzerland). J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth 120(6), 4301–4316. doi: 10.1002/2014JB011817

Plenkers, K., Husen, S. and Kraft, T. (2015). A Multi-Step Assessment Scheme for Seismic Network Site Selection in Densely Populated Areas. Journal of Seismology 19(4), 861-879. 

project image

Der SED konnte in den letzten Jahren mehreren schweizerischen Tiefengeothermie-Projekten bei der seismischen Überwachung zur Seite stehen und so einen konstruktiven Dialog mit Betreibern und kantonalen Behörden beginnen. Auf diesen Erfahrungen aufbauend, hat der SED erste Empfehlungen für kantonale Bewilligungs- und Vollzugsbehörden entwickelt, wie mit der Problematik der induzierten Seismizität in verschiedenen Phasen eines Tiefengeothermie-projektes umzugehen ist. Diese Empfehlungen beruhen jedoch bislang auf Erfahrungen aus nur wenigen gut dokumentierten Projekten. Die praktische Erfahrung mit ihrer Umsetzung fehlt in der Schweiz bisher weitgehend. Es ist deshalb schwer abschätzbar, wie gut diese Empfehlungen im lokalen Kontext (geologisch, politisch, kulturell) anwendbar sind und welche Anpassungen gegebenenfalls getroffen werden müssen. Eine weitere wichtige Fragestellung ist in diesem Zusammenhang, wie Richtlinien und Vorschriften aus anderen technischen oder behördlichen Bereichen mit seismologischen Empfehlungen zur Vermeidung von induzierter Seismizität wechselwirken und vereinbar sind. Mögliche Konflikte lassen sich häufig nur in der praktischen Umsetzung von Projekten und durch die enge Zusammenarbeit des Seismologen mit Genehmigungsbehörden und Betreibern aufdecken und lösen. Ebenso wichtig ist die regelmässige Überprüfung und Anpassung aller relevanten Richtlinien und Vorschriften auf der Grundlage des wachsenden Kenntnis- und Erfahrungsstandes. Wenn immer möglich sollte dies im Konsens mit allen Interessengruppen geschehen.

Im Projekt Geobest wird der SED daher weiter grundlegende Datensätze zur Entstehung der induzierten Seismizität bei Tiefengeothermieprojekten in hoher Qualität und Auflösung sammeln, auswerten und interpretieren. Ausserdem kann der SED so die Kantons- und Bundesbehörden bei ihren Genehmigungs- und Überwachungspflichten in allen Phasen eines Tiefengeothermieprojektes seismologisch beraten und unterstützen. Der SED will so dazu beitragen gleiche Bewertungsmassstäbe bei der Umweltverträglichkeitsprüfung über kantonale Grenzen hinweg zu schaffen und kurz- bis mittelfristig die Vereinheitlichung, und damit eine erhebliche Erleichterung und Beschleunigung, dieses Verfahrens ermöglichen. Über eine zentrale Webseite soll die Öffentlichkeit unabhängig, aktuell und fachlich kompetent zum Thema induzierte Seismizität informiert werden, um eine sachliche Diskussion aller Interessengruppen zu unterstützen.

Project Leader at SED

Toni Kraft

SED Project Members

Philippe Roth, Stefan Wiemer

Funding Source

EnergieSchweiz, Bundesamt für Energie (BFE)

Duration

2015-2019

Key Words

Induced Seismicity, Induced Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Real-time monitoring, Support and consultancy

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Induced Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Real-time monitoring, Support and consultancy

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Publications
Reports / Deliverables

Zbinden, D., Rinaldi, A. P., Diehl, T., & Wiemer, S. (2020). Potential influence of overpressurized gas on the induced seismicity in the St. Gallen deep geothermal project (Switzerland).. Solid Earth 11 (3), 909-933. doi: 10.5194/se-11-909-2020

Zbinden, D., Rinaldi, A. P., Diehl, T., & Wiemer, S.  (2020). Hydromechanical Modeling of Fault Reactivation in the St. Gallen Deep Geothermal Project (Switzerland): Poroelasticity or Hydraulic Connection?. Geophysical Research Letters 47(3). e2019GL085201. doi: 10.1029/2019GL085201

Király‐Proag, E., Satriano, C., Bernard, P., & Wiemer, S. (2019). Rupture Process of the M w 3.3 Earthquake in the St. Gallen 2013 Geothermal Reservoir, Switzerland.. Geophysical Research Letters 46(14), 7990-7999. doi: 10.1029/2019GL082911

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer (2019). GEOBEST-CH2 - Zwischenbericht II. Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, November 2018

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer (2018). GEOBEST-CH2 - Zwischenbericht II. Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, November 2018.

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer (2017). GEOBEST-CH2 - Zwischenbericht I. Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, Dezember 2017

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer  (2017). GEOBEST-CH - Abschlussbereicht. Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, Oktober 2017 https://www.research-collection.ethz.ch/handle/20.500.11850/426644 

Wiemer, S., Kraft, T., Trutnevyte, E. and Philippe Roth (2017). “Good Practice” Guide for Managing Induced Seismicity in Deep Geothermal Energy Projects in Switzerland. Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich. doi: 10.12686/a5

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer  (2016). GEOBEST-CH - Zwischenbericht II. Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, Dezember 2016

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer  (2015). GEOBEST-CH - Zwischenbericht I. Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, Dezember 2015

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer (2015). Abschlussbericht, Projekt GEOBEST, Berichtszeitraum Okt. 2011 – Nov. 2015. Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, Dezember 2015 Link 

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer (2015). Zwischenbericht IV, Projekt GEOBEST, Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, Dezember 2015

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer (2014). Zwischenbericht III, Projekt GEOBEST, Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, November 2014

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer (2012). Zwischenbericht II, Projekt GEOBEST, Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, September 2012

Kraft, T. & S. Wiemer  (2011). Zwischenbericht I, Projekt GEOBEST, Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, August 2011

The Noville network is operated under a contract with Petrosvibri SA. The purpose of the network is to monitor induced seismicity related to a deep gas exploration drilling project near Noville, VD.

Project Leader at SED

Stephan Husen

SED Project Members

Toni Kraft

Funding Source

Petrosvibri SA

Duration

2009-2012

Key Words

Induced Seismicity, Real-time monitoring, Engineer Seismology

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Real-time monitoring, Engineer Seismology

The Brigerbad network is operated under a contract with Geothermie Brigerbad AG. The purpose of the network is to monitor induced seismicity related to the extraction of hot thermal waters from 400-600 m deep boreholes in Brigerbad, VS.

Project Leader at SED

Stephan Husen

SED Project Members

Toni Kraft

Funding Source

Geothermie Brigerbad AG

Duration

2009-2011

Key Words

Geothermie Brigerbad AG

Research Field

Induced Seismicity, Real-time monitoring

Historische Seismologie

project image

Ziel dieses Projekts ist die historisch-kritische Überarbeitung des Erdbebenkatalogs der Schweiz für die vorinstrumentelle und die frühe instrumentelle Periode der systematischen Erdbebenüberwachung (1878–1963). Entscheidend für eine möglichst korrekte Interpretation der Informationen aus verschiedenartigen Quellen ist, dass diese mittels geschichtswissenschaftlicher Methoden in ihren soziokulturellen Produktionskontext gestellt werden.

Kern der Arbeiten bildet die Aufarbeitung der Überlieferung von Erdbebenereignissen und die Einschätzung der Zuverlässigkeit der Informationsquellen. Weiter werden die makroseismischen Intensitätsfelder für mittelstarke Erdbeben, d. h. Ereignisse mit Epizentral-Intensitäten von IV bis VI auf der 12-stufigen Europäischen Makroseismischen Skala (EMS-98), rekonstruiert. Daraus lassen sich mittels einer in diesem Projekt weiterentwickelten kalibrierten Methode die Ereignisparameter, wie Magnitude, Lokalisierung und Herdtiefe, ableiten. Diese Ergebnisse werden zudem mit der Auswertung historischer Seismogramme abgeglichen.

Die mittelstarken Erdbeben des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts sind von besonderer Relevanz. Da sie in der Schweiz vergleichsweise häufig auftreten und die Produktion verwertbarer Quellen in dieser Zeitperiode stark zunimmt, ergibt sich ein grosser Datensatz. Dieser erlaubt uns, unseren Kenntnisstand der Seismizität in der Schweiz zu verbessern und die Unsicherheiten zukünftiger Gefährdungs- und Risikostudien zu verkleinern. An der Schnittstelle zwischen Natur- und Geisteswissenschaft ist die Untersuchung der wissenschaftlichen Praktiken zur Produktion von Erdbebendaten auch von Interesse für diverse anderer Forschungsfelder, wie etwa die Wissens-, Umwelt- und Technikgeschichte oder die Risikosoziologie.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Remo Grolimund

Funding Source

SNF

Duration

2015-2019

Key Words

Historische Seismologie, Interdisziplinarität, Analyse historischer Seismogramme, Makroseismik, Geschichte der Wissenschaften und Technik

Research Field

Erdbeben Schweiz, Erdbebengefährdung und -risiko, historische Seismizität

Link To Project Website

Project Website

project image

Earthquake can initiate subaquatic mass transport and sediment deformation structures, the deposits of which are stored in the sedimentary archive. Due to their good preservation potential and improving dating methods, these earthquake-related deposits in the sedimentary archive of lakes can extend the earthquake catalogue back to prehistorical times. The determination of frequency, epicentre and magnitude of these paleoearthquakes can be a key input for improving a probabilistic seismic hazard model, especially in areas such as Switzerland where strong earthquakes have long recurrence rates and might not be recorded in historic times. In order to better interpret the prehistorical earthquake-related sedimentary record, it remains important to understand which historical earthquakes did trigger mass transport deposits and sediment deformation structures, and which earthquakes did not trigger secondary sedimentary effects in the lake basins.

The proposed project is aimed to improve our understanding of which earthquakes, or what kind of shaking, leave traces in the sediments, in order to evaluate the completeness of the sublacustrine paleoseismological record, using Lake Thun as example. The second aim of this project, directly linked to the first one, is to compare the paleoseismological record with the contemporary national seismic hazard model of Switzerland, updated in 2015. Thus, using the intensity ranges determined in the first part of this project and using the paleoseismic database of Switzerland a systematic analysis of frequencies, sources and magnitudes of possible paleoearthquakes will be compared to time series produced by the seismic hazard model of Switzerland.

Project Leader at SED

Dr. Katrina Kremer

Funding Source

SNF, Marie Heim-Vögtlin programme

Duration

2.2017-1.2019

Key Words

Lake sediments, paleoseismology, sublacustrine slope failure

Research Field

Historical Seismicity, Paleoseismology

Link To Project Website

Project Website

project image

Die Beurteilung der seismischen Gefährdung in Regionen wie der Schweiz muss sich aufgrund der langen Wiederkehrperioden von mittleren bis grossen Erdbeben hauptsächlich auf historische Dokumente stützen. Am Schweizerischen Erdbebendienst (SED) an der ETH Zürich arbeiten seit rund 20 Jahren Seismologen und Seismologinnen, Historiker und Historikerinnen, sowie Datenbankexperten in einer Reihe von erfolgreichen interdisziplinären Projekten zusammen.

Zuletzt wurde im Rahmen von u.a. vom Schweizerischen Nationalfonds SNF unterstützten Projekten für die vor- und frühe instrumentelle Periode der wissenschaftlichen Erdbebenbeobachtung (1880-1963) ein reichhaltiger Datenbestand erschlossen. Der Quellenfundus setzt sich aus mit sehr unterschiedlichen Methoden erfassten Informationen zusammen und deckt sowohl deskriptive wie auch instrumentelle Daten ab. Aufgrund der Datenfülle und der Herausforderungen, die die Erfassung und Digitalisierung der sehr unterschiedlichen Quellenarten bedeuteten konnte das Potential dieses Datenbestandes über die reine Dokumentation hinaus noch kaum ausgeschöpft werden.

Dieses von der cogito foundation finanzierte Anschluss-Projekt dient der Erhaltung der Kontinuität und Nachhaltigkeit der interdisziplinären historischen Forschung am SED durch eine vertiefende und systematische Analyse-, Dokumentations- und Publikationstätigkeit. Im seismologischen Bereich spielen etwa die Verbesserung und Verknüpfung der makroseismischen und instrumentellen Grundlagendaten des Erdbebenkatalogs eine wichtige Rolle für die nächste Revision des Erdbebenkatalogs der Schweiz. Die Entwicklung des SED bietet sich im wissensgeschichtlichen Bereich ausserdem als datengestützte historische Fallstudie zur konzeptuellen, organisatorischen und technologischen Entwicklung einer wissenschaftlichen Institution und ihrer Praktiken im 20. Jahrhundert an.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Remo Grolimund

Funding Source

cogito foundation

Duration

2020 - 2021

Key Words

Historische Seismologie, Interdisziplinarität, Analyse historischer Seismogramme, Makroseismik, Geschichte der Wissenschaften und Technik

Research Field

Erdbeben Schweiz, Erdbebengefährdung und -risiko, historische Seismizität

Ingenieurseismologie

project image

In cooperation with the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra), the Swiss Seismological Service has recently completed the installation of ten new seismological observation stations, three of them including a co-located borehole sensor. The ultimate goal of the project is to densify the existing Swiss Digital Seismic Network (SDSNet) in Northern Switzerland, in order to increase the sensitivity to very-low magnitude events and to improve the accuracy of future location solutions. This is strategic for unbiased monitoring of micro-seismicity at the places of proposed nuclear waste repositories.

At each site, to further improve the quality and usability of the recordings, a full seismic characterization of the area surrounding the installation area was performed. The investigation consisted of a preliminary geological and geotechnical study, followed by an accurate seismic site response analysis by means of state-of-art geophysical techniques. For the borehole stations, in particular, the characterization was performed by combining different types of active seismic methods (refraction tomography, surface wave analysis, Vertical Seismic Profiling, VSP) with ambient vibration based approaches (wavelet decomposition, H/V spectral ratio, polarization analysis, three component f-k analysis).

Results converged to the definition a unique summary velocity profile for the site, later used for the computation of the analytical SH-wave amplification function

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Valerio Poggi

Involved Institutions

SED

Funding Source

Nagra

Duration

2012-2015

Key Words

Site characterization, seismic stations

Research Field

Applied and engineering seismology

Publications

Poggi, V., Keller, L. and Fäh, D. (2014). The new broadband seismic network in Northern Switzerland: Site characterization. Nagra Arbeitsbericht NAB, 15-54. 

Dal Moro, G., Keller, L. and Poggi, V. (2015). A comprehensive seismic characterisation via multi-component analysis of active and passive data. First Break 33(9), 45-53. 

Reports / Deliverables

By means of theoretical and computational modeling, the research in Earthquake Physics Group aimed to cover the entire process of earthquakes: its source, radiation path, and ground motion at the surface. We performed both fundamental research on earthquake rupture dynamic processes and wave propagation and apply it for the development of physics-based models for ground motion prediction, seismic hazard assessment and earthquake engineering applications. Our main goal was to acquire a better understanding in the physics and mechanics of earthquakes.

The research topics were:

  • Dynamic rupture at a bi-material interface
  • Earthquake rupture in geometrically complex fault systems
  • Dynamics of off-fault plastic yielding formation and tensile crack propagation during dynamic rupture
  • Development of laboratory-based friction models (slip weakening and rate and state)
  • Limits on extreme ground motion due to strength limits and distributed shearing
  • Difference between surface-rupturing and buried earthquake rupture
  • Geodynamic and earthquake cycles
  • Coupling geodynamic and dynamic earthquake faulting models
  • Wave propagation in complex media
  • Identification of both source- and propagation-dominated ground motion phenomena
  • Source inversion and pseudo-dynamic source models
  • Physics-based broad-band ground motion simulation

Development of physics-based Ground Motion Prediction Equation Models (GMPE)

Project Leader at SED

Luis A. Dalguer

SED Project Members

Cyrill Baumann

Alice Gabriel

Percy Galvez

Walter Imperatori

Banu Mena Cabrera

Seok Goo Song

Ylona van Dinther

Youbing Zhang

Involved Institutions

SED

Funding Source

SNF

CSCS, CCES-ETH, SCEC, Volksbankstiftung, 7th Framework Program of the European Commission

Duration

2009-2014

Key Words

Earthquake rupture dynamic, ground motion modeling, numerical simulation, friction models, earthquake cycles.

Research Field

Physics of earthquake, Earthquake seismology, engineering seismology, High Performance Computing

Publications

Galvez, P., Dalguer, L.A., Ampuero, J.P. and Giardini, D. (2016). Slip reactivation during the 2011 Mw 9.0 Tohoku earthquake: Dynamic rupture and ground motion simulations. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am., In press. 

Zhang, Y., Dalguer, L.A., Song, S.G., Clinton, J. and Giardini, D. (2015). Evaluating the effect of network density and geometric distribution on kinematic source inversion models. Geophys. J. Int. 200, 1-6. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggu252

Herrendoerfer, R., van Dinther, Y., Gerya, T.V. and Dalguer, L.A. (2015). Seismogenic zone downdip width controls supercycles at subduction thrusts. Nature Geoscience 8, 471–474. doi: 10.1038/ngeo2427

Galvez, P., Ampuero, J.P., Dalguer, L.A., Somala, S.N. and Nissen-Meyer, T. (2014). Dynamic earthquake rupture modeled with an unstructured 3D spectral element method applied to the 2011 M9 Toholu earthquake. Geophys. J. Int. 198, 1222–1240. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggu203

Baumann, C. and Dalguer, L.A. (2014). Evaluating the Compatibility of Dynamic-Rupture-Based Synthetic Ground Motion with Empirical GMPE. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am. 104(2). doi: 10.1785/0120130077

van Dinther, Y., Gerya, T.V., Dalguer, L.A. and Mai, P.M.  (2014). Modeling the seismic cycle in subduction zones: the role and spatiotemporal occurrence of off-megathrust earthquakes. Geophysical Research Letters 41(4), 1194–1201. 

Song, S.G., Dalguer, L.A. and Mai, P.M. (2013). Pseudo-dynamic source modeling with 1-point and 2-point statistics of earthquake source parameters. Geophys. J. Int. 196(3), 1770-1786. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt479

Causse, M., Dalguer, L. A. and Mai, P.M.  (2013). Variability of Dynamic Source Parameters Inferred from Kinematic Models of Past Earthquakes. Geophys. J. Int. 196(3), 1754-1769. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt478

van Dinther, Y., Gerya, T.V., Dalguer, L.A., Mai, P.M., Morra, G. and Giardini, D.  (2013). The seismic cycle at subduction thrusts: insights from seismo-thermo-mechanical models. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth 118(12), 6183–6202. doi: 10.1002/2013JB010380

Baumann, C., Burjanek, J., Michel, C., Haeh, D. and Dalguer, L.A.  (2013). Fault zone signatures from ambient vibration measurements: a case study in the region of Visp (Valais, Switzerland). Swiss J. Geosci. 106, 529-541. doi: 10.1007/s00015-013-0155-3

Gabriel, A.A., Ampuero, J.P., Dalguer, L.A. and Mai, P.M. (2013). Source Properties of Dynamic Rupture Pulses with Off-Fault Plasticity. J. Geophys. Res. 118(8), 4117–4126. doi: 10.1002/jgrb.50213

Song, S.G. and Dalguer, L.A.  (2013). Importance of 1-point statistics in earthquake source modeling for ground motion simulation. Geophys. J. Int. 192(3), 1255-1270. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggs089

van Dinther, Y, Gerya, T.V., Dalguer, L. A., Corbi, F., Funiciello, F. and Mai, P.M.  (2013). The seismic cycle at subduction thrusts: 2. Dynamic implications of geodynamic simulations benchmarked with laboratory models. J. Geophys. Res. 118(4), 1502–1525. doi: 10.1029/2012JB009479

Mikhailov, V., Lyakhovsky, V., Panet, I., van Dinther, Y., Diament, M., Gerya, T.V., deViron, O. and Timoshkina, E.  (2013). Numerical modelling of post-seismic rupture propagation after the Sumatra 26.12.2004 earthquake constrained by GRACE gravity data. Geophysical Journal International 194(2), 640-650. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt145

Corbi, F., Funiciello, F., Moroni, M., van Dinther, Y., Mai, P.M., Dalguer, L.A. and Faccenna, C. (2012). The seismic cycle at subduction thrusts: 1. insights from laboratory models.  J. Geophys. Res. 118(4), 1483–1501. doi: 10.1029/2012JB009481

In this ETHZ-funded project we analyze ambient vibrations and earthquake recordings to characterize and investigate the dynamic response of unstable rock slopes. We perform systematic measurements and interpretation of ambient vibrations at known unstable rock slopes, both with single stations and array-configurations. The eigenfrequencies, eigenmodes, directivity, and amplification of ambient vibrations are identified and compared to geotechnical investigations. The interpretation of recordings targets the estimation of the potential landslide volume and is supported by numerical modeling of seismic wave propagation in fractured media. A classification scheme based on the seismic response has been introduced, in which each class indicates specific properties of a rock instability. The two main classes found are volume-controlled sites and depth-controlled sites. The extensive database will be extended with instabilities on high-alpine permafrost locations. Moreover, both short-term and long-term monitoring is undertaken to understand the time evolution of the slope structure. Temporary monitoring stations are installed at the rock slope instabilities of Preonzo (Ticino) and Brienz (Grisons) and on a high-alpine permafrost ridge close to Gemsstock (Uri). A main goal of this monitoring is to understand the effect of weather and climate on the dynamic behavior of the rock and its stability, and to measure the slopes’ seismic response to earthquake ground motion. In a later stage of the project, the effect of earthquakes on the rock slope stability will be evaluated using numerical modelling. It will be evaluated, if ambient noise measurements can provide a direct proxy for the seismic vulnerability of rock slope instabilities. The expected results have the potential to be applied directly in hazard analysis and risk reduction measures.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Mauro Häusler

Funding Source

ETHZ

Duration

2013–2021

Key Words

Unstable rock slopes, ambient vibrations, ground motion modelling, landslides

Research Field

Seismic hazard, earthquake induced effects, engineering seismology, slope stability

Publications
project image

Within this project, new signal processing techniques for the analysis of ambient vibrations are developed. The focus is on the development of single-station methods and the adaptation of existing techniques to large arrays.

Single-station methods represent an extremely valuable tool. The use of a single station further simplifies the measurement procedure thus enabling a more time and cost effective survey.

Assumptions on the wavefield used when processing small arrays may be no longer valid when analyzing large arrays. For this reason, we investigate adaptations of existing techniques to large arrays.

Target applications of the methods developed within this project include microzonation studies in Switzerland and investigation of the characteristics of the Swiss Molasse Basin.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Donat Fäh

 

SED Project Members

Stefano Maranò, Dario Chieppa (PhD)

Funding Source

SNF

Duration

Since 2014

Key Words

Ambient vibrations, surface waves

Research Field

Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Signal Processing

Publications
project image

Hydrocarbon-bearing geological structures might cause characteristic modifications of the ambient vibration background noise. This question is addressed in a project supported by the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) together with the company SpectraSeis. The link between observations and geological structure can only be made by understanding the wavefield that is recorded. This requires the simultaneous recording and analysis of ambient vibration wave-fields on arrays. Such methods have been developed in the past, and they have been applied to study soft-sediment surface deposits for seismic hazard analysis.

The analysis of all three components of ground motion is addressed. Analysis of such recordings targets to distinguish between standing waves (global resonances) and propagating surface waves (Love- and Rayleigh-waves) as well as body waves (SH and PSV). By adapting array configurations during the measurements in the field, the identification of the wave-types with the corresponding propagation velocity and direction is optimized and allows to determine the source region of the waves and their possible origin. From the wave characteristics, structural information can be inverted that allows to improve structural models. The development of a real-time system for array measurements is part of the project.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Stefano Maranò, Javier Revilla

Involved Institutions

SED, Spectraseis AG

Funding Source

Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI)

Duration

2009-2012

Key Words

Array methods, ambient vibration, hydrocarbon reservoir detection

Research Field

Strong-motion interpretation and site-effects, Signal Processing

Publications

Maranò, S., Reller, C., Fäh, D. and Loeliger, H.-A. (2011). Seismic waves estimation and wave field decomposition with factor graphs. Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, 2748–2751. Prague, Czech Republic: IEEE. doi: 10.1109/ICASSP.2011.5947054

Reller, C., Loeliger, H.-A. and Maranò, S. (2011). Multi-sensor estimation and detection of phase-locked sinusoids. Proc. IEEE Int. Conf. Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, 3872–3875. Prague, Czech Republic: IEEE. doi: 10.1109/ICASSP.2011.5947197

Maranò, S., Reller, C., Loeliger, H.-A. and Fäh, D. (2012). Seismic waves estimation and wave field decomposition: Application to ambient vibrations. Geophys. J. Int. 191, 175–188. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05593.x

Maranò, S. and Fäh, D. (2013). Processing of Translational and Rotational Motions of Surface Waves: Performance Analysis and Applications to Single Sensor and to Array Measurements. Geophys. J. Int. 196, 317-339. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt18

Maranò, S., Fäh, D. and Lu, Y.M. (2014). Sensor placement for the analysis of seismic surface waves: sources of error, design criterion and array design algorithms. Geophys. J. Int. 197(3), 1566–1581. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt489

Presentations

S. Maranò Seismic wave field decomposition application to the analysis of ambient vibrations. European Seismological Commission 32nd Assembly, September 6-10 2010, Montpellier, France. 

S. Maranò Seismic Waves Estimation and Wave Field Decomposition With Factor Graphs. IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, May 22-27 2011, Prague, Czech Republic. 

S. Maranò Maximum likelihood parameter estimation for surface waves: application to ambient vibrations. 4th International IASPEI/IAEE Symposium on the Effects of Surface Geology on Seismic Motion, August 23-26 2011, Santa Barbara, California. 

S. Maranò Maximum Likelihood wavefield parameters estimation: Application to the analysis of ambient vibrations. European Seismological Commission 33rd Assembly, August 19-24 2012, Moscow, Russia. 

S. Maranò Joint processing of translational and rotational motions of seismic surface waves: Performance analysis and applications. IASPEI Assembly, July 12-26 2013, Gothenburg, Sweden. Invited presentation. 

S. Maranò Analysis of ambient vibrations using a maximum likelihood method. European Seismological Commission 34th Assembly, August 24-29 2014, Istanbul, Turkey. 

project image

The project includes the work of two PhD candidates, addressing practical problems related to source characterization (Falko Bethmann) and site-effect assessment (Valerio Poggi). In the first part of this PhD project, scaling relations between small and large earthquakes are developed and the potential impact of such relations on estimating maximum near-fault ground motions is studied. In the second part of the project, new techniques for site characterization and site response analysis are implemented. First, a new method to analyze three component array recordings of ambient vibration is developed that allows retrieving the ellipticity functions of the different Rayleigh-wave modes. Subsequently, a procedure to combine passive (ambient vibration) and active-source techniques is proposed, with the goal to improve resolution of array measurements on shallow layers from high frequency component of the wave-field. Finally, generic amplification functions are developed for a common reference condition in Switzerland that serve as input for site-specific seismic hazard assessment.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Valerio Poggi, Falko Bethmann, Nico Deichmann

Involved Institutions

SED

Funding Source

SNF

Duration

2006-2010

Key Words

Seismic source characterization, site-effects

Research Field

Applied and engineering seismology

Publications

Poggi, V. and Fäh, D. (2010). Estimating Rayleigh wave particle motion from three-component array analysis of ambient vibrations. Geophys. J. Int. 180(1), 251-267. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04402.x

Poggi, V., Edwards, B. and Fäh, D. (2011). Derivation of a Reference Shear-Wave Velocity Model from Empirical Site Amplification. Bull. Seim. Soc. Am. 101(1), 258-274. doi: 10.1785/0120100060

Poggi, V., Fäh, D. and Giardini, D. (2012). T-f-k analysis of surface waves using the continuous wavelet transform. Pure and Applied Geophysics 170(3), 319-335. 

Poggi, V., Fäh, D., Burjanek, J. and Giardini, D. (2012). The use of Rayleigh wave ellipticity for site-specific hazard assessment and microzonation. An application to the city of Luzern (Switzerland). Geophys. J. Int. 188(3), 1154-1172. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05305.x

Earthquake-induced Phenomena

project image

The reliable detection of snow avalanches, landslides and rockfall provides the basis for any advanced investigation on triggering mechanisms, risk assessment or the identification of possible precursors. It is well known that such phenomena produce specific seismic signals. Nonetheless, the manual detection on seismic traces is not feasible since it is extremely time consuming and results are influenced by the subjective view of the analyst. Automatic detection is therefore preferred, as unbiased results are obtained in near real-time. In this project, we will take advantage of an automatic classification procedure for continuous seismic signals to detect avalanches, landslides and rockfalls in continuous streams of seismic data. The applied method is independent of previously acquired data and classification schemes, offering the opportunity to detect very rare and highly variable events.

The goal of this project is to improve the detection across the entire Swiss Alps and to better understand possible triggering mechanisms. In addition accurate information on the number and release time of avalanches will provide an important contribution to the avalanche warning service at the SLF. This research is highly relevant since large scale avalanche and landslide monitoring will provide reliable data for further research, the development of near real-time products and improved risk assessment and warning systems.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Conny Hammer

Involved Institutions

SLF

Funding Source

SED, WSL

Duration

since 2015

Key Words

snow avalanches, landslides, rockfalls, automatic detection, monitoring

Research Field

real-time monitoring, avalanche and landslide detection

Publications

Statistische Seismologie

project image

Recent discoveries include: Non-volcanic tremors (NVT), strong heterogeneity of the relative stress distribution, temporal and along-fault variable aseismic creep, repeating earthquakes, slow slip events. Based on the insight that was gained from these previous studies, we will be able to develop and calibrate an indicative stress-meter for the Earth’s crust. In this project we link for the first time the statistical analysis of the size distribution of earthquakes with complementary observations of fault movement.

This yields an improved understanding of the nature of fault loading cycles. Therefore, the results will provide key understanding to unravelling the predictability of earthquakes and has the potential to radically change the assessment of local seismic hazard for selected well-understood and well-monitored faults.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Stefan Wiemer

SED Project Members

Nadine Staudenmaier, Dr. Thessa Tormann

Funding Source

SNF

Duration

2013 - October 2018

Key Words

Non-volcanic tremors (NVT), strong heterogeneity of the relative stress distribution, slow slip events

Research Field

Earthquake Statistics, Seismotectonics

project image

Our present knowledge about earthquakes does not yet allow us to reliably forecast earthquakes. Therefore, the study of precursors is an essential step in the direction of earthquake forecasting. Precursors can be anomalous seismic patterns or other phenomena such as peculiar animal behavior, or electromagnetic anomalies etc., which indicate the incidence of a large event. We focus in our studies on seismic precursors, namely quiescence, which is expressed through reduced seismic activity, accelerated seismicity (ASR) and short term foreshocks. The mentioned precursors are observed in many selected earthquake sequences in the past. However, there is skepticism if these precursors happen systematically; some studies explain their occurrence rather as a random temporary perturbation of normal seismicity which is accidentally followed by a large earthquake.

We believe that systematic investigations on the occurrence of precursors give essential evidence for or against their existence. We chose to perform these investigations with statistical tools, hence by evaluating location, time and magnitudes of earthquakes from several regional earthquake catalogs of the world, to obtain representative precursor statistics.

We find that small earthquakes, as they occur more frequently, could facilitate the detection of precursory patterns (Mignan, 2014). We study statistical models used to describe earthquake occurrence and the impact of the choice of the lowest magnitude on them (Seif et al, 2016, submitted). Using these models we evaluate if foreshock occurrence differs from normal seismicity. We also want to specify how often foreshock patterns are followed by large events or not (true/false alarm rate). In the future remaining precursory patterns, quiescence and accelerated seismicity, will be investigated in the same way. We hope that the statistical analysis will allow us to better understand the physical processes which lead to the occurrence of precursors.

Project Leader at SED

Dr. Arnaud Mignan

SED Project Members

Stefanie Seif, Dr. Jeremy Zechar, Prof. Stefan Wiemer

Funding Source

ETH Grants

Duration

2013 - August 2018

Key Words

Precursors, foreshocks, cut-off magnitude, ETAS

Research Field

Earthquake Statistics, Earthquake Forecasting

Publications
project image

Quantifying time-varying seismicity rates is fundamentally important to protecting people who live in areas subject to extreme earthquake shaking. One primary difficulty with such assessment is determining how faults interact. Some recent studies have noted the ability of passing earthquake waves to increase the 'triggerability' of a fault in a delayed form of dynamic stressing: after seismic waves pass, faults are more prone to fail in a subsequent earthquake. The deadly Canterbury earthquake sequence has characteristics that suggest it was promoted by such distant, delayed, dynamic triggering. The sequence is also compatible with a model in which low-strain rate areas are efficient at storing and transferring static stresses. This has implications for earthquake clustering and the generation of damaging ground motion. We will apply recently-developed techniques in concert to address three questions: 1) Can we quantify distant and delayed triggering in this sequence? We will address this by correlating increased geodetic crustal velocities in Canterbury following the 2009 M7.8 Dusky Sound earthquake that occurred hundreds of km away. We will apply source scanning and template matching techniques to search Canterbury for microseismicity that was triggered by the M7.8 event. 2) Do earthquakes in low-strain rate areas exhibit more clustering and longer aftershock sequences than their high-strain rate counterparts, and do these earthquakes produce stronger ground motions? We will build a comprehensive model of earthquake generation in low-strain rate areas by using an earthquake simulator to model the evolution of the sequence. 3) Can the simulator model we develop demonstrate skill in seismicity forecast experiments? The model developed in this project could provide a true step change and bring seismology closer to bridging the gap between probabilistic forecasting and deterministic modelling of earthquake hazard.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Stefan Wiemer

SED Project Members

Yifan Yin

Involved Institutions

GNS Science

Funding Source

ETH

Duration

2015-2019

Key Words

Delayed dynamic triggering; earthquake physics; earthquake simulator; earthquake forecasting

Research Field

Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Earthquake Statistics

project image

Statistical seismology is the application of rigorous statistical methods to earthquake science with the goal of improving our knowledge of how the earth works. Within statistical seismology there is a strong emphasis on the analysis of seismicity data in order to improve our scientific understanding of earthquakes and to improve the evaluation and testing of earthquake forecasts, earthquake early warning, and seismic hazards assessments. Given the societal importance of these applications, statistical seismology must be done well. Unfortunately, a lack of educational resources and available software tools make it difficult for students and new practitioners to learn about this discipline. The goal of the Community Online Resource for Statistical Seismicity Analysis (CORSSA) is to promote excellence in statistical seismology by providing the knowledge and resources necessary to understand and implement the best practices.

CORSSA covers a wide variety of themes:

Introductory Material
Statistical Foundations
Understanding Seismicity Catalogs and Their Problems
Models and Techniques for Analyzing Seismicity
Earthquake Predictability and Related Hypothesis Testing

Each of these themes includes a series of articles that are listed in the CORSSA Table of Contents. The series of themes was devised to make it easy for the reader to focus on their personal requirements to get an introduction to statistical seismology, or to learn about the basics of earthquakes, statistics, and/or the intricacies of seismicity catalogs before moving onto applications.

Project Leader at SED

Dr. J. Douglas Zechar

SED Project Members

Stefan Wiemer

Funding Source
Duration

2011-present

Key Words

Statistical seismology, aftershocks, declustering

Research Field

Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Earthquake Statistics

Publications