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Swiss Seismological Service (SED)

The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich is the federal agency for earthquakes. Its activities are integrated in the federal action plan for earthquake precaution.

Felt Earthquakes in Switzerland

Local Time
Mag.
Location
Felt?
2018-07-08 16:00 2.1 Santa Maria GR Probably not felt
2018-07-03 08:58 3.1 Mont-Cenis F Slightly felt

Latest Earthquakes

Local Time
Magnitude
Location
2018-07-16 00:12 2.1 Stein am Rhein SH
2018-07-15 22:38 1.0 Stein am Rhein SH
2018-07-14 20:03 0.6 Cluses F
2018-07-14 02:45 1.1 Mulhouse F
2018-07-14 00:29 0.8 Scuol GR

Swiss Earthquakes Counter

since 01.01.2018 
000

Recent earthquakes magnitude 4.5 or greater

Time (UTC)
Mag.
Region
2018-07-15 07:11:01 4.6 WESTERN IRAN
2018-07-13 12:42:41 4.7 Crete, Greece
2018-07-08 20:32:15 4.5 Central Mediterranean Sea
2018-07-05 21:39:04 4.6 Greece
2018-07-04 19:45:40 4.6 DEAD SEA REGION
2018-07-04 09:01:08 5.0 Albania
2018-07-02 04:10:26 5.0 Svalbard, Norway, region
2018-06-26 22:20:33 4.5 AZERBAIJAN
2018-06-26 17:57:06 4.7 WESTERN IRAN
2018-06-25 05:15:01 4.8 southern Greece
2018-06-25 05:14:46 5.4 SOUTHERN GREECE
2018-06-23 03:50:03 4.6 TURKEY-IRAN BORDER REGION
2018-06-18 15:32:46 5.2 Turkey

Recent earthquakes magnitude 6 or greater

UTC Time
Magnitude
Location
2018-07-15 13:09:16 6.0 Eastern Gulf of Aden
2018-07-13 09:46:49 6.4 Vanuatu Islands
2018-07-12 06:50:05 6.3 South of Fiji Islands
2018-07-08 21:04:46 6.4 New Ireland region, Papua New Guinea
2018-07-06 01:40:08 6.1 Near east coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
2018-07-06 01:39:57 6.3 EAST OF KURIL ISLANDS
2018-07-01 20:45:09 6.0 Kuril Islands
2018-06-21 21:13:32 6.1 Vanuatu Islands
NEWS

2018-05-16

[Available in DE /FR] Zwei Beben in der Nähe von Châtel-St-Denis

[Available in DE /FR] Zwei Beben in der Nähe von Châtel-St-Denis

Am Dienstag, dem 15. Mai 2018, hat sich um 17:30 Uhr (Lokalzeit) in der Nähe von Châtel-St-Denis (FR) in einer Tiefe von ungefähr 5 km ein erstes Erdbeben der Magnitude 3.1 ereignet.

Die Erschütterungen waren vorwiegend in der Umgebung von Châtel-St-Denis bis hin nach Vevey gut zu spüren. Da sich das Beben relativ nahe der Erdoberfläche ereignet hat, wurde es vor allem im Gebiet des Epizentrums relativ deutlich verspürt. Die Anzahl der Erdbebenmeldungen nahm entsprechend mit der Distanz ab. In den vergangenen Jahren haben sich in der Umgebung von Châtel-St-Denis keine grösseren Beben oder Erdbebenschwärme ereignet. Dies im Unterschied zum weiter östlich gelegenen Château-d’Oex, wo in den vergangenen Monaten zahlreiche Beben aufgetreten sind. Einen Zusammenhang zwischen dem Beben von Châtel-St-Denis und denjenigen von Château-d’Oex besteht aber nicht. Bei einem Beben dieser Stärke sind keine Schäden zu erwarten.

Am Mittwoch, dem 16. Mai 2018, hat sich um 11:32 Uhr ein zweites Beben ereignet. Die Magnitude war mit 2.9 leicht schwächer. Das Epizentrum dieses Bebens liegt am selben Ort wie jenes des ersten (etwas 2 km südwestlich von Châtel-St-Denis). Das zweite Beben ereignete sich aber vermutlich noch ein bisschen näher an der Erdoberfläche.

2018-05-05

Successful start to the InSight Mars mission

Successful start to the InSight Mars mission

On 5 May 2018, the NASA rocket carrying the InSight lander lifted off successfully. After initially heading south from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, after around 90 minutes the InSight separated from the launch vehicle and headed off on its trajectory to Mars. After a voyage lasting a good six months and covering 485 million kilometres, the lander is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet on 26 November 2018. InSight will be the first mission to take a look deep below the surface of Mars to study the planet's interior by measuring the planet's heat loss and recording marsquakes.

The InSight Lander will place a seismometer, dubbed SEIS (standing for Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure), on the surface of Mars. As soon as data gathered by SEIS arrive at ETH Zurich, seismologists from the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) and the Seismology and Geodynamics Group (SEG) will analyse them as part of their routine work. However, with just one seismometer in place, this will be no easy task. Unlike on Earth, where seismologists can rely on very many recording stations to precisely determine the origin of a tremor, on Mars there will be no addtional reference points. For this reason, special care will be taken to extract as much information as possible from even the weakest signals indicating possible marsquakes, meteorite impacts or even minor tornadoes. For this purpose, staff at the Marsquake Service will combine methods taken from the early days of seismology, when there were only a few seismometers on Earth, with modern analytic methods for locating seismic events.

It is hoped that the results of the InSight mission will provide insights into one of the fundamental questions of planetary and solar system research, giving us a better understanding of the processes that created the Earth-like planets of the inner solar system (including Earth) more than 4 billion years ago. 

Learn more about the InSight mission and related acitivites at ETH www.insight.ethz.ch

See what our Mars scientists are telling about the @NASAInSight mission

Watch the launch

2018-04-26

Anthropogenic or not? Investigating the magnitude 5.5 Pohang earthquake in South Korea

Anthropogenic or not? Investigating the magnitude 5.5 Pohang earthquake in South Korea

A recently published paper in Science, written by a team of the Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich and collaborators from the Engineering Geology group at ETH, GFZ Potsdam and the Glasgow University, explores the potential link between a magnitude 5.5 earthquake in South Korea and a nearby geothermal project. The earthquake, which occurred on 15 November 2017, injured about 80 people and caused damage to numerous buildings in the city of Pohang. If proven to be anthropogenic, it would be the largest earthquake known to have been associated with the exploitation of deep geothermal energy.

Seismograms of induced earthquakes are generally indistinguishable from those of natural earthquakes. Therefore, investigations focus on a range of indicators, taking into account the location of earthquakes, their depths, and the history of stimulation activities conducted underground. By analyzing publically available continuous waveform and geodetic data from satellites, the paper contributes to the understanding of the nature of the event.

The study shows that the mainshock and its largest aftershocks occurred within 2 km distance or less of the geothermal site. Furthermore, they are located within 1.5 km distance of an induced event, which occurred in April 2017 during one of the underground stimulation operations. These locations are confirmed by a Korean study, which has been simultaneously published in Science. In general, the closer an earthquake sequence is located to a geothermal site and to previous related seismic activity, as well as the sooner it happens after underground operations, the greater the chance of being related to it. The mainshock and the 46 aftershocks detected between 15 and 30 November 2017 all occurred at depths of 3 to 7 kilometres. Such depths are unusually shallow when compared to previously registered natural events in the area. The analysis of satellite data illustrates that the mainshock displaced the surface of the earth permanently by up to 4 cm, indicating that the activated, and previously unknown fault, is a steeply dipping and very shallow thrust fault that passes directly beneath the bottom hole section.

These indications combined lead to the conclusion that a connection between the magnitude 5.5 earthquake in South Korea and the nearby geothermal project is plausible. However, the mainshock occurred about two months after the last stimulation activities. So far, there is no quantitative model available that relates the injection activities conducted to the occurrence of this event. The Korean government has appointed an independent expert commission to examine all pieces of evidence and to evaluate if the event was triggered or induced by the nearby stimulation activities. To our understanding, the commission will (re-)analyze all available data and models, including microseismicity data, injection volumes, reservoir pressures, and detailed hydrological and geological data, which are essential to understand the relation between the injection operations and the earthquake sequence.

The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich has first informed the public (see SED news) in November 2017 about the Pohang earthquake in the context of the release of a good practice report on induced seismicity. At the same time, Geo-Energie Suisse AG had notified the canton of Jura, where currently the only EGS-style deep geothermal project in Switzerland has applied for a construction permit. In consequence, the canton instructed Geo-Energie Suisse AG to evaluate potential implications for the planned Haute-Sorne geothermal project. An immerged understanding of the link between the magnitude 5.5 Pohang earthquake and the nearby geothermal project is crucial for a safe and sustainable future exploitation of geothermal energy.

2018-04-19

Bundesrat bewilligt neues Massnahmenpaket zum Schutz vor Naturgefahren

Bundesrat bewilligt neues Massnahmenpaket zum Schutz vor Naturgefahren

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

TOPICS

Earthquake

Help, the Earth Is Shaking!

Help, the Earth Is Shaking!

Earthquakes are inevitable, but the damage they may be expected to cause can be mitigated in relatively simple ways. Find out the recommended behaviour before, during and after a powerful earthquake.

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Knowledge

Earthquake Country Switzerland

Earthquake Country Switzerland

Switzerland experiences between 1'000 and 1'500 earthquakes a year. Swiss citizens actually feel somewhere between 10 and 20 quakes a year, usually those with a magnitude of 2.5 or above. Based on the long-term average, 23 quakes with a magnitude of 2.5 or above occur every year. Find out more about the natural hazards with the greatest damage-causing potential in Switzerland.

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Alerting

Always Informed

Always Informed

If you want to be kept informed at all times, here you will find an overview of the various information services provided by the Swiss Seismological Service (SED).

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Knowledge

Earthquake Hazard

Earthquake Hazard

In Switzerland, earthquakes are the natural hazard with the greatest potential for causing damage. They cannot currently be prevented or reliably predicted. But, thanks to extensive research, much is now known about how often and how intensely the earth could shake at a given location in the future. Consult a variety of different maps using our interactive web tool to find out how likely certain earthquakes are in Switzerland.

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Research & Teaching

Fields of Research

Fields of Research

We are often asked what staff at the SED do when no earthquakes are occurring. The answer is they conduct research in a variety of fields, constituting SED's main scientific activities described in our research field section.

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About Us

Swiss Seismological Service (SED)

Swiss Seismological Service (SED)

The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich is the federal agency responsible for monitoring earthquakes in Switzerland and its neighboring countries and for assessing Switzerland’s seismic hazard. When an earthquake happens, the SED informs the public, authorities, and the media about the earthquake’s location, magnitude, and possible consequences. The activities of the SED are integrated in the federal action plan for earthquake precaution.

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Earthquakes

Earthquake Monitoring

Earthquake Monitoring

Around 10 to 20 times a year you will hear or read about an earthquake occurring in Switzerland. However, the vast majority of quakes recorded by the SED go unnoticed by the general public because they fall below the threshold of human perception and can only be detected by sensitive measuring devices. The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) operates a network of more than 150 seismic stations across Switzerland.

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Research and Teaching

Products and Software

Products and Software

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

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