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 mitigation.

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Felt Earthquakes in Switzerland

Local Time
Mag.
Location
Felt?
2024-05-20 07:24 2.1 Graechen VS Slightly felt
2024-05-09 23:25 3.7 Arolla VS Widely felt
2024-05-06 13:39 2.8 Fribourg FR Felt
2024-05-02 14:04 2.5 Binn VS Probably not felt
2024-04-22 03:35 3.8 Yvonand VD Widely felt

Latest Earthquakes

Local Time
Magnitude
Location
2024-05-20 18:13 1.2 Sanetschpass VS
2024-05-20 07:24 2.1 Graechen VS
2024-05-19 17:09 1.4 Annecy F
2024-05-19 15:50 1.2 Chamonix F

Swiss Earthquakes Counter

since 01.01.2024 
000

Recent earthquakes magnitude 4.5 or greater

Time (UTC)
Mag.
Region
2024-05-16 10:10:53 4.9 Svalbard Region
2024-05-11 13:21:46 4.7 Armenia-Azerbaijan-Iran Border Region
2024-05-02 02:01:54 4.6 Greenland Sea
2024-04-21 06:37:23 5.3 Iceland
2024-04-20 18:01:56 4.5 Armenia-Azerbaijan-Iran
2024-04-18 21:09:57 4.5 Turkey
2024-04-18 19:31:45 4.6 Turkey
2024-04-18 15:11:25 5.5 Turkey
2024-04-17 22:07:02 4.8 Turkey
2024-04-16 21:09:53 4.5 Turkey
2024-04-12 22:18:41 4.7 Jan Mayen Island Region
2024-04-05 09:01:39 4.7 Western Iran
2024-04-03 10:40:45 4.7 Northwestern Balkan Region
UTC Time
Magnitude
Location
2024-05-19 09:35:25 6.0 Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands, United States
2024-05-12 11:39:14 6.4 Near coast of Chiapas, Mexico
2024-05-08 08:17:15 6.1 Vanuatu Islands
2024-05-05 18:33:10 6.2 Seram, Indonesia
2024-04-27 16:29:51 6.1 Jawa, Indonesia
2024-04-27 08:35:35 6.5 Bonin Islands, Japan, region
2024-04-22 18:32:49 6.0 Taiwan
2024-04-22 18:26:53 6.1 Taiwan
NEWS

2024-05-14

Seismic monitoring of the geothermal project in Haute-Sorne (canton of Jura)

Drilling work ahead of the planned deep geothermal project in Haute-Sorne (canton of Jura) will begin in the next few days. The Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich has consolidated its local measuring system to provide independent baseline seismic monitoring on behalf of the Canton of Jura, thus contributing to a better understanding of local, natural seismicity even before the project gets under way.

Starting with the exploration phase (installation of the drilling site, sinking of the borehole, test stimulations), baseline monitoring will help to detect any earthquakes near the project site and make it possible to distinguish between natural earthquakes and those caused by the project. The SED will publish the recorded data in real time at this page, providing the Canton, the public, the media and also the project operator with up-to-date information. In addition, the SED will alert the Canton and the operator immediately in the event of earthquakes near the project site.

This baseline monitoring will be of most use in the geothermal project's exploration and stimulation phase (not yet authorized). In the enhanced geothermal system (EGS) solution that will be rolled out in Haute-Sorne, the permeability of existing crack networks in the geological underground will be increased by injecting highly pressurised water to trigger a large number of small earthquakes. While EGS projects are already contributing to heat and energy generation in some places, they have also triggered felt earthquakes in others. In fact, there was one case where it has been suggested that these earthquakes were strong enough to cause substantial damage (see news article on the earthquake in Pohang, South Korea).

In Haute-Sorne, the operater Geo-Energie Jura wants to prevent felt or even damaging earthquakes from occurring with a comprehensive risk analysis, continuously updated models based on newly acquired data and its patented, multi-stage stimulation method. It plans, as part of this process, to stimulate only a limited volume of rock at a time in a number of separate stimulation phases and to gradually create a geothermal reservoir of the appropriate size. This procedure differs from the one-step, mass stimulation strategy adopted, for example, for the EGS projects in Basel in 2006 and Pohang in 2017. The multi-stage stimulation solution has already been successfully tested on a smaller scale in ETH Zurich's BedrettoLab. While there is some risk of felt earthquakes during the Haute-Sorne project's subsequent construction phase (hydraulic stimulation), these are very unlikely to occur during the drilling phase that is about to start. According to the operator, the first test stimulation is not planned to take place until winter 2024/2025.

The baseline monitoring provided by the SED is regulated by an agreement with the Canton of Jura and funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy-financed GEOBEST2020+ project. Alongside this baseline monitoring, Geo-Energie Jura operates its own stations to locate even smaller earthquakes, particularly during the stimulation phase, and so monitor the development of the geothermal reservoir. Although this phase is planned, it has not yet been authorized.

Further information on the seismic monitoring of the Haute-Sorne geothermal project can be found on the following pages:

Project overview

Natural seismicity in the region

Seismic monitoring

List of earthquakes

Real-time seismograms

2024-05-09

[Available in DE/FR] Erdbeben bei Arolla (VS)

Am Donnerstag, dem 9. Mai 2024 hat sich um 23:25 Uhr (Lokalzeit) etwa 10km westlich von Arolla (VS), in einer Tiefe von ungefähr 4-5 km ein Erdbeben der Magnitude 3.7 ereignet.

Die Erschütterungen waren in den Walliser Südtälern sowie auf den weichen Sedimentböden im Rhonetal vom Chablais bis nach Brig gut zu spüren. Kurz nach dem Beben sind beim Schweizerischen Erdbebendienst an der ETH in Zürich bereits etwa 500 Meldungen aus der Bevölkerung eingegangen. Bei einem Erdbeben dieser Stärke und in dieser Tiefe sind in der Regel keine Schäden zu erwarten.

Das letzte, etwas grössere Ereignis in dieser Region, ereignete sich im Oktober 2021 mit einer Magnitude von 4.1 etwa 5 km südlich von Arolla (VS). Der Erdbebenherd lag damals in etwas geringerer Tiefe, verglichen mit dem heutigen Beben. Aufgrund der geringeren Tiefe wären kleinere Schäden nahe dem Epizentrum vereinzelt möglich gewesen. Allerdings ist die Region sehr dünn besiedelt und es wurden dem Schweizerischen Erdbebendienst keine Schäden gemeldet.

2024-05-06

[Available in DE/FR] Erdbeben bei Fribourg

Am Montag, den 6. Mai 2024 hat sich um 13:39 Uhr (Lokalzeit) südöstlich von Fribourg, in einer Tiefe von ungefähr 4 km ein Erdbeben der Magnitude 2.8 ereignet.

Die Erschütterungen waren vorwiegend in Fribourg und in den Gemeinden des Sense-Bezirks St. Ursen, Giffers und Tentlingen deutlich zu spüren. In der ersten Stunde nach dem Beben sind beim Schweizerischen Erdbebendienst an der ETH Zürich über 60 Meldungen aus der Bevölkerung eingegangen. Bei einem Erdbeben dieser Stärke sind keine Schäden zu erwarten.

Das Beben steht wahrscheinlich im Zusammenhang mit der Fribourger Verwerfungszone, welche überwiegend in Nord-Süd-Richtung verläuft und etwa 20-30 km lang ist. Das letzte spürbare Erdbeben an dieser Verwerfungszone wurde am 29. Dezember 2018 mit einer Magnitude von 2.9 nordwestlich von Tafers aufgezeichnet.

2024-04-22

[Available in DE/FR] Weiträumig verspürtes Erdbeben am Neuenburgersee

Am Montag, dem 22. April 2024 hat sich um 3:35 Uhr (Ortszeit) bei Concise (VD), am Ufer des Neuenburgersees, in einer ungefähren Tiefe von 2 km ein Erdbeben der Magnitude 3.8 ereignet.

Die Erschütterungen des Bebens waren im Epizentralgebiet bis nach Lausanne und Bern deutlich zu spüren. In der übrigen Schweiz waren die Erschütterungen in der Regel nicht stark genug, um die Bevölkerung aufzuwecken. Insgesamt sind innerhalb der ersten halben Stunde nach dem Erdbeben beim Schweizerischen Erdbebendienst an der ETH Zürich über 200 Verspürtmeldungen eingegangen, Schäden wurden bisher nicht gemeldet, sind aber bei einem Erdbeben der Stärke 3.8 auch nicht zu erwarten.

In diesem Gebiet, unter dem Neuenburgersee und auch am nordwestlichen Ufer, ist es in den letzten Jahren immer wieder zu schwachen Beben gekommen. Das Beben von Montag war das stärkste bisher.    

[Available in DE/FR] Weiträumig verspürtes Erdbeben am Neuenburgersee
TOPICS

Earthquake

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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Help, the Earth Is Shaking!

Knowledge

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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Earthquake Country Switzerland

Alerting

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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Always Informed

Knowledge

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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Earthquake Hazard

Research & Teaching

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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Fields of Research

About Us

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 mitigation.

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Swiss Seismological Service (SED)

Earthquakes

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 200 seismic stations across Switzerland.

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Earthquake Monitoring

Research and Teaching

Products and Software

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

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Products and Software