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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 mitigation.

Latest Earthquakes Switzerland

Felt Earthquakes in Switzerland

Local Time
Mag.
Location
Felt?
2021-02-22 13:04 3.5 Lago di Garda I Probably not felt
2021-02-07 10:37 2.9 NEUCHATEL Felt
2021-02-05 15:14 3.2 Singen D Felt
2021-02-03 23:35 2.8 Bern Widely felt

Latest Earthquakes

Local Time
Magnitude
Location
2021-02-22 19:29 1.2 Sanetschpass VS
2021-02-22 18:46 1.2 Zernez GR
2021-02-22 14:30 2.3 Lago di Garda I
2021-02-22 14:22 1.1 Sanetschpass VS

Swiss Earthquakes Counter

since 01.01.2021 
000

Earthquake Map of Europe, last 90 days, Mag. 4.5+

Recent earthquakes magnitude 4.5 or greater

Time (UTC)
Mag.
Region
2021-02-24 01:51:06 4.7 Northern Algeria
2021-02-17 04:38:50 4.5 GREECE
2021-02-17 03:36:05 5.1 GREECE
2021-02-13 11:29:23 4.9 Turkey-Georgia-Armenia border region
2021-02-12 03:37:56 4.6 Turkey
2021-02-11 22:10:45 4.5 IRAN-IRAQ BORDER REGION
2021-02-09 15:53:57 4.6 Turkey
2021-02-09 15:51:56 4.8 Turkey
2021-02-05 15:36:12 5.1 AZERBAIJAN
2021-02-03 19:55:00 4.5 GREECE
2021-02-02 00:02:45 4.5 Turkey
2021-02-01 20:46:15 4.8 Aegean Sea
2021-02-01 13:10:15 4.9 Aegean Sea

Earthquake Map of the world, last 90 days, Mag. >= 5.5

Recent earthquakes magnitude 6 or greater

UTC Time
Magnitude
Location
2021-02-18 15:30:48 6.1 Fiji Islands region
2021-02-18 06:37:30 6.1 Vanuatu Islands
2021-02-17 22:49:38 6.1 Southeast of Loyalty Islands
2021-02-16 00:49:24 6.2 Vanuatu Islands
2021-02-13 15:33:57 6.0 New Britain, Papua New Guinea, region
2021-02-13 14:34:01 6.1 South Atlantic Ocean
2021-02-13 14:07:50 7.1 Near east coast of eastern Honshu, Japan
2021-02-11 06:52:28 6.0 Southeast of Loyalty Islands
NEWS

2021-02-07

[Available in DE/FR] Erdbeben bei Cornaux (NE)

Am Sonntag, dem 7. Februar 2021, ereignete sich um 10:37 Uhr (Ortszeit) nördlich von Cornaux in sehr geringer Tiefe ein Erdbeben der Stärke 2.9.

Die Erschütterungen waren in einem Radius von 5 km um das Epizentrum gut zu spüren, insbesondere in Cornaux, Cressier und Marin-Epagnier. Die sehr geringe Tiefe des Ereignisses erklärt, warum es in der Umgebung deutlich zu spüren war, aber keine Meldungen aus einer Entfernung von mehr als 6 km beim Schweizerischen Erdbebendienst an der ETH Zürich eingegangen sind. Bei einem Erdbeben dieser Stärke sind keine Schäden zu erwarten.

Das letzte von der Bevölkerung in dieser Region verspürte Erdbeben ereignete sich am 3. Februar 2003, sein Epizentrum lag 3 km südwestlich des heutigen Bebens.

2021-02-05

[Available in DE, FR] Beben bei Singen (D)

Ein Beben der Stärke 3.2 ereignete sich am Freitag, 5. Februar um 15:14 Uhr (Ortszeit), südwestlich von Singen (D), ca. 15 km nordöstlich von Schaffhausen, in einer Tiefe von rund 10 km. Bei einem Erdbeben dieser Stärke sind keine Schäden zu erwarten. Dem Erdbeben gingen seit Freitagmorgen sieben kleinere Vorbeben mit Magnituden zwischen 1.1 und 2.0 voran, zudem ereigneten sich einige Nachbeben, das stärkste bisher mit einer Magnitude von 2.0. Das Beben wurde im Grenzgebiet vereinzelt, schwach verspürt.

Das Gebiet war bereits 2016 seismisch aktiv, mit einer Sequenz von über 100 vornehmlich sehr schwachen Beben bei Hilzingen (D), von denen das stärkste eine Magnitude von 3.0 aufwies. Die Beben von heute liegen ca. 3 km weiter südöstlich, in der Verlängerung der damals, nach eingehender Analyse, identifizierten Störungszone.

Die Orientierung dieser Störungszone stimmt gut mit dem Verlauf des Hegau-Bodensee Grabens überein. Dieser ist Teil einer grossräumigen tektonischen Grabenstruktur, die sich vom Kaiserstuhl nordwestlich von Freiburg (D) bis zum Bodensee erstreckt, und durch die tertiären und mesozoischen Sedimente vermutlich bis hinab ins Grundgebirge reicht. Die jetzige Sequenz kann vermutlich als weiterer Ausdruck der tektonischen Deformation entlang dieser Grabenstruktur gedeutet werden. Um das zu bestätigen, sind allerdings noch vertiefte Analysen notwendig.

2021-02-03

[Available in DE/FR] Erdbeben bei Bern

[Available in DE/FR] Erdbeben bei Bern

Am Mittwoch, dem 3. Februar 2021 hat sich um 23:35 Uhr (Lokalzeit) nördlich von Bern, in einer geringen Tiefe ein Erdbeben der Magnitude 2.8 ereignet.

Die Erschütterungen waren vorwiegend in Bern und im Gebiet um Bern, in Liebefeld, Ittigen und Zollikofen gut zu spüren. Bis kurz nach Mitternacht sind beim Erdbebendienst bereits über 200 Meldungen aus der Bevölkerung eingegangen. Bei einem Erdbeben dieser Stärke sind keine Schäden zu erwarten.

Bereits knapp eine Stunde vor diesem Beben, um 22:37 Uhr und 22:39 Uhr, wurden vom Schweizerischen Erdbebendienst an der ETH Zürich zwei Vorbeben an ähnlicher Stelle und Tiefe mit geringeren Magnituden um 2 registriert. Diese zwei schwächeren Beben wurden in Bern und der unmittelbaren Umgebung nur ganz vereinzelt verspürt.

2021-01-25

Earthquakes in Switzerland in 2020

2020 was a busy and yet also a quiet year for Switzerland's seismic network. Last year, the Swiss Seismological Service at ETH Zurich recorded 1,400 earthquakes in Switzerland and its neighbouring countries. This is slightly more than would have been expected based on the long-term average. 'Felt reports' (i.e. reports of having felt an earthquake) from members of the public were received for 106 of these quakes, with over 100 people submitting their observations about seven of them. At the same time, though, the levels of background noise logged by the seismic network were exceptionally low in 2020. The recorded data show that these fell sharply in many locations, especially during lockdown.

The largest earthquake and most of the felt quakes formed part of an earthquake sequence near Elm (in the canton of Glarus), which was particularly active in both spring and autumn. An initial relatively strong earthquake, with a magnitude of 3.1, shook Glarus on 26 May 2020, and was followed by dozens of smaller aftershocks. On 25 October, the same fault system saw Switzerland's largest earthquake of the year with a magnitude of 4.3, which was felt as far away as Ticino and Lake Constance. No significant damage was recorded. Again, this was followed by more than 250 aftershocks, some of which could also be felt over a wide area, with magnitudes of up to 3.9. In total, there were over 350 earthquakes in this sequence. Largely because of these events, 2020 was an above-average year in terms of the number of quakes.

While the Elm sequence mainly affected German-speaking Switzerland, on 23 June an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.8 near Vallorcine in France prompted a lot of felt reports from French-speaking western Switzerland. Meanwhile, residents of Italian-speaking Ticino experienced a quake with a magnitude of 3.9 that had its epicentre near Milan in Italy, and another of 2.9, close to Bellinzona (in the canton of Ticino itself). Another relatively strong quake with a magnitude of 3.5 occurred on 9 November to the south of Arolla (canton of Valais) in the Swiss-Italian border region. The fact that relatively strong earthquakes can be felt far from their epicentre was shown by a magnitude-6.3 quake in Croatia, which caused significant damage in the area of its epicentre. In Switzerland, around 600 kilometres away, more than 30 people noticed and reported tremors associated with this event. Most of them were on the upper floors of relatively tall buildings at the time of the quake. For earthquakes such a long distance away, Switzerland mainly feels the long-period waves, which can rock high-rise buildings in particular.

When the more than 200 seismic stations in Switzerland are not recording the waves of an earthquake, they are measuring what is known as 'background noise'. As well as natural vibrations, triggered by storms or movements of the sea, this noise is mainly influenced by human activity such as traffic. Only general movement patterns can be detected with seismometers and not, for example, the movements of individual people or vehicles. The lockdown in March and other measures to contain the coronavirus led to a marked decrease in this background noise. This was the longest ever recorded period of lower levels of such noise. Normally, such lulls are only seen at weekends or on public holidays.

Looking at the trend for daily background noise shown above at four locations, we can see a clear decrease in each case as a result of the lockdown introduced in Switzerland on 16 March 2020. At the end of this unprecedented situation in mid-June, there is a resurgence in the levels of such noise. The background noise recorded by seismometers is unique at each station and depends, for example, on how far away certain sources of noise are. At Kleine Schanze in Bern and Zurich's Kasernenareal, the decline as a result of the lockdown is less pronounced than elsewhere. This has to do with the fact that both of these sites are further away from busy roads than others. The smaller, recurring fluctuations that can be seen at all locations reflect differences between weekdays and weekends. This means that, even during the lockdown, background noise at the weekend was lower than from Monday to Friday.

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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 mitigation.

Learn more

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 200 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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