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Ongoing Projects

This page provides details of selected ongoing projects managed by or prominently featuring staff from the Swiss Seismological Service (SED). The list is not exhaustive; it merely covers selected key or large-scale projects. The projects are grouped together according to the main focus of their research.

Cross-disciplinary projects

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

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. Dr. 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

Induced Seismicity

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One of the unsolved challenges for deep geothermal projects is how to mitigate unacceptably large, induced earthquakes. Unfortunately, the processes and conditions underpinning induced seismicity are still not sufficiently well understood to make useful predictions of the likely seismic response to geothermal reservoir development and exploitation. This predictability is further reduced by the sparse knowledge of the hydro-mechanical and geological conditions in the deep underground, and our lacking ability to map them well enough with current technologies. The seismic response to deep geothermal operations can, however, be monitored in real-time by seismological methods. These methods are, therefore, the core element of any traffic light system (TLS) for induced seismicity that was proposed in recent years.

In this project SIAMIS-GT (Improvement of SeIsmological Analysis Methods to better support cantonal authorities in questions related to Induced Seismicity in deep GeoThermal projects), we want to improve seismological analysis methods for monitoring induced seismicity by taking advantage of the waveform similarity observed in these earthquake sequences. The goal is to enable the SED to inform authorities, project developers and the population faster and more accurately about induced earthquakes that may occur during geotechnical projects (e.g., geothermal, mining, tunneling, etc.). We plan to apply similarity and repeating earthquake analysis to induced seismicity to improve the understanding of the source mechanics (i.e., distinction of natural versus induced seismicity, improved detection, localization and characterization). With these methods we also hope to be able to resolve aseismic changes in the subsurface that cannot be resolved using classical methods in real-time.

Figure on the left: Illustration of the basic principles of similarity location. Upper left: waveforms of 7 template earthquakes used for template matching of the Diemtigen swarm. Upper right: Epicenter map of 306 relocated earthquakes color-coded by highest similarity to the 7 templates. Red diamonds indicate the location of the templates. Notice that earthquakes cluster closely around the template they are associated to by waveform similarity. Bottom: Relationship between inter-event distance and waveform similarity for each template with respect to the 306 relocated earthquakes. Color indicates the reference template. It can be clearly seen that similarity decreases strongly with inter-event distance and that individual relationships can be derived for every reference template.
Project Leader at SED

Toni Kraft

Funding Source

Swiss Federal Office of Energy

Duration

2016-2019

Key Words

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

Research Field

Induced Seismicity

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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. Dr. 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

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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

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

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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

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

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In recent years, the SED has been able to assist several Swiss deep geothermal energy projects in seismic monitoring, thus initiating a constructive dialogue with operators and cantonal authorities. Based on this experience, the SED has developed first recommendations for cantonal licensing and enforcement authorities on how to deal with the problem of induced seismicity in different phases of a deep geothermal project. However, these recommendations are based on experiences from only a few well-documented projects. The practical experience with their implementation has been largely missing in Switzerland so far. It is therefore difficult to predict how well these recommendations will be applicable in the local context (geological, political, cultural) and what adjustments may need to be made. Another important issue in this context is how guidelines and regulations from other technical or regulatory areas interact and are compatible with seismological recommendations for avoiding induced seismicity. Frequently, conflicts can only be identified and solved in the practical implementation of projects and through the close cooperation of the seismologist with approval authorities and operators. Equally important is the regular review and adaptation of all relevant policies and regulations based on the growing knowledge and experience. Whenever possible, this should be done in consensus with all stakeholders.

In the project Geobest-CH, the SED will continue to collect, evaluate and interpret basic data sets on the development of induced seismicity in deep geothermal projects in high quality and resolution. In addition, the SED can provide seismological advice and support to the cantonal and federal authorities in their licensing and monitoring obligations in all phases of a deep geothermal project. In this way, the SED wants to contribute to creating equal assessment standards for the environmental impact assessment across cantonal borders and, in the short to medium term, to standardize and thus considerably simplify and accelerate this process. A central website should inform the public independently, up-to-date and professionally on the subject of induced seismicity in order to support a substantive discussion of all interest groups.

Project Leader at SED

Toni Kraft

SED Project Members

Stefan Wiemer, Marcus Herrmann, Anne Obermann, Arnaud Mignan

Funding Source

energie-CH, Bundesamt für Energie

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

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  (2017). GEOBEST-CH - Zwischenbericht III. Bericht des Schweizerischen Erdbebendienstes zu Händen des Bundesamtes für Energie, Dezember 2017

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

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As part of the GEOBEST-CH research project, the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) has been carrying out seismological monitoring of the geothermal project of the city of St. Gallen since spring 2012. To this end, the SED has built six new seismological stations in the St. Gallen area in cooperation with the St. Galler Stadtwerke (sgsw). The aim of the monitoring is to detect possible small earthquakes - so-called microearthquakes - in the vicinity of the deep wells and to clarify whether these are related to the geothermal project or of natural origin. In addition, the project will collect important fundamental data for a better understanding of deep geothermal energy, which is an indispensable  source of experience for ensuring planning reliability fort the cantonal authorities and project operators in future geothermal projects.

Following the termination of the geothermal project in spring 2014, the SED will continue to monitor in a reduced form until at least September 2020. St. Gallen Stadtwerke support the monitoring in the framework of the EU project "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., 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., Wiemer, S. (2015). Potential of ambient seismic noise techniques to monitor the St. Gallen geothermal site (Switzerland). J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth 120, 4301-4316. 

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. 

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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

Mignan, A., Herrmann, M., Kraft, T., Diehl, T. and Wiemer, S. (2015). SCCER-SoE Science Report (Task 4.1) Link

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The exploitation of underground energy resources as well as the use and expansion of hydropower, are, like all energy technologies, not risk free. The risks identified in the domain of deep geothermal are induced seismicity and other risks (e.g. borehole blowout, environmental risks). The hazard factors for hydropower are those classically affecting large arch or gravity dams, aggravated by the pronounced topography of the Alpine region and by the rapidly changing climatic conditions in the Alps. How these risks potentially impact our society, is, of course dependent on the vulnerabilities of our buildings, our infrastructure and our communities. Moving towards a safe and more resilient energy sector requires tools for hazard and risk assessment, particularly in the low probability-high consequence event settings. Furthermore, the tools have to be closely integrated with related communication and public engagement strategies, as perceived risks actually do impact energy source design and mitigation strategies. A comprehensive risk governance framework is necessary, but not yet existing. This project aims to develop such a framework by integrating risk assessment and related risk perception models and tools. This should lead to a communication strategy for future projects. We develop a holistic concept of risk governance from a truly multi-disciplinary perspective, advocating a broad picture of risk: not only does it include risk assessment and assessment of ability to recover, but it also looks at how risk perception and risk-related communication can be organized. This work is divided into 6 PhDs (attached to SCCER-SoE T4.1): Induced seismic risk (led by SED); Renewable energy risk management & optimization; Accident risks at dams; Vulnerability of the Swiss built environment; Multi-risks and interdependencies; Assessing and monitoring risk perception.

 

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

SNF

Duration

2014 - October 2018

Key Words

Geo-energy, induced seismicity risk, risk governance

Research Field

Earthquake Hazard & Risk

Reports / Deliverables

Mignan, A., Herrmann, M., Kraft, T., Diehl, T. and Wiemer, S. (2015). SCCER-SoE Science Report (Task 4.1) Link

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This is the 3rd subproject of the „ENSI – SED-Erdbebenforschung zu Schweizer Kernanlagen“ project.

Subproject 3 aims at studying the relevancy of induced seismicity for the disposal of nuclear waste at geological depth. We will update/develop physics-based modeling of induced seismicity, and we will apply such models to the case of nuclear waste disposal. Moreover, the approach will be validated by reproducing the observations from the “Fault Slip experiment” at Mont Terri underground laboratory. Finally, numerical modeling will be performed to study the seismicity induced by tunnel excavation, as well as to better understand the possible occurrence of seismicity by temperature changes around disposal site. Collaboration with Subproject 1 and 2 will be crucial to properly estimate the hazard and risk of induced seismicity on geological nuclear waste disposal.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Antonio P. Rinaldi, Luca Urpi

Involved Institutions

SED

Funding Source

Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate - ENSI

Duration

2014-2018 (1st phase), 2018-2022 (2nd phase)

Key Words

Geomechanics, Induced seismicity, THM modeling

Research Field

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

Karvounis Dimitrios

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

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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

3 years

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

Earthquake-induced Phenomena

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In this ETHZ-funded project we analyze ambient vibration 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. Each class indicates specific properties of a rock instability. The two main classes found are the volume-controlled sites and the 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. Short-term monitoring is performed at the Alpe di Roscioro (Preonzo) site which represents a unique opportunity to monitor a slope close to collapse. A second semi-permanent station will be installed on the large rock instability above Brienz (Grisons). A main goal of the monitoring is to understand the effect of weather and climate on the dynamic behavior of the rock and its stability. Long-term monitoring is based on the analysis of available past recordings from existing seismic networks, especially for stations located at or very close to steep cliffs. 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, Ulrike Kleinbrod

Funding Source

ETHZ

Duration

2013 - 2021

Key Words

unstable rock slopes, ambient vibrations, ground motion modelling

Research Field

Seismic hazard, earthquake induced effects, engineering seismology

Publications

Burjánek, J., Gischig, V., Moore, J. R., & Fäh, D.  (2017). Ambient vibration characterization and monitoring of a rock slope close to collapse. Geophysical Journal International 212(1), 297-310. 

Kleinbrod, U., Burjánek, J., & Fäh, D.  (2017). On the seismic response of instable rock slopes based on ambient vibration recordings. Earth, Planets and Space 69(1), 126. 

Kleinbrod, U., Burjánek, J., Hugentobler, M., Amann, F., & Fäh, D.  (2017). A comparative study on seismic response of two unstable rock slopes within same tectonic setting but different activity level. Geophysical Journal International 211(3), 1428-1448. 

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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

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

Hammer C., Faeh D. & Ohrnberger M.  (2017). Natural Hazards. doi: 10.1007/s11069-016-2707-0

Heck M., Hammer C., van Herwijnen A. Schweizer J. & Faeh D.  (2018). Natural Hazard and Earth System Science. doi: 10.5194/nhess-18-383-2018

Earthquake Early Warning

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Scientists from the SED are exploring the potential of Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) in Central America. This is a multi-phase project funded by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). In Phase 1 (2016-2017), SED worked with colleagues at INETER (a government agency in Nicaragua responsible for Natural Hazards, who operate the national seismic network), to build and implement a prototype EEW system in Nicaragua. In Phase 2 (2018-2020), this prototype system will be extended to other countries in Central America with the collaboration of local scientists, and we will explore how a public EEW could be implemented.

The region suffers from large tsunamigenic earthquakes generated along the subduction zone, and also moderate crustal earthquakes that have in the recent past produced heavy damage, such as the M6.2 1972 earthquake that devastated Managua. The subduction zone events are often characterized by slow rupture velocity (most recently a M7.7 1992 earthquake - the first slow earthquake ever documented - and a M7.3 in 2014)

Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) is a tool that can rapidly characterize on-going earthquakes, and potentially provide seconds to 10s of seconds notification of impending strong shaking in advance of its occurrence. EEW can play an important role as part of a seismic risk reduction program, which is critical in the Central American region that has such a high seismic hazard. Additionally, making a seismic network capable of operating and maintaining an EEW system requires the network to achieve the highest standards in network performance - including station quality, speed and reliability of data communications, and robustness of the seismic network hub that runs the EEW software. Optimal network performance is also critical for other applications such as tsunami warning, volcano monitoring, and enables downstream scientific studies, eg on local Earth structure.

On 9 June 2016, just weeks after the first software was installed and before efforts to optimise had begun, a shallow M6.3 event occurred on the border with El Salvador that was detected by our system after 29s. Though far from the delay time required for operational EEW, this does demonstrate the promise of the existing infrastructure. With an ideal seismic network (all stations fully operational, recording strong motion and with minimal data delay) the existing network density can provide first EEW alerts within 8-12s for shallow on-shore earthquakes. This corresponds to a blind zone on the order of 20-30km around the epicenter where no advanced warning will be available. Outside the blind zone, for large earthquakes, this type of EEW can provide warning in advance of the strongest shaking for areas that will experience shaking of intensity VI on the Modified Mercalli Scale.  

Transfer of EEW capacity from SED to Central American Institutes is feasible because we all use the same basic software for seismic network monitoring - SeisComP3 - that the SED has used to develop EEW. SED use 2 standard algorithms to provide EEW - the Virtual Seismologist (link methods and software page) and the Finite Fault Detector (link methods and software page). We use the EEW Display (EEWD) (link software page) to deliver desktop alerts to early adopters and testers.

EEW can work in Central America because the seismic networks are already relatively dense and data sharing is well-established and effective - necessary as earthquakes can have impacts beyond a single country.

Currently, EEW alerts in the region are delayed or initially incorrect primarily because the seismic networks are relatively unreliable and not yet optimised for EEW. By adopting a long term strategy that focuses on enabling EEW, including adding additional strong motion stations, this will improve.

The Phase 2 project objectives are to 1) review the performance of, and propose improvements to the seismic network in the region, in an effort to optimise their capacity for EEW; 2) to develop EEW algorithms tailored to the seismicity of Central America, with implementation in standard open source software, and transfer know-how and operation to local monitoring institutions; 3) head towards public EEW by engaging with potential key end-users, civil defence and governments, exploring technical means by which EEW can be provided to public and private users, and communicating with social scientists on what is the most effective EEW message provide to the public, and how to communicate this to the public.

Project Leader at SED

John Clinton

SED Project Members

Frédérick Massin, Roman Racine, Maren Böse

Involved Institutions

INETER, MARN, RSN-UCR, OVSICORI-UNA, INSIVUMEH

Funding Source

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (DEZA / SDC)

Duration

Phase 2: May 2018 - April 2021; Phase 1: January 2016 - January 2018

Key Words

Earthquake Early Warning, Seismic Networks, Nicaragua, Central America, INETER, DEZA/SDC

Research Field

Earthquake Early Warning, Real-time monitoring, Network Seismology

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Chile has been struck by a number of very large earthquakes (magnitude 7.5 and 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 of the 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.

We 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; Böse et al., 2015; Böse et al., 2018) and the geodetic BEFORES algorithm developed by Minson et al. (2014).

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

Furthermore, we collaborate with the Centro Seismologico National (CSN) at the University of Chile, Santiago, to rapidly identify large subduction-zone and crustal earthquakes using real-time streams of CSN stations (Carrasco et al., 2017).

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

Since 2015

Key Words

Earthquake Early Warning, low-cost sensors, smartphones,seismic networks, geodetic networks, Chile, subduction-zone earthquakes, tsunamic warning

Research Field

Earthquake Early Warning, real-time monitoring, network seismology

Publications

Böse, M., D.E. Smith, C. Felizardo, M.-A. Meier, T.H. Heaton, J.F. Clinton (2018). FinDer v.2: Improved Real-time Ground-Motion Predictions for M2-M9 with Seismic Finite-Source Characterization. Geophys. J. Int. 212, 725-742. 

Minson, S. E., B. A. Brooks, C. L. Glennie, J. R. Murray, J. O. Langbein, S. E. Owen, T. H. Heaton, R. A. Ian-nucci, and D. L. Hauser (2015). Crowdsourced earthquake early warning. Sci. Adv. 1 (3), e1500036. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1500036

Böse, M., C. Felizardo, & T.H. Heaton  (2015). Finite-Fault Rupture Detector (FinDer): Going Real-Time in Californian ShakeAlert Warning System. Seismol. Res. Lett.  86 (6), 1692-1704. 

Minson, S. E., J. R. Murray, J. O. Langbein, and J. S. Gomberg  (2014). Real-time inversions for finite fault slip models and rupture geometry based on high-rate GPS data. J. Geophys. Res. 119 (4), 3201–3231. doi: 10.1002/2013JB010622

Böse, M., T.H. Heaton, & E. Hauksson  (2012). Real-time Finite Fault Rupture Detector (FinDer) for Large Earthquakes. Geophys. J. Int. 191 (2), 803-812. 

Presentations

Böse, M., B. Brooks, S. Barrientos, S. Minson, J.C. Baez, T. Ericksen, C. Guillemot, C. Duncan, R. Sanchez, D. Smith, E. Cochran, J. Murray, C. Glennie, J. Langbein, J. Dueitt, & J. Clinton  (2016). Smartphone-Network for Earthquake and Tsunami Early Warning in Chile. 35rd General Assembly of the European Seismological Commission (GA ESC), 4-11 Sept, 2016 in Trieste, Italy. 

Brooks, B.A., S.E. Minson, S. Barrientos, J.C. Baez, M. Böse, T.L. Ericksen, C. Guillemot, J.R. Murray, J.O. Langbein, C.L. Glennie, C. Duncan (2016). Smartphone-Based Earthquake Early Warning in Chile. UNAVCO Science Workshop. 

Carrasco, S. and M. Böse  (2017). FinDer performance using CSN network: a strong-motion based algorithm for Earthquake Early Warning. 3GSEV. 

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

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

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California, Oregon, and Washington are currently implementing a public earthquake early warning (EEW) system, called ShakeAlert. The SED collaborates with the ShakeAlert team (US Geological Survey, Caltech, UC Berkeley, University of Washington, and University of Oregon) in the development, implementation, and testing of the Finite-Fault Rupture Detector (FinDer) algorithm (Böse et al., 2012; Böse et al., 2015; Böse et al., 2018).

To detect earthquakes and to generate alerts, ShakeAlert feeds data from the seismic and geodetic networks operated along the US west coast into two algorithms: the point-source EPIC (formerly known as ElarmS and Onsite), and the finite-source FinDer algorithm. Alert messages from EPIC and FinDer are aggregated into a single alert feed.

ShakeAlert started in 2012 as a demonstration system for EEW and provided warnings of imminent strong ground shaking to a selected group of test users. At that stage, also the Virtual Seismologist (VS; Cua and Heaton, 2009), another algorithm implemented and tested by the SED, was part of the system. In 2013, California passed legislation to implement a public warning system. After the US Congress approved the funding in 2014, the transition to a full public system started. A limited public roll-out of ShakeAlert is planned for fall 2018.

Project Leader at SED

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

SED Project Members

Frederick Massin, Michael Fischer (former member), Marta Caprio (former member), Men-Andrin Meier (former member), Yannik Behr (former member)

Involved Institutions

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

Funding Source

United States Geological Survey, SED currently not funded

Duration

Since 2012

Key Words

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

Research Field

Earthquake Early Warning

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Publications

Böse, M., T.H. Heaton, & E. Hauksson (2012). Real-time Finite Fault Rupture Detector (FinDer) for Large Earthquakes. Geophys. J. Int. 191 (2), 803-812. 

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. Seismol. Res. Lett. 86 (3), 1-11. doi: 10.1785/0220140179

Böse, M., C. Felizardo, & T.H. Heaton (2015). Finite-Fault Rupture Detector (FinDer): Going Real-Time in Californian ShakeAlert Warning System. Seismol. Res. Lett.  86 (6), 1692-1704. 

Böse, M., D.E. Smith, C. Felizardo, M.-A. Meier, T.H. Heaton, J.F. Clinton (2018). FinDer v.2: Improved Real-time Ground-Motion Predictions for M2-M9 with Seismic Finite-Source Characterization. Geophys. J. Int. 212, 725-742. 

Böse, M., R. Graves, D. Gill, S. Callaghan, and P. Maechling  (2014). CyberShake-Derived Ground-Motion Prediction Models for the Los Angeles Region with Applica-tion to EEW. Geophys. J. Int. 198 (3), 1438-1457. 

Böse, M., R. Allen, H. Brown, C. Cua, M. Fischer, E. Hauksson, T. Heaton, M. Hellweg, M. Liukis, D. Neu-hauser, P. Maechling, P. and CISN EEW Group (2013). CISN ShakeAlert – An Earthquake Early Warning Demonstration System for California. In: F. Wenzel and J. Zschau: Early Warning for Geological Disasters - Scientific Methods and Current Practice (ISBN: 978-3-642-12232-3). Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York: 

Böse, M., T. Heaton and E. Hauksson  (2012). Rapid estimation of earthquake source and ground-motion parameters for earthquake early warning using data from single three-component broadband or strong-motion sensor. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.  102 (2), 738-750. doi: 10.1785/0120110152

Böse, M. & T.H. Heaton  (2010). Probabilistic Prediction of Rupture Length, Slip and Seismic Ground Motions for an Ongoing Rupture: implications for Early Warning for Large Earthquakes. Geophys. J. Int.  183 (2), 1014-1030. doi: 10.1111/j.1365- 246X.2010.04774.x

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. Seismol. Res. Lett.  80 (5), 740-747. doi: 10.1785/gssrl.80.5.740

Given, D.D., Cochran, E.S., Heaton, T., Hauksson, E., Allen, R., Hellweg, P., Vidale, J., and Bodin, P.  (2014). Technical implementation plan for the ShakeAlert production system—An Earthquake Early Warning system for the West Coast of the United States. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1097, 25. doi: 10.3133/ofr20141097

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

Presentations

Earthquakes are controlled by the properties of the underlying fault or fault system, along which rupture is occurring. For example,

  • the lateral segmentation of faults controls, where earthquake ruptures initiate, propagate, and arrest;
  • faults are embedded in permanent damage zones with modified elastic properties, which enhance slip and speed through increased rock compliance;
  • faults become more mature over time.
  • structural maturity modulates slip, rupture extent, stress drop, and associated ground-motions.

In the FAULTS_R_GEMS (Properties of FAULTS, a key to Realistic Generic Earthquake Modeling and hazard Simulation) project, we collaborate with scientists at Géoazur (Université Côte d'Azur), IFSTTAR Paris, Géosciences in Montpellier, Inria Sophia, LJAD in Nice, IPGP in Paris, IRSN, ENS Paris, the University of Arizona, and the University of Pisa, with the goal to better understand the interactions between seismic faults and earthquakes, and to use these findings to improve seismic hazard simulations and earthquake early warning (EEW) in terms of prior probabilities.

Project Leader at SED

Maren Böse

SED Project Members

Alexandra Hutchison, John Clinton, Frederick Massin

Involved Institutions

Géoazur, Nice; Géosciences Montpellier; IFSTTAR, ETH Zurich Inria Sophia; LJAD, Nice; IPGP Paris; IRSN; ENS Paris; University of Arizona, University of Pisa

Funding Source

French ANR

Duration

2017-2021

Key Words

fault properties, rupture simulations, ground-motions, earthquake early warning, prior probability, Bayesian statistics

Research Field

Earthquake Early Warning

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Publications

Böse, M., T.H. Heaton, & E. Hauksson  (2012). Real-time Finite Fault Rupture Detector (FinDer) for Large Earthquakes. Geophys. J. Int. 191 (2), 803-812. 

Böse, M., R. Graves, D. Gill, S. Callaghan, P. Maechling (2014). CyberShake-Derived Ground-Motion Prediction Models for the Los Angeles Region with Applica-tion to Earthquake Early Warning. Geophys. J. Int. 198 (3), 1438-1457. 

Böse, M. and T.H. Heaton (2010). Probabilistic Prediction of Rupture Length, Slip and Seismic Ground Motions for an Ongoing Rupture: implications for Early Warning for Large Earthquakes. Geophys. J. Int. 183 (2), 1014-1030. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2010.04774.x

Manighetti I., Zigone D., Campillo M., and Cotton F.  (2009). Self-similarity of the largest-scale segmentation of the faults; Implications on earthquake be-havior. Earth. Planet. Sc. Lett.  288, 370-381. 

Perrin, C., Manighetti, I., Ampuero, J. P., Cappa, F., Gaudemer, Y.  (2016). Location of largest earthquake slip and fast rupture controlled by along-strike change in fault structural maturity due to fault growth. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 121. doi: 10.1002/2015JB012671

Radiguet, M., F. Cotton, I. Manighetti, M. Campillo, J. Douglas  (2009). Dependency of near-field ground motion on the structural maturity of the ruptured faults. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 99 (4), 2572-2581. 

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SERA (Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructure Alliance in Europe) has the goal to integrate data, products, infrastructures and know-how in seismology and earthquake engineering. The project is funded through the European Union.

In WP 28 (Real-time Earthquake Shaking (JRA 6)) of the SERA project, we work with our colleagues at the University of Naples, GFZ, INCDFP, NOA, EMSC, CNRS, and INGV, to produce rapid shaking forecasts following major earthquakes in Europe or elsewhere:

In the past decade, real-time seismology has moved from providing post-event information within minutes from earthquake occurrence, to issuing event information during the rupture, as soon as data begin to arrive at the network. Reliability and accuracy of the source parameters are limited by the use of automatic procedures applied to data processing and the availability of the earliest snippets of the wavefield reaching only a fraction of the seismic network. As consequence, early estimates of shaking and possible damage are also accompanied by large uncertainties, impacting the ability to organize a rapid and appropriate response.

This work package applies forward modelling techniques to provide time-evolving prediction maps of the expected ground shaking from regionalized GMPE and tsunamigenic potential of a seismic rupture. The predicted shaking estimates are further constrained by integration of late arriving seismic, accelerometric or GPS data and felt reports as they become available. These goals require the adoption of flexible approaches capable to complement near source data with regional and teleseismic data. Finally, the possible improvement of automatic impact assessment of global earthquakes due to improved shaking estimates will be evaluated.” (from SERA proposal)

We use the 2016-2017 Central Italy earthquake sequence, including the destructive 2016 M6.5 Norcia, M6.0 Amatrice, and M5.9 Visso normal fault earthquakes, for demonstration and testing of our algorithms (e.g. FinDer) and software (e.g. EEWD – Earthquake Early Warning Display).

Project Leader at SED

Maren Böse (Lead of Task 1)

SED Project Members

Carlo Cauzzi, John Clinton, Frederick Massin

Involved Institutions

University of Naples, ETH, GFZ, INCDFP, NOA, EMSC, CNRS and INGV

Funding Source

EU

Duration

2017-2020

Key Words

Rapid Earthquake Information in Europe

Research Field

Real-Time Seismology, Earthquake Engineering

Link To Project Website

SERA

Publications

Böse, M., T.H. Heaton, & E. Hauksson  (2012). Real-time Finite Fault Rupture Detector (FinDer) for Large Earthquakes. Geophys. J. Int. 191 (2), 803-812. 

Böse, M., C. Felizardo, & T.H. Heaton  (2015). Finite-Fault Rupture Detector (FinDer): Going Real-Time in Californian ShakeAlert Warning Sys-tem. Seismol. Res. Lett.  86 (6), 1692-1704. 

Böse, M., D.E. Smith, C. Felizardo, M.-A. Meier, T.H. Heaton, J.F. Clinton (2018). FinDer v.2: Improved Real-time Ground-Motion Predictions for M2-M9 with Seismic Finite-Source Characterization. Geophys. J. Int. 212, 725-742. 

Cauzzi, C., Y. Behr, J. Clinton, P. Kästli, L. Elia, and A. Zollo  (2015). An Open‐Source Earthquake Early Warning Display. Seismol. Res. Lett. 87 (3), 737–742. doi: 10.1785/0220150284

Presentations

Böse, M., J. Clinton, F. Massin, C. Cauzzi, D. Smith, J. Andrews  (2018). Offline-Performance of FinDer v.2 during the 2016/17 Central Italy Earthquake Sequence. European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2018, Vienna 8-13 April 2018. 

Seismotectonics

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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

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

(2013). Alp Array - Probing Alpine geodynamics with the next generation of geophysical experiments and techniques PDF 

Publications
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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

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

Diehl, Kissling, Wiemer SAMSFAULTZ: Structure And Mechanics of Seismogenic Fault Zones: Insights from advanced passive and active seismic imaging PDF 

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This project is carried out under a contract with the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (Nagra). It provides an independent monitoring of the earthquake activity in the area of the proposed nuclear waste repositories in northern Switzerland. Detailed microseismic analysis will help to identify active fault zones and provide insights into the underlying seismotectonic processes in the vicinity of proposed sites, which has direct implications on the seismic hazard assessment. The SED provides results of this project in a transparent manner and all data acquired are made available for public access (see SED declaration on transparency [link]).

Within this project, the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) constructed ten new seismic stations in northeastern Switzerland and southern Germany to improve monitoring capabilities for very small earthquakes. Monitoring of weak seismic events in this region is challenging, because the study region is densely populated and sediments of the Molasse basin dominate the surface geology. A novel step-wise optimization approach was developed to ensure an optimum configuration of the new stations. To reduce the seismic background noise, three of the ten new sites were equipped with borehole-sensors, located at depths of 120–150 m below the surface. The new stations are fully operational since December 2013 and will observe the local seismicity in northern Switzerland for a minimum of ten years.

The newly installed stations complement the five stations installed in 2003 under a first agreement with Nagra. With these ‘Nagra’ stations, together with stations of the Swiss National Seismic Network and stations of neighboring networks in Germany, the project aims to monitor earthquakes down to magnitudes of 1.0 and smaller in the study area. We intend to achieve an overall catalog completeness of Mc 1.3 throughout northeastern Switzerland and location errors less than 0.5 km in epicenter and less than 2 km in focal depth within the study region. Accurate earthquake locations are essential for seismotectonic interpretations. Within this project we therefore aim to improve location accuracy, especially for focal depths, of past and future earthquakes in the region.

Project Leader at SED

Tobias Diehl

SED Project Members

Florian Haslinger, Stefan Wiemer, Donat Faeh, Toni Kraft, John Clinton

Involved Institutions

Nagra

Funding Source

Nagra

Duration

2013-2019

Key Words

seismicity, seismotectonic, earthquake location, seismic hazard, Molasse basin, nuclear waste repositories

Research Field

Seismotectonics (main), but also: Swiss Seismicity, Real-time monitoring, Earthquake Hazard & Risk

Publications

Kraft, T., Mignan, A., Giardini, D. (2013). Optimization of a large-scale microseismic monitoring network in northern Switzerland. Geophys. J. Int. 19, 474-490. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt225

Diehl, T., Korger, E., Clinton, J., Haslinger, F., Wiemer, S.  (2015). Annual Report on Network Performance and Seismicity 2014. ETH Zurich. 

Realtime Monitoring

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InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will deploy a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior. This is the first comprehensive surface-based geophysical investigation of Mars. The overarching mission goals are to illuminate the fundamentals of formation and evolution of terrestrial (Earth-like) planets by investigating the interior structure and processes of Mars, and more specifically to determine the thickness, structure and composition of the crust, mantle and core, and to measure the rate and distribution of seismic activity and the rate of meteorite impacts. The Mission should land in November 2018 and have a lifetime of about two Earth years. A set of 3-component broadband and short period seismometers (collectively known as SEIS) will be deployed beside the lander. In additional, InSight will also deploy a heat flow probe (HP3), a geodetic experiment (RISE), a magnetometer, and meteorological sensors. Seismological investigations of Mars have so far been based on modeling and synthetic data; starting in 2018, waveform data will be returned from Mars and the era of 'Seismology on Mars' will begin.

Building on our expertise and infrastructure for earthquake monitoring and seismic data processing on Earth, the SED will take the lead role in the building a catalogue of seismic events recorded by SEIS (the 'Marsquake Service’). This service will comprise automatic and reviewed event detection and characterization of local and teleseismic events, as well as meteor impacts. The goal of this service is to provide a comprehensive high-quality event catalogue for Mars that is critical to the SEIS project, in particular as input to the development of Martian crustal and deep structure models.

We are adapting advanced single-seismometer analysis techniques developed on the Earth to provide locations for Martian seismicity. Creating the Marsquake Service is a collaboration between the SED and the SEG groups at the ETH Zurich.

Project Leader at SED

Prof. Dr. Domenico Giardini (InSight Co-I)

SED Project Members

Dr. John Clinton (Seismic Network Manager, InSight Co-I)

Dr. Amir Khan (Affiliated Scientist)

Dr. Martin van Driel (PostDoc)

Dr. Maren Böse (Project Scientist)

Dr. Fabian Euchner (PostDoc)

Dr. Savas Ceylan (IT Specialist)

Funding Source

SNF / SSO

Duration

2015 - 2018

Key Words

Planetary seismology, Mars, InSight, single-station approaches, seismic monitoring

Research Field

Link To Project Website

Project Website

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SED installed 3 seismological stations in the surroundings of the Mont Terri rock laboratory (St Ursanne, Canton Jura): 2 in the tunnel (stations MTI01 and MTI02) and 1 at the surface (MTI03). The Engineering Seismology group is in charge of the site characterization of these 3 stations. Therefore, a literature review and geophysical experiments are performed in order to propose velocity models able to reproduce the ground motion observed at these stations.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Valerio Poggi, Clotaire Michel, Sacha Barman, Robin Hansemann

Involved Institutions

SED

Funding Source

Swisstopo

Duration

2013-2023

Key Words

Earthquake monitoring, Ground motion at depth

Research Field

Strong Motion Seismology

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Since 2009, the Swiss Seismological Service is renewing and expanding its strong motion network. During the first phase, a total of 30 new accelerometer stations have been installed between 2009 and 2013, both replacing existing strong motion dial-up stations and installing new stations. During the ongoing second phase, 70 more stations are planned to be installed by 2020, including four borehole installations. The renewal project of the Swiss Strong Motion Network was approved by the Swiss Federal Council in February 2009. The project is monitored and supervised by a steering committee headed by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).

The goals of the enlargement of the Swiss strong motion network are a better spatial coverage of earthquake-prone regions, a better understanding of site effects and thus the verification and improvement of hazard models.

The epicentral areas of relevant past earthquakes have been instrumented in the first phase, namely Aigle (1584), Glarus (1971), Sarnen (1964), Sion-Sierre (1946), Yverdon (1929), Visp (1855), St. Gallen Rhine Valley (1796/96), Altdorf (1774), Brig (1755), Basel (1356), Churwalden/Vaz (1295/1991), etc. Furthermore, the city areas of Zürich, Geneva, Basel, Bern, Lausanne, St. Gallen, Lucerne, Sion, Solothurn, Locarno, Chur, Sierre are relevant sites for free-field installation.

In the second phase, additional epicentral areas of past earthquakes are targeted: Churwalden (1295), Ardez (1504), Ardon (1524), Arbon (1720), Kreuzlingen (1911), and Moudon (1933), among others. Further urban areas are instrumented as well, e.g. Biel, Fribourg, Neuchâtel, Thun and Winterthur. Another aspect of phase 2 is the densification of the network, especially in earthquake-prone areas such as the Valais.

The site selection is always a trade-off between the scientific objectives and the level of vibration disturbances. Modern stations are sensitive enough to record also small earthquakes, but the signal-to-noise ratio may be too low due to traffic and industries. At all sites, geophysical measurements are performed to characterize the site response. Recorded signals can then be interpreted, and sites classified according to the amplification at the site, which is basic information for improved site-specific seismic hazard studies.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Manuel Hobiger, Eric Zimmermann, Clotaire Michel, Franz Weber, Lukas Heiniger, John Clinton, Carlo Cauzzi

Involved Institutions

BAFU

Funding Source

BAFU

Duration

2013-2020

Key Words

SSMNet, strong motion, site characterization

Research Field

Swiss Seismicity, Earthquake Hazard & Risk

Publications

Michel C., Edwards B., Poggi V., Burjánek J., Roten D., Cauzzi C. & Fäh D.  (2014). Assessment of Site Effects in Alpine Regions through Systematic Site Characterization of Seismic Stations. Bull. Seismol. Soc. Am.  104(6).  Link  doi: 10.1785/0120140097

Hobiger M., Fäh D., Michel C., Burjánek J., Maranò S., Pilz M., Imperatori W., Bergamo P.  (2016). Site Characterization in the Framework of the Renewal of the Swiss Strong Motion Network (SSMNet). Proceedings of the 5th IASPEI/IAEE International Symposium: Effects of Surface Geology on Seismic Motion, August 15-17, 2016. 

Hobiger M., Fäh D., Scherrer C., Michel C., Duvernay B., Clinton J., Cauzzi C., Weber F.  (2017). The renewal project of the Swiss Strong Motion Network (SSMNet). Proceedings of the 16th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (16WCEE 2017), Santiago de Chile, Chile, January 9-13, 2017. 

Historical Seismology

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The goal of this project is the historical-critical revision of the Swiss earthquake catalogue for the pre-instrumental and early instrumental period of systematic earthquake observations in Switzerland, 1878–1963, with a special focus on events of intermediate magnitude reaching epicentral intensities of IV–VI (EMS-98).

To ensure correct interpretation of the large amount of heterogeneous scientific and non-scientific earthquake records, it is essential to investigate the historical, scientific and technological context of their production. This is achieved through the approaches of historical sciences. The proposed work relies on a systematic investigation and a historically sound assessment of the reliability and factuality of historically reported events.

By the use of descriptive primary and secondary sources, macroseismic intensity fields will be established for intermediate-size earthquakes with an intensity in the range IV–VI (EMS-98). This will facilitate the assessment of event parameters such as magnitude, location and depth in a calibrated procedure that will be developed in the project. These parameters are verified by the analysis of the historical seismograms of the Swiss Seismological Service’s early instrumental station network.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Remo Grolimund

Funding Source

SNF

Duration

2015-2019

Key Words

Historical Seismology, Interdisciplinary, Historical Seismogram Analysis, Macroseismics, History of Science and Technology

Research Field

Swiss Seismicity, Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Historical Seismicity

Link To Project Website

Project Website

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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

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

Engineering Seismology

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The third phase of this project is split into 3 subtasks with the main goal to improve regional and local seismic hazard assessment in Switzerland; with particular focus to the sites of potential regions of nuclear repositories. These sub-projects are:

Subproject 1 aims to improve models and develop methods for the prediction of strong ground motion in Switzerland at the surface and at depth. Two main approaches are investigated: ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs) and stochastic simulation models. Both approaches require calibration to the local seismicity and careful consideration of their extrapolation to large magnitude events which have, as yet, not been instrumentally recorded in Switzerland. In this context, we study the effect of source- and site-related parameters, as stress drop and kappa.

Subproject 2 is focused on earthquake scenario modeling for Switzerland and exploration of the physical limits on ground motion. Our modeling combines realistic rupture along irregular fault surfaces and wave propagation in complex heterogeneous media at high frequency, with focus on underground repositories. Moreover we investigate the plastic and non-linear behavior of soft sediments when subject to high-amplitude Mach waves, conducting CPT measurements to calibrate our numerical models.

Subproject 3 focuses on numerical modeling the induced seismicity during tunnel excavation. Simulations will be performed using both thermo-hydro-mechanical coupled model and statistical model. We will adapt existing models for induced earthquakes to the conditions typically met in deep geological repositories. Available geomechanical faulting models will be used during the validation and calibration stage. Finally, the results will be used as input for Subproject 1 and 2.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Walter Imperatori, Sanjay Bora, Antonio Rinaldi, Luca Urpi

Funding Source

Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate - ENSI

Duration

2010-2014 (1st phase), 2014-2018 (2nd phase), 2018-2022 (3rd phase)

Key Words

Ground motion prediction equations, ground motion modelling, induced seismicity

Research Field

Swiss Seismicity, Earthquake Hazard & Risk

Reports / Deliverables

D. Fäh, S. Wiemer, D. Roten, B. Edwards, V. Poggi, C. Cauzzi, J. Burjanek, M. Spada, R. Grolimund, M. Gisler, G. Schwarz-Zanetti, P. Kästli (2012). Expertengruppe Starkbeben. ENSI Erfahrungs- und Forschungsbericht 2011, 173-182. Eidgenösisches Nuklearsicherheitsinspektorat ENSI.  PDF 

D. Fäh, S. Wiemer, B. Edwards, V. Poggi, D. Roten, R. Grolimund, M. Spada, J. Wössner (2013). Expertengruppe Starkbeben. ENSI Erfahrungs- und Forschungsbericht 2012, 173-181. Eidgenösisches Nuklearsicherheitsinspektorat ENSI.  PDF 

D. Fäh, S. Wiemer, B. Edwards, V. Poggi, D. Roten, R. Grolimund, M. Spada, B. Schechinger, J. Woessner (2014). Expertengruppe Starkebeben. ENSI Erfahrungs- und Forschungsbericht 2013, 161-170. Eidgenösisches Nuklearsicherheitsinspektorat ENSI.  PDF 

D. Fäh, S. Wiemer, B. Edwards, V. Poggi, D. Roten, R. Grolimund, M. Spada, B. Schechinger , T. Tormann, J. Woessner (2015). Earthquake Strong Motion Research. ENSI Erfahrungs- und Forschungsbericht 2014, 171-180. Eidgenösisches Nuklearsicherheitsinspektorat ENSI.  PDF 

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This group gathers the researchers with competences in site characterization in order to discuss and improve the work performed for different projects involving site characterization, especially for sites with new seismic stations. The available tools for processing, archiving and disseminating are shared within the group. The group is responsible for setting up and filling the SED database for site characterization. A process of review has been established in order to validate the work done before it is made public.

The group reviewed the 30 sites of the SSMNet Renewal phase 1, 6 sites of SSMNet stations in Basel installed in the frame of the Basel Erdbebenvorsorge project, the 10 sites of the NAGRA Network, the installation site of stations in the area of the Mont Terri rock laboratory, 2 sites of SSMNet stations in Liechtenstein and the currently installed sites of the SSMNet Renewal Phase 2.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Clotaire Michel, Manuel Hobiger, Paolo Bergamo, Walter Imperatori, Ulrike Kleinbrod, Carlo Cauzzi

Funding Source

Site characterization projects (SSMNet reneval project (BAFU), NAGRA, Canton BS and others)

Duration

2010 - present

Key Words

Site characterization, strong motion stations, broadband stations, site response, site effects, site amplification, field

Research Field

Earthquake Hazard & Risk, Engineering Seismology

Link To Project Website

Project Website

Publications

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

Poggi, V., Burjanek, J., Michel, C., & Fäh, D. (2017). Seismic site-response characterization of high-velocity sites using advanced geophysical techniques: application to the NAGRA-Net. Geophysical Journal International 210(2), 645–659. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggx192

Michel, C., Edwards, B., Poggi, V., Burjanek, J., Roten, D., Cauzzi, C. and Fäh, D. (2014). Assessment of site effects in Alpine regions through systematic site characterization of seismic stations. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 104(6), 2809-2826. doi: 10.1785/0120140097

Burjánek, J., Edwards, B. and Fäh, D. (2014). Empirical evidence of local seismic effects at sites with pronounced topography: a systematic approach. Geophysical Journal International 197(1), 608-619. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggu014

Edwards, B., Michel, C., Poggi, V. and Fäh D. (2013). Determination of Site Amplification from Regional Seismicity: Application to the Swiss National Seismic Networks. Seismological Research Letters 84(4), 611-621. doi: 10.1785/0220120176

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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

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

Maranò, S., Fäh, D. and Loeliger, H.-A.  (2015). A state-space approach for the analysis of wave and diffusion fields. Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing, 2564-2568. IEEE Int. Conf. . doi: 10.1109/ICASSP.2015.7178434

What damage could earthquakes cause in Switzerland? At present, only a patchy answer can be given to this important question. Thanks to the Swiss seismic hazard model developed by the Swiss Seismological Service (SED) at ETH Zurich, we know where and how often certain types of earthquake can be expected and how strong the tremors they cause will be at a given location. Yet, it remains largely unclear what damage earthquakes could cause to buildings. The Federal Council has now commissioned the SED, in cooperation with the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP), to plug this gap and devise a seismic risk model by 2022.

Based on the seismic hazard, the risk model takes account of the influence of the local subsurface and of the vulnerability and value of buildings. In future it will enable cantonal and national authorities to draw up improved risk overviews and use them to optimise their planning. It will further allow to compile detailed scenarios for different types of earthquakes, and to carry out cost-benefit analyses for earthquake damage mitigation. Besides prevention, the model will serve to quickly assess where damage can be expected in the occurrence of an event. The development of the model is being financed by contributions from the FOEN, FOCP and ETH.

Project Leader at SED

Stefan Wiemer

SED Project Members

D. Fäh, F. Haslinger, M. Marti, P. Kästli, L. Danciu, P. Roth, P. Bergamo

Funding Source

FOEN, FOCP and ETH

Duration

2017 - 2022

Key Words

Seismic hazard and risk, site amplification, vulnerability, financial loss model, national databases, building typology, fragility, risk governance, software development

Research Field

Seismic risk, engineering seismology

Statistical Seismology

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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. Dr. 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

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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. Dr. 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

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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

Mignan, A. (2014). The debate on the prognostic value of earthquake foreshocks: A meta-analysis. Scientific reports, 4:4099. doi: 10.1038/srep04099

Seif, S., Mignan, A., Zechar, J., Werner, M. and Wiemer, S. Estimating ETAS: the effects of truncation, missing data, and model assumptions

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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

Zechar, J.D., Hardebeck, J., Michael, A., Naylor, M., Steacy, S., Wiemer, S. and Zhuang, J. (2011). Community Online Resource for Statistical Seismicity Analysis. Seismological Research Letters. doi: 10.1785/gssrl.82.5.686

Numerical Modeling

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This is the 1st subproject of the „ENSI – SED-Erdbebenforschung zu Schweizer Kernanlagen“ project.

This subproject aims to improve source-scaling and attenuation models and to develop methods for the prediction of strong ground motion in Switzerland both at the surface as well as at depth. Two main approaches are investigated: ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs) and stochastic simulation models. Both approaches require adaptions to the local seismicity and careful consideration of their calibration to Swiss conditions. The Fourier spectral and stochastic models correspond to the current state of research and have some advantages over the empirical attenuation relationships, as it is possible to adjust the model to specific local site conditions. The complete understanding in terms of physical parameterization of such models is crucial in order to decouple different effects, which allow building robust predictive models that scale appropriately to large magnitude events. In this regard, variability in source parameter such as stress drop is crucial. Similarly, variability in site-related attenuation parameter kappa is also need to be well understood. Fourier and duration models from Japanese data are now being developed that will allow the review of the Swiss model for large magnitudes in the different distance ranges and at various rock sites which have, as yet, not been instrumentally recorded in Switzerland. Moreover, we will use recordings of local seismicity in addition to numerical modeling results of related projects to calibrate the predictive models. The long-term goal is to develop an improved stochastic simulation model for Switzerland allowing existing uncertainties to be reduced. In future, such models will also allow an assessment of ground motion caused by induced seismicity due to the activation of existing fractures and/or the generation of new fractures.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Sanjay Bora

Involved Institutions

Department of Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool

Funding Source

Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate - ENSI

Duration

2014-2022

Key Words

Ground motion prediction equations, Fourier spectral models, stochastic ground motion models, ground motion duration models.

Research Field

Swiss Seismicity, Earthquake Hazard & Risk

Publications

Edwards, B. & Fäh, D.  (2014). Ground motion prediction equations Link  doi: 10.3929/ethz-a-010232326

Edwards, B., Ktenidou, O.-J., Cotton, F., Abrahamson, N., Van Houtte, C. and Fäh, D (2014). Epistemic Uncertainty and Limitations of the Kappa0 model for Near-surface Attenuation at Hard Rock Sites. Geophysical Journal International 202(3). doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv222

Edwards, B. and Fäh D. (2013). A Stochastic Ground‐Motion Model for Switzerland. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 103, 78-98. doi: 10.1785/0120110331

Edwards, B., Michel, C., Poggi, V. and Fäh, D. (2013). Determination of Site Amplification from Regional Seismicity: Application to the Swiss National Seismic Networks. Seism. Res. Lett. 84(4), 611-621. doi: 10.1785/0220120176

Poggi, V., Edwards, B. and Fäh, D (2013). Reference S-wave velocity profile and attenuation models for ground-motion prediction equations: application to Japan. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 103(5), 2645-2656. doi: 10.1785/0120120362

Poggi, V., Edwards, B. and Fäh, D. (2012). Characterizing the vertical to horizontal ratio of ground-motion at soft sediment sites. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 102(6), 2741-2756. doi: 10.1785/0120120039

Poggi, V., Edwards, B. and Fäh, D. (2011). Derivation of a Reference Shear-Wave Velocity Model from Empirical Site Amplification. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 101(1), 258-274. doi: 10.1785/0120100060

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This is the 2nd subproject of the „ENSI – SED-Erdbebenforschung zu Schweizer Kernanlagen“ project.

Realistic modeling of earthquake ground motions can be achieved only if the causative fault and the medium where waves propagate are described accurately. To efficiently simulate high-frequency earthquake scenario in Switzerland, we develop a hybrid broadband simulation technique combining state-of-the-art rupture models along irregular fault surfaces and wave propagation in complex heterogeneous media taking into account station-specific scattering parameters. Significant efforts are made to extend the validity of our technique to model ground motion at depth for possible applications at underground repositories. A thorough validation and calibration of sensitive parameters is based on Japanese and Swiss datasets. Along with source and path effects, near-surface site conditions represent an important factor controlling ground motions since soft sediments can significantly amplify the shaking observed during an earthquake. Depending on the level of input ground motion, liquefiable soils have the potential to generate excess water pressure resulting in high-frequency acceleration pulses. Advanced constitutive models of liquefiable soils require the knowledge of so-called dilatancy parameters that describe the potential to generate excess water pressure. These parameters can be determined from field observations by analyzing cone penetration test (CPT) measurements. Accurate modeling of liquefiable soils subject to high-amplitude Mach waves is essential to explore the physical limits of ground motion.

Project Leader at SED

Donat Fäh

SED Project Members

Walter Imperatori

Involved Institutions

San Diego Supercomputer Center

Funding Source

Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate – ENSI

Duration

2010-2014 (1st phase), 2014-2018 (2nd phase), 2018-2022 (3rd phase)

Key Words

Ground motion, scattering, hybrid broadband, non-linearity, site effects, CPT

Research Field

Engineering Seismology

Publications

Imperatori, W. and Mai, M. (2015). The role of topography and lateral velocity heterogeneities on near-source scattering and ground-motion variability. Geophys. J. Int. 202(3), 2163-2181. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv281

Gallovic, F., Imperatori, W. and Mai, M. (2015). Effects of three-dimensional crustal structure and smoothing constraint on earthquake slip inversions: Case study of the Mw6.3 2009 L’Aquila earthquake. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth. 120(1), 428–449. doi: 10.1002/2014JB011650

Roten, D., Olsen, K.B., Day, S.M. and Fäh, D.  (2014). Expected seismic shaking in Los Angeles reduced by San Andreas fault zone plasticity. Geopys. Res. Lett. 41(8), 2769-2777. doi: 10.1002/2014GL059411

Roten, D., Fäh, D. and Bonilla, L.F. (2014). Quantification of cyclic mobility parameters in liquefiable soils from inversion of vertical array records. Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 104(6), 3115-3138. doi: 10.1785/0120130329