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Authors: Diehl, Tobias* 
Clinton, John* 
Deichmann, Nicolas* 
Cauzzi, Carlo* 
Kästli, Philipp* 
Kraft, Toni* 
Molinari, Irene* 
Böse, Maren* 
Michel, Clotaire* 
Hobiger, Manuel* 
Haslinger, Florian* 
Fäh, Donat* 
Wiemer, Stefan* 
Title: Earthquakes in Switzerland and surrounding regions during 2015 and 2016
Issue Date: 2018
Series/Report no.: /111 (2018)
DOI: 10.1007/s00015-017-0295-y
Keywords: Seismicity
Magnitude of completeness
Focal mechanisms
Rhone-Simplon line
Hegau-Bodensee graben
Aar massif
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth
04.06. Seismology
Abstract: This report summarizes the seismicity in Switzerland and surrounding regions in the years 2015 and 2016. In 2015, the Swiss Seismological Service detected and located 735 earthquakes in the region under consideration. With a total of 20 earthquakes of magnitude ML C 2.5, the seismic activity of potentially felt events in 2015 was close to the average of 23 earthquakes over the previous 40 years. Seismic activity was above average in 2016 with 872 located earthquakes of which 31 events had ML C 2.5. The strongest event in the analyzed period was the ML 4.1 Salgesch earthquake, which occurred northeast of Sierre (VS) in October 2016. The event was felt in large parts of Switzerland and had a maximum intensity of V. Derived focal mechanisms and relative hypocenter relocations of aftershocks image a SSE dipping reverse fault, which likely also hosted an ML 3.9 earthquake in 2003. Another remarkable earthquake sequence in the Valais occurred close to Sion with four felt events (ML 2.7–3.2) in 2015/16. We associate this sequence with a system of WNW-ESE striking fault segments north of the Rhoˆne valley. Similarities with a sequence in 2011, which was located about 10 km to the NE, suggest the existence of an en-echelon system of basement faults accommodating dextral slip along the Rhoˆne-Simplon line in this area. Another exceptional earthquake sequence occurred close to Singen (Germany) in November 2016. Relocated hypocenters and focal mechanisms image a SW dipping transtensional fault segment, which is likely associated with a branch of the Hegau-Bodensee Graben. On the western boundary of this graben, micro-earthquakes close to Schlattingen (TG) in 2015/16 are possibly related to a NE dipping branch of the Neuhausen Fault. Other cases of earthquakes felt by the public during 2015/16 include earthquakes in the region of Biel, Vallorcine, Solothurn, and Savognin.
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