Seismic Atlas of the Swiss Molasse Basin

The Swiss Plateau makes up about a third of the surface of Switzerland and consists mainly of the Molasse basin. Slightly more than two thirds of Switzerland’s population lives here. The Seismic Atlas of the Swiss Molasse Basin serves as an important foundation for geological projects.

Interpreted profile from the Seismic Atlas
Example of an interpreted profile from the Seismic Atlas
© swisstopo

Seismology, as a branch of geophysics, explores the Earth’s upper crust by means of artificially generated seismic waves and depicts these. The Seismic Atlas of the Swiss Molasse Basin – a priority project of the Swiss Geophysical Commission (SGPK) – represents the deep subsurface structure of the Swiss Plateau in 24 illustrations, where the massive molasse sediments were deposited in the Tertiary as a result of the erosion of the mountains on the northern edge of the young Alps.

The atlas shows an interpretation of regional seismic reflection data in connection with drill hole data, surface geology and the resulting regional 3D structure model. These data are important for projects in the field of subsurface planning such as geothermal energy, CO2 sequestration, deep geological repositories, regional hydrogeology and natural gas exploration.

The geometries and extents of eight horizons (interpreted geological boundary layers), such as the base of the Tertiary, the top of the Dogger and the base of the Mesozoic, were mapped up to a depth of several kilometers and are shown in 15 regional sections (transects). Important results include amongst other things, the grabens of the Permo-Carboniferous, the increasing thickness of the Mesozoic strata from east to west and the thickening of the molasse towards the Alps.


Reference

Sommaruga, A., Eichenberger, U. & Marillier, F. (2012): Seismic Atlas of the Swiss Molasse Basin. Edited by the Swiss Geophysical Commission. - Matér. Géol. Suisse, Géophys. 44.


Fundamentals of Geology

Milan Beres Dr. sc. nat.
Scientific Associate
swisstopo / Swiss Geological Survey
Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern
Tel.
+41 58 469 05 74
Fax
+41 58 469 05 45

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Print contact

Milan Beres

Dr. sc. nat.
Scientific Associate
swisstopo / Swiss Geological Survey
Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

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