Earthquake risk in Germany

Earthquakes north of the Alps are generally much weaker than in the Mediterranean region or in the Pacific. Damage can, however, be considerable.

Earthquake hazard and risk in Germany is relatively low on a global scale, but not negligible. In the Rhine basin, on the Swabian Alb and in eastern Thuringia and western Saxony with the Vogtland earthquake swarm area, minor earthquakes take place again and again. However, earthquakes which are clearly perceptible or even cause damage are rare events in Ger­many. Nevertheless, as high-value assets are concentrated in these regions, they could cause major losses.

Minor tremors can however also be caused by construction work such as wells, oil and gas production, mining, explosions or the damming of reservoirs. This earthquake activity caused by humans is also referred to as induced seismicity. In the majority of cases, the strength of the seismic events is very low and is generally below the threshold of perceptibility by humans.

You can find out here whether you live in an earthquake hazard area in Germany.

Assigning of localities to seismic zones according to the earthquake resistant German Building Code DIN EN 1998-1/NA:2011-01, zonation map (former DIN 4149:2005-04) (only available in the German).

Publication:
 Grünthal, Gottfried, Mayer-Rosa, Dieter, Lenhardt, Wolfgang A. (1998): Erdbebengefährdung für die D-A-CH-Staaten (Deutschland, Österreich, Schweiz) mit untersetzter Karte der Epizentren tektonischer Erdbeben. Bautechnik ; H. 10. Jg. 75.1998.

Text, eskp.de CC BY4.0; photos and graphics, unless otherwise noted, are also: eskp.de CC BY4.0

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