About Spektrum

Seismic techniques for landslide investigations

Spektrum is an ETH Zurich Pioneer Fellowship project to translate geophysical techniques for landslide monitoring developed in the section for Engineering Seismology at the Swiss Seismological Service into a practical product to solve real-world problems.

Most information available for characterizing and monitoring unstable rock slopes are acquired by sensing displacements at the Earth’s surface, possibly missing critical structural changes at depth. We provide a solution to overcome this gap by measuring ambient vibrations on potentially unstable slopes and rock features. The vibrational properties provide information on the extent of the instability and the degradation of the rock mass – similar to structural health monitoring of large bridges and dams. The technique can be applied for real-​time monitoring but also by using temporary and portable sensors for rapid characterization of the slope as a base for in-​depth geological investigations.

The Pioneer Fellowship is supported by the ETH Foundation and the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Lab of ETH Zurich.

Our Services

Characterization and mapping of rock instabilities

Using portable, highly sensitive seismometers, we provide rapid characterization and mapping of rock slopes and free-standing rock features. This helps you to understand the structural buildup of the site and provides a tool to plan and optimize further, more costly, in-depth investigations.

  • Only hours of recordings needed
  • Structural compartmentation of the instability
  • Quick availability of results and not depending on surface deformations
  • Ideal for planning and optimizing further, more costly, in-depth analyses (GNSS monitoring, geophysics, boreholes, ...)
  • Completely non-destructive and non-invasive

Rock slope monitoring

We provide structural health monitoring of unstable rock slopes by using naturally occuring ambient vibrations and highly sensitive seismometers. The technique offers valuable complementary information to geodetic surveys to support your early warning service.

  • Real-time monitoring of structural integrity
  • Not depending on any line-of-sight and surface deformations
  • Sensitive for structural changes (e.g. stiffness, stress conditions)
  • Versatile field of applications, such as rock instabilities, permafrost, engineered structures, ...
  • Provides fundamental information to assess the co-seismic behavior (e.g., resonant frequencies, seismic amplification, ...)

Our clients and partners

Find out more about some of our projects in our News Section (in German only).

Working with us

Interested in our services? Get in touch with us to plan your next landslide characterization and ambient vibrations monitoring setup!
Contact us

Contact us

+41 44 632 80 16


Swiss Seismological Service
ETH Zurich
Sonneggstrasse 5
8092 Zurich, Switzerland