NRP 20 "Geological Deep Structure of Switzerland"

​The overall aim of the programme was to gain a broader understanding of the substrata. Seismic investigations focused on three areas: eastern line (Stein am Rhein - Splügenpass), western line (Biel - Thun - Rawil - Sion - Mattertal) and the southern alpine line (Calanca valley/Blenio valley - Lugano - Chiasso). In these areas, information about the earth's crust was systematically collected using non-invasive geophysical methods at a depth ranging from 25 to 60 km. An important aspect of the task was to establish connections between the sphere that is visible or near the surface and the deeper substrata. The research provided information about raw material and energy sources, the occurrence and prediction of earthquakes as well as passages below the ground.

Faits & chiffres
Overall budgetCHF 14'500'000
​President of the expert commissionErnst Niggli
​​Programme directorPeter Lehner
​End of research1993

Final report

Deep Geological Structure of the Swiss Alps: Results of the National Research Programme 20 (NRP 20), Heitzmann P., Lehner P., Müller St., Pfiffner A., Steck A. (Hrsg.), Birkhäuser Verlag AG, Basel, 1996

Echo from the Swiss Underground (PDF, 13.5 MB)

Deep Geological Structure of the Swiss Alps: Results of the National Research Programme 20 (NRP 20), Heitzmann P., Lehner P., Müller St., Pfiffner A., Steck A. (Hrsg.), Birkhäuser Verlag AG, Basel, 1996