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Bedretto Underground Laboratory for Geosciences and Geoenergies

The BedrettoLab (Bedretto Underground Laboratory for Geosciences and Geoenergies) is a unique research infrastructure run by ETH Zurich making it possible to take a close look at the Earth’s interior. It is located in the Swiss Alps 1.5 kilometres below the surface and in the middle of a 5.2 kilometres long tunnel connecting the Ticino with the Furka railway tunnel.

Equipped with the latest technology, the BedrettoLab offers ideal conditions to conduct experimental research focusing on the behaviour of the deep underground when accessing and stimulating it. Such an access is required to advance scientific knowledge in various domains including geothermal energy and earthquake physics. It is also of relevance to develop novel techniques and sensors for these purposes.

Learn more about the scope of the project.



ETH’s Robotic Systems Lab in the BedrettoLab

Last Friday, a group from ETH Zurich’s Robotic Systems Lab tested their wheeled-legged robot Chimera in the BedrettoLab. The robot is trained to serve for rescuing, logistics or monitoring in environments that are not accessible for humans. The BedrettoLab and the area in front of the tunnel entry proved to be an ideal environment for testing the robot's locomotion and navigation capabilities in a tough condition.


Construction diary: second niche completed

The second niche, designed to frame the entrance of the new side tunnel, has been successfully finished just before the holiday break. Measuring 40 meters in length and 3 meters in width, its completion marks a significant milestone in the construction progress.

Following the holiday break in January, the upcoming phase will involve drilling several monitoring boreholes for the PRECODE project. PRECODE aims to explore the rock mass's response to various excavation techniques by comparing conventional methods to low-impact operations. To achieve this, monitoring of the rock mass surrounding the initial 15 meters of the new side tunnel will occur before, during, and after excavation.

Virtual Tour

Click on play and get a deep insight into the BedrettoLab.

Geo-INQUIRE call #1 open

The EU Project Geo-INQUIRE (Geosphere INfrastructures for QUestions into Integrated REsearch) fosters excellent, interdisciplinary and curiosity-driven research of the solid Earth, including land-sea-atmosphere interfaces. An objective of project Geo-INQUIRE is to provide transnational access to unique high-level installations and experiments to selected users to perform research. The BedrettoLab and its three testbeds (Geothermal Testbed, Earthquake Physics Tesbed and the Deep Life Observatory) are made available to the research community through the 1st Open Call for projects, open between January 15th and March 15th. For further information and to apply please visit the Geo-INQUIRE website.


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