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DGMK-Project Geosciences

Re-Evaluation of the Rotenburg Mainshock 2004

15.05.2017 – 15.05.2018
Research Center
Leibniz University of Hanover, Institute for Geology - Dr. C. Brandes, Prof. Dr. J. Winsemann, P. Uta
BGR, Hanover - Dr. C. Bönnemann, Dr T. Plenefisch, N. Gestermann, Dr. D. Kaiser
Project Accompaniment
DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, Hamburg - Dr T. Bartels, Dr H.-M. Rumpel
EMPG, Hanover - H. Berndt, Dr. S. Graßmann
Neptune Energy Deutschland GmbH, Lingen - P. Krajewski, Dr. C. Sick
Wintershall Holding GmbH, Barnstorf - Dr. O. Ritzmann, Dr. F. Schäfer
Vermilion Energy - F. Görisch
Reason and Goal

The Rotenburg earthquake in 2004, with a magnitude of 4.5, is by far the strongest quake associated with natural gas production in northern Germany. In 2004 there was no seismic monitoring network as it is operated today by the BVEG ( The nearest measuring station to the herd was then about 70 km away.
First evaluations of the earthquake were published by Leydecker et al. (BGR, 2006) and Dahm et al. (Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 97, 691-704, 2006). Macroseismic questionnaires and data from worldwide seismic stations were evaluated and interpreted.
About half of the questionnaires on macroseismics collected from the population were evaluated for the study by Leiydecker et al. (2006). Station data from surrounding European monitoring stations sometimes became publicly accessible only years later. In the present study all available data on the quake are to be collected and evaluated.


The additional station data used in this study improve azimuthal coverage compared to the study by Dahm et al. (2006). This may allow the epicentre of the quake to be determined more accurately.

The questionnaires on macroseismics, which have not yet been evaluated, are intended to complete the overall picture and may possibly contribute to a better understanding of the centre mechanism.


Project finished. At the request of the authors, the final report will not be published as DGMK research report. The authors would like to publish the project results in professional journals.

Project Status

Project Coordinator

Dr. Dominik Soyk

Executive Director


DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, Hamburg

ExxonMobil Production GmbH, Germany

Neptune Energy Deutschland GmbH, Lingen

Wintershall Holding GmbH, Barnstorf

Vermilion Energy Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG, Hanover