Hydrogeological geodata

The FOEN provides standardised geodata on the groundwater of Switzerland on a superordinate scale. It cooperates with cantons, professionals and universities to record the necessary information and coordinates the publication of hydrogeological maps and datasets.

Hydrogeological maps and information systems show the distribution and characteristics of aquifers and are an important basis for management of this resource. They are intended for experts in planning, administration and research and also for non-specialist interest groups. The scope of the geodata issued by the FOEN ranges from general hydrogeological sketches to standardised, regional scale maps.

Superordinate scale display

Nationally, the hydrogeological conditions in unconsolidated and consolidated rock are described in standardised form on a scale of 1:500,000 on the groundwater resources map. It shows the productivity and vulnerability in relation to contamination of the aquifers over the full area, together with other hydrological information such as the main springs and groundwater wells. The dataset can be used as a superordinate planning instrument or as a teaching tool and forms the basis for different thematic compilations and surveys at Swiss national level. For instance, the general hydrogeological sketch of Switzerland shows the predominant aquifer types, divided into unconsolidated, fissured and karst aquifers.
A regional view of the groundwater conditions is provided by the 1:100,000 scale hydrogeological maps, classified according to the permeability of the rock substrata. Hydrogeological point and line information such as springs, groundwater levels or hydraulic connections complement the data. To date the maps have been produced for the Jura and large parts of the Central Plateau, and standardise the detailed hydrogeological datasets from regional map series and geoportals (map.geo.admin.ch). They are valuable for both private and official users and are already widely used for planning purposes.

Datasets are also supplied on a regional scale for the groundwater resources in karst regions, and take into account the specific flow conditions in karst aquifers and the hydrogeological boundaries of the catchment areas.

Availability and access

The hydrogeological maps on various scales issued by the FOEN can be viewed on the Swiss federal government geoportal. They provide reference data and basic principles for hydrogeological queries or can be directly correlated with other data on the geoportal.

The 1:500,000 scale maps are shown in the “Soil- and Groundwater” section of the HADES atlas along with other geodata on this topic. They have also been integrated – linked to geology and tectonics – in the digital dataset of the Swiss Geological Survey (swisstopo) 500 series geological maps. They are available in print, pixel map or vector dataset versions.

The 1:100,000 scale hydrogeological maps are available in printed sheet or raster dataset versions. Digital versions of the sheets for North West Switzerland are also available as a seamless, harmonised vector dataset (HyGeo100 NW-Schweiz).

Hydrogeological datasets can be downloaded from the FOEN website:

Print maps can be obtained from the swisstopo onlineshop:

Further information

Last modification 22.08.2018

Top of page