Lithostratigraphic Lexicon of Switzerland

This online lexicon has been designed as a handy reference tool for geologists working in academic research (including most particularly students who are not yet familiar with the regional geology of Switzerland), administrations, as well as in applied fields of geosciences. Its primary aim is to provide a list of the valid lithostratigraphic units that occur on Swiss territory, based on a harmonised nomenclature and standardised descriptive procedure. It also encompasses a catalogue of obsolete terms redirecting – as far as reasonably traceable – to the approximate equivalent units currently in use. Links to the map viewer of the Swiss Federal Administration and to the most important publications are also integrated whenever these data sources are freely accessible.

Based on the Lexique Stratigraphique International (Vol.1, fasc. 7a–c), as well as on numerous other publications, and serving as a standard for geological maps, the data base is managed by the Swiss Geological Survey in close collaboration with the Swiss Committee on Stratigraphy (SCS). Its content is continually enhanced and its functionalities will be further expanded according to future needs. Your feedback is therefore important: send us your comments and suggestions about the lexicon in general as well as material contributions on individual units.


Swiss Committee on Stratigraphy

The Swiss Committee on Stratigraphy (SCS) is a working group of the Platform Geosciences of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT).

The SCS has following goals:

The SCS is constituted as follows:

  • The committee (plenary assembly) is the decision organ. Only one representative of each regional working group can vote. The committee discusses and takes decisions on questions raised by the president and/or the working groups. The other members of the working groups that are concerned by the proposals, as well as other persons outside the SCS can participate to the meeting without voting rights;
  • The regional working groups are in charge of dealing with the issues and elaborating proposals to be submitted to the committee. Each regional working group is in charge of establishing and maintaining the data base of the relevant lithostratigraphic units;
  • Further working groups can be constituted in order to deal with new stratigraphic issues.


Swiss Geological Survey – swisstopo 

As the unit of the federal administration responsible for earth sciences, the Swiss Geological Survey is in charge of following tasks:

  • Organise the geological survey of the territory (geology, geotechnics, geophysics);
  • Collect the necessary data, archive it and make it available;
  • Map the whole Swiss territory geologically (GeoCover);
  • Produce the Geological Atlas of Switzerland 1:25’000, including explanatory notes, as well as other maps and data sets;
  • Develop 3D models;
  • Supply and distribute products and data in analogue and digital form;
  • Set up and operate a geological information system allowing customers to access geological cartographic products through Internet;
  • Elaborate norms, guidelines and tools for geological surveying and data.
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