The station STU in the vaulted cellar of Villa Reitzenstein in Stuttgart is one of 100 stations of the worldwide GEOFON network for the detection of earthquakes.

The seismic broadband station at Stuttgart (STU) is integrated in the GEOFON (GeoForschungsNetz) and GRSN (German Regional Seismic Network) networks. The installation consists of a Wielandt/Streckeisen seismometer STS-2, a Reinhard DFT 1MV weather station, a Meinberg PZF509 DCF77 - clock, an EarthData PS2400 24Bit Digitiser and a SeisComBox with OpenWRT and SeisComP (Seismological Communication Processor) as data acquisition, processing and distribution system. LHZ Dayplot of GEOFON station STULHZ Dayplot of GEOFON station STU [pdf] / more at GEOFON  & GRSN

Park of the Villa Reitzenstein
Park of the Villa Reitzenstein

General information


Station Coordinates

Latitude: 48° 46 ' 14.41''
Longitude: 9° 11' 36.52''
Altitude: 360 meters

Location Description

The station is on the south-east edge of the valley in which Stuttgart is situated. There are administrative and residential buildings nearby. A main streetcar line is about 100 meters away. The main noise source to the horizontal components are cars moving or parking on a street almost directly above the seismometer vault. Have a look at the map.

 more interesting infos of the location on Schutzbauten Stuttgart e.V. [DE]

Seismologist in contact with the equipment

Retrieving data from STU

Data Management Center access


  • Recently also the ORFEUS data center has begun to distribute and archive STU data.


magnetic feedback system (blue cube) above the shielded STS-2 (silver foil) on the pillar in the basement of Villa Reitzenstein

Geologic situation

Piers are of concrete on hard triassic marls (middle Keuper km4). They are situated in an old air-raid shelter system about 20 meters below the local ground level. Have a look at the geologic map or a geologic cross section.


The station is equipped with a Wielandt/Streckeisen STS-2 broad-band seismometer. It represents a high-pass filter for the ground velocity with an eigenperiod of 120.7 seconds and 0.719 of critical damping. The transducer constant is 1500 Vs/m.

Data Acquisition System

The data acquisition system consists of an Earthdata PS24-6, controlling the analog to digital conversion and sampling. After sampling and filtering/decimating data is transferred to SeisComBox with OpenWRT(Linux) running a SeisComP software (Seismological Communication Processor) as data acquisition, processing and distribution system.

DCF time signal generator and signal processing computer of the GEOFON network
meteorological station for humidity, temperature, air pressure: Reinhardt DFT 1MV
meteorological station at STU for humidity, temperature, air pressure: Reinhardt DFT 1MV

Available Data Streams

The three seismometer components (Z,N,E) are sampled with 100 samples per second (SP) and 24 bit resolution and are provided as short period channels. From these four more data streams are derived by low pass filtering and decimation:
broad-band (VBB, 20 samples per second), long-period (LP, 1s interval), very-long-period (VLP, 10s interval) and ultra-long-period (ULP, 100s interval).


monthly plot of humidity, temperature, pressure of GEOFON station STU

monthly plot of Reinhard DFT data of Station STU



Karl Mack and August v. Schmidt install a seismic station at Hohenheim near Stuttgart following a recommendation by the seismological commission of Württemberg. Only the maximum amplitudes of the seismic signal were recorded.


The Earthquake of the 14th april at Ljubljana was successfully recorded.


The statistical office of Württemberg takes over the operation of the seismometer station at Hohenheim.


The station at Hohenheim achieves supraregional importance by being admitted to the International Seismological Association at Straßburg.


A new building at Hohenheim is erected and instrumentally equipped with mechanical seismographs. Their records are preserved in our archive.


Karl Mack retires. The station becomes part of the metereologic department of the statistical office of Württemberg. Its name is changed to metereologic and geophysical department. Wilhelm Hiller takes care of the earthquake station.


Installation of the seismometer station Stuttgart in the "Villa Reitzenstein" (now ministry of state).


Metereology is moved from the statistical office to the "Reichswetterdienst". The geophysical department remains managed by Wilhelm Hiller. The Hohenheim site is given up.


WWSSN station (World Wide Network of Standard Seismographs) is installed at Stuttgart.


The Stuttgart college of technology obtaines a professorship for geophysics. W. Hiller becomes professor and, in personal union, stays manager of the geophysical department at the statistical office. The institute moves to Richard-Wagner-Str. 44.


Wilhelm Hiller becomes emeritus.


Klaus Strobach succeeds W. Hiller at the Institute of Geophysics at the University of Stuttgart. The statistical office hands the geophysical department over to the university.


Klaus Strobach becomes emeritus. His successor is Erhard Wielandt.


The station becomes accessible via internet.

Have a look at some pictures of historic instruments at Stuttgart.


An STS-2 with the adjusting pole towards east. The seismometer is placed on a black gravestone (gabbro) which is part of the shield against air-pressure variations.

STS-2 with cotton wool

The seismometer is wrapped with cotton wool to prevent air convection and thus improve the thermal shielding.

cooking pot

The upper part of the air-pressure shield consist of a large cooking-pot which covers the seismometer. The pot is tightly attached to the gravestone by several screws. There is a seal between both parts.

cooking pot with cotton wool

Again there is some cotton wool wrapped around.

rescue sheet

Finally we use a radiation reflecting rescue sheet to finish the thermal shielding.

Helmholtz cube

As the station is situated within the city we experienced effects from currents induced in the earth by the public tramway. These currents drive magnetic fields which interact with the seismometer. To shield the seismometer from this fields we install a cube of three pairs of Helmholtz-coils. They are driven by an electronic feedback system with a three-component flux-gate as sensor. The flux-gate is missing in this picture but may be seen on top of the station STU seismometer.


The Helmholtz-cube isn't a very handy part. It was even too large for one of the doors.
This image shows Rudolf Widmer-Schnidrig

Rudolf Widmer-Schnidrig


Scientific Employee

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  • My main research interest is in low-frequency seismology: observing the elasto-gravitational free oscillations of the Earth to infer mantle and core structure. Since 2000 I work at the Black Forest Observatory (BFO) where we operate sensors to observe the entire geodynamic spectrum in gravity, strain and tilt. At BFO we also tested seismometers for the InSight mission to Mars and I am now involved in the analysis of these data to study the martian interior. Most recently I have also searched for the signature of compact dark matter objects (CDOs) in terrestrial gravimeter data.
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