Geophysical processes continuously influence our living conditions. Visible witnesses of the Earths’ dynamics are earthquakes, volcanism, melting of ice masses, increase of sea level, and also the current large decline of the geomagnetic shield as well as fluctuations in global temperature and water vapour distribution. An accurate measurement and continuous monitoring of these effects is essential to our understanding of cause and effect of underlying geophysical processes. Only through this knowledge, we can better understand their impact on our environment and hence learn about the consequences of the varying physical constraints on Earth.

The Conrad Observatory is a geophysical observatory for monitoring important physical parameters of our planet. It is named after the Austrian geophysicist Victor Conrad (1876 - 1962), who worked for many years at the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamic (ZAMG) in Vienna. It is located 50km southwest of Vienna, Austria, in a nature reserve on the Trafelberg, at an altitude of just above 1000m. The observatory is almost entirely underground and guarantees, among other things, constant temperature for all applied techniques. With its range of supported measurement techniques, instrumentation and the layout of the underground facilities, the Conrad Observatory represents a unique research and development location for earth scientists of all disciplines.

Entrance of the SGO

The Conrad Observatory includes two main facilities:

(1) The seismo-gravimetric observatory (SGO) was offically opened in 2002.

(2) The geomagnetic observatory (GMO) was offically opened in 2014.

The basic task for each Earth observatory is the observation of physical relevant parameters, which are crucial to our understanding of processes on Earth. At the Conrad Observatory earthquake activity (seismology), changes in gravity and mass distribution, geomagnetic field variations, geodetic parameters, atmospheric waves and meteorological data are continuously monitored. Observatories are characterized by long term recording in widely stable measurement conditions. In addition to observation, the Conrad Observatory provides several piers, socket and drilling holes for instrument development, calibration and research projects. National and international groups are welcome to use observational data as well as instrument facilities for research and development.