The Bavarian Molasse Basin constitutes the most important area for geothermal energy extraction in Germany, in the short as well as in the medium run. The scientific monitoring and the networking of research and application projects are essential to the success of heat and power generation.

Stadtwerke München Services GmbH (SWM) generates the basis for an area-wide exploitation of a large geothermal concession that covers the southern part of the city of greater Munich in a project called GRAME (optimized and sustainable reservoir development of deep geothermal sites in the Bavarian Molasse). It is projected that approximately 50 wells will extract ~400 MWth and will be part of the significant contribution of CO2 reduction in Germany. Pending questions for such a large-scale project comprise the reconnaissance and characterization of the subsurface, the design of the facilities on the surface and acceptance by the public.

An important aspect of the subsurface investigation is the implementation of a 3D seismic survey covering 170 km2 the southern part of Munich. It will clarify the following geoscientific questions:

  • What are the geological and hydrogeological characteristics of the reservoir to guarantee its sustainable use?
  • Under which conditions can heat extraction of 400 MW be carried out in one concession without unwanted interference of the single wells and also the neighbouring concessions?

The Project GeoParaMoL

GeoParaMol provides scientific assistance to GRAME, in collaboration with Erdwerk GmbH and the Institute for Energy Systems at the Technische Universität München. It focuses on the open questions of the SWM project:

„A major prerequisite for an effective and sustainable pattern of wells is the most accurate knowledge of the geology deduced from 3D seismic surveys. Especially the spatial distribution of the lithofacies consisting of reef complexes and intercalated basins seems to play a key role in the productivity of wells. However, also large fault systems may influence the hydraulic behavior of wells by decoupling of aquifers, if they show a large throw.”

The topics of this project are appropriate to enhance the conclusiveness of seismic data, even in the absence of borehole information for calibration and to deliver the geophysical parameter for the realization of the GRAME project. In detail, GeoParaMoL focuses on 4 working subjects:

  1. Develoment and testing of methods for seismic attribute analysis, diffraction imaging and velocity determination together with the appropriate visualization.
  2. Use of shear (S)-waves to support facies interpretation, to determine s-wave velocity field and to deduce the elastic parameters.
  3. Thermal-hydraulic modelling to estimate the spatial interference of production and injection wells in their long-term behavior.
  4. Retrodeformation to predict the transmissibility, based on deformation analysis.


Buness, H., von Hartmann, H., Lüschen, E., Meneses Rioseco, E., Wawerzinek, B., Ziesch, J. & Thomas, R. (2016): GeoParaMoL: Eine Integration verschiedener Methoden zur Reduzierung des Fündigkeitsrisikos in der bayrischen Molasse, Geothermische Energie, 85, 22-23.

Edelmann, H. & Schmoll, J. (1983): Scherwellenseismik. PRAKLA-SEISMOS Report 3+4, 6-17.

Lüschen, E., Wolfgramm, M., Fritzer, T., Dussel, M., Thomas, T. & Schulz, R. (2014): 3D seismic survey explores geothermal targets for reservoir characterization at Unterhaching, Munich, Germany. Geothermics 50, 167-179.

Schulz, R. & Thomas, R. (Hrsg.) Mit Beiträgen von Dussel, M., Lüschen, E. et al. (2012): Geothermische Charakterisierung von karstig-klüftigen Aquiferen im Großraum München – Endbericht. – LIAG-Bericht, Archiv-Nr. 130 392, 98S.; Hannover.

Ziesch, J., Tanner, D.C., Beilecke, T. & Krawczyk, C.M. (2015): Prediction of sub-seismic faults and fractures to ensure carbon traps - joint project PROTECT. European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2015, Vienna, Austria.

Ziesch, J., Tanner, D.C., & Krawczyk, C.M. (2017): Sub-seismic pathway prediction by 3-D structural restoration and strain analysis based on seismic interpretation. - AAPG, accepted.

Project Team

  • Dr. Ernesto Meneses Rioseco
  • Dr. Hartwig von Hartmann
  • Dr. Britta Wawerzinek
  • Dr. Jennifer Ziesch



01.05.2015 - 31.12.2018