In this project, exploration and evaluation strategies are being further developed with regard to hydrogeological characterisation through the combined use of innovative reflection seismic methods and geoelectrical / electromagnetic methods.
Drinking water suppliers are facing increasingly complex challenges in the development of new groundwater resources. On the one hand, a fundamentally increasing demand for water with simultaneously changing conditions in the course of climate change leads to competing interests between different actors in the use of existing resources - e.g. drinking water supply, agricultural production and environmental protection. On the other hand, drinking water development must be designed in such a way that it enables safe and sustainable management of groundwater reservoirs at an economically justifiable cost.
The hydrogeological exploration effort is typically high in areas where we have complex geological conditions or where were we have little geological knowledge. This applies in particular to northern Germany with its complicated near-surface geological situation shaped by the ice ages. Up to now, the standard exploration method for new wells has consisted of the drilling of selective exploration wells, their evaluation, spatial correlation and the creation of a conceptual subsurface model based on this. This approach is associated with considerable uncertainties, as the one-dimensional information provided by boreholes must be sufficient as a proxy for the three-dimensional hydrological characterisation of an area. Detailed information that would allow a well-founded risk assessment with regard to conflicts of use, possible pathways for contaminants but also the possibility of groundwater salinisation as a result of management by different users is lacking.
Thus, it is necessary to develop robust, economically applicable methods with which the structures in the subsurface can be reliably imaged in 3D; the focus should be on effective, if possible non-invasive methods. The primary goal of the OGER project is to test various promising geophysical methods with regard to their hydrogeological informative value in order to generate improved geological 3D models. A special focus will be put on future hydrogeological exploration in urban areas. The development of an economically viable workflow for structural geological exploration should enable a reduction in cost-intensive drilling while at the same time gaining more information.
Funded by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt