Salt deposits as reservoir and storage space: research and development in subsurface and solution mining activities
Convener: Bettina Strauch | Co-conveners: Dieter Brückner, Veerle Vandeginste
| Attendance Mon, 08 Apr, 16:15–18:00
Hall X1

Within the last decades, not only the technology of salt production and the range of its uses have largely developed ‒ also the technical options of experimental and field investigations have improved intensely. This calls for a joint focus: both, salt industry and research are needed to capture and discuss new challenges to the usage of salt deposits.
Depending on the application, the unique characteristics of salt deposits ‒ low permeability, mainly high water solubility and the visco-plastic behavior ‒ can be either an advantage or a challenge. The high water solubility of salt rock offers the option to construct salt solution caverns, the impermeability allows for the temporary storage of various energy-rich fluids – a concept that contributes to a stable energy supply in the course of fluctuating availabilities from renewables. Waste disposal in salt benefits from impermeability to assure a safe long term storage. On the other hand, the occurrence of pressurized gas and migrating waters present potential risks for mining activities.
The session welcomes contributions presenting studies and applications of the numerous aspects related to subsurface reservoir exploitation, solution mining, cavern operation and waste disposal in salt deposits – from “still under debate” to “tested and practiced”. This includes geophysical, geomechanical, hydrological, and geochemical investigations as well as modelling approaches and geotechnical advances in the broad context of process understanding and monitoring which contribute to an increasing environmental and work safety and a sustainable utilization of salt deposits.