The functionality of underground laboratories (ULs) is widening from a single scientific field to multidisciplinary research infrastructures and research instruments themselves. The transition has not only been limited to science, but also businesses are more and more aware of the possibilities of ULs.
Underground laboratories can be found almost from every continent, providing a wide variety of geological and tectonic settings. They come in many shapes and sizes ranging from a few cubic meters to extensive underground tunnel networks.
In this thematic session, we concentrate on the underground laboratories themselves, what makes them tick, including characterisation of the facilities, administration and operations, services, risk analysis and management, and economic feasibility. Even though every underground laboratory has a unique infrastructure and set of activities, common operators, challenges and possibilities can also be identified, e.g. the lack of awareness of the underground laboratories within the scientific and business communities.
We invite all the underground laboratory networks, operators, managers, researchers and stakeholders, to contribute and introduce their research, infrastructures, characterisations, management and business models as well as future visions and exemplary user cases.

Public information:
Underground laboratories and test-sites come in many shapes and sizes. In this thematic session, some of the world´s underground laboratories and test-sites are presented by their representatives. Displays will also cover some of background information of the sites including characterisation practices, business models and service portfolios to better serve the current and future users of underground laboratories and test-sites.

Convener: Jari JoutsenvaaraECSECS | Co-conveners: Ossi Kotavaara, Vera LayECSECS, Andrus PaatECSECS, Vitali Shekov
| Attendance Thu, 07 May, 16:15–18:00 (CEST)

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Session materials Download all presentations (75MB)

Chat time: Thursday, 7 May 2020, 16:15–18:00

Chairperson: Jari Joutsenvaara
D770 |
Mats Ohlsson, Jari Joutsenvaara, Marcus Laaksoharju, and Eija-Riitta Niinikoski

Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network, BSUIN, consist of six participating Underground Laboratories (ULs) located in countries surrounding the Baltic Sea [http://bsuin.eu]. The BSUIN is a three-year project funded by the EU Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. 

The aim of the BSUIN project is that the participating ULs will find new or expand the current use of underground laboratories to enhance the power of innovation and regional development. The project focus on the characterisation of the geological and technical settings of the ULs, health and safety issues, and various aspects to build and support innovation and the formation of a permanent network of Underground Laboratories.

The BSUIN ULs consist of old mines or purpose-built underground facilities. The ULs are used for research concerning e.g. environmental, geoenergy, geotechnology, physics, material science and natural sciences. Education, events, tourism and farming is also activities hosted by ULs.

We will present the underground laboratories of the BSUIN network:

  • Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Oskarshamn, Sweden [http://www.skb.com/research-and-technology/laboratories/the-aspo-hard-rock-laboratory/],
  • Forschungs- und Lehrbergwerk - Research and Eduction Mine "Reiche Zeche", Freiberg, Germany [http://www.besucherbergwerk-freiberg.de/],
  • Callio Lab in Pyhäsalmi mine, Pyhäjärvi, Finland [calliolab.com/callio-lab],
  • KGHM S.A. mining company, Poland, together with their research organisation KGHM CUPRUM which proposes the construction of ULs located in one of the KGHM’s deep copper [http://www.cuprum.wroc.pl/],
  • The Low-Background underground laboratory of Khlopin Institute, St Petersburg, Russia [http://www.khlopin.ru/en/],
  • Ruskeala Marble quarry and Geopark in Sortavala, Karelia, Russia. [http://ruskeala.info/en].

How to cite: Ohlsson, M., Joutsenvaara, J., Laaksoharju, M., and Niinikoski, E.-R.: Six Underground Laboratories (ULs) Participating in the Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22403, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22403, 2020.

D771 |
Matthias Laubenstein

In order to explore the highest energy scales that cannot be reached with accelerators, underground laboratories provide the low radioactive background environment necessary to search for extremely rare phenomena. Experiments range from the direct search for dark matter that constitutes the largest fraction of matter in the Universe, to the exploration of the properties of the neutrinos, the most elusive of the known particles and which might be particle and antiparticle at the same time, and to the investigation on why our universe contains only matter and almost no antimatter, and much more.

The Gran Sasso underground laboratory is one of the four Italian national laboratories run by the INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare). It is located under the Gran Sasso massif, in central Italy. To date it is one of the largest underground laboratories for astroparticle physics in the world and the most advanced in terms of complexity and completeness of its infrastructures. The scientific program at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory (Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, LNGS) is mainly focused on astroparticle, particle and nuclear physics. The laboratory presently hosts many experiments as well as R&D activities, including world-leading research in the fields of solar neutrinos, dark matter, neutrinoless double-beta decay and nuclear cross-section measurements of astrophysical interest. Other branches of sciences like earth science, biology and fundamental physics complement the activities carried out. The laboratory is operated as an international science facility and hosts experiments whose scientific merit is assessed by an international advisory Scientific Committee. A review of the main experiments carried out at LNGS will be given, together with the most recent and relevant scientific results achieved.

How to cite: Laubenstein, M.: The Gran Sasso National Laboratory, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20808, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20808, 2020.

D772 |
Katrin Jaksch and Rüdiger Giese

Since 20 years the GFZ (German Research Centre for Geosciences) operates in an underground lab in the research and education mine Reiche Zeche at Freiberg in eastern Germany. This underground lab is used as testing lab for newly developed geophysical equipment and methods for 3D seismics. Therefore, in the underground space several galleries and boreholes can be used for seismic exploration in 2D and 3D approaches and for testing and validation of seismic acquisition equipment.

Now, a Helmholtz Innovation Lab will be established at the GFZ in Potsdam. The Helmholtz Innovation Lab 3D-Underground Seismic Lab (3D-US Lab) is a place where scientific expertise and the needs of industry and its customers will meet together. By involving partners from mining and tunnelling in joint development projects on a long-term basis and transferring approaches from research into commercially successful applications a sustainable 3D-US Lab will be established.

The 3D-US Lab bundles the seismic methods developed at the GFZ in a single technology platform, standardizes and modularizes them. It combines the technological and methodological developments in tunnel and borehole seismics for 3D seismic exploration of underground structures. The technology platform and the GFZ underground laboratory in Freiberg are of great interest for various partners from mining and tunnelling. In the long term the Helmholtz Innovation Lab aims to establish 3D underground seismics as a key technology for the effective and safe construction and use of underground buildings.

How to cite: Jaksch, K. and Giese, R.: Helmholtz Innovation Lab 3D-Underground Seismic Lab, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21709, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21709, 2020.

D773 |
Andrew Kingdon, Michael Spence, and Mark Fellgett

Addressing future energy challenges and new zero carbon targets will require increasing use of the subsurface. Utilising the subsurface with public consent requires impartial, independent and open data to adequately evaluate potential risks. De-risking of the subsurface is dependent on new standardised data, highly characterised locations and readily available subsurface experimental facilities to deliver the innovation needed.

To address this NERC and UKRI have provided funding to BGS to construct geoscience observatories at two UK locations to deliver new long-term research. Such observatories require the geology to be characterised in detail, to provide a database to baseline new hypothesis-led experimental science.

The observatories will benefit from a pre-existing database of high quality geoscience data to increase over the operational lifetime. Characterisation of each facility site has involved the integration of baseline monitoring, regional borehole data and where available 2D and 3D seismic which are beyond the limits of research budgets.  Once completed each observatory site will comprise a wide range of publicly available data including: fully-cored and characterised boreholes, facilities to baseline the regional groundwater environment, a set of new downhole sensors for time-series monitoring of geophysical and geological parameters served in real-time via the internet to anyone.

The construction phase of the UK Geoenergy Observatories (UKGEOs) Cheshire Energy Research Facility Site will begin construction in summer 2020. The site has been chosen at an accessible location in a sequence of scientifically and significant Triassic to Carboniferous strata. This sequence is typical of the sediments under much of northern England, included areas which have been explored for oil hydrocarbons. Up to 50 boreholes between 50–1200m depth will be drilled, with a combined length of up to 8000m, including 3000m of core and geophysical logging, including resistivity borehole imaging.

The boreholes will be split in arrays to characterise the region including: baseline groundwater, quantify the baseline seismicity down to near globally unique resolution of -0.6 to -1.0 M and characterising a volume of rock so it can then be dynamically parameterised with properties. This will become a default locations for synthesis and testing of new solutions to energy by becoming the basis for an experimental faculty where natural and anthropogenic perturbations can be undertaken and monitored.

UKGEOs will create a long-term experimental facility open for all scientists for experiments and testing of new subsurface technology. All materials recovered will be available for sampling with derived data and published research made available to create an ever-growing archive of data to facilitate future understanding.  

An immediate priority research question is the capacity for faults to act as conduits or barriers to subsurface fluid flow. This is a major concern to the public around hydrocarbon developments but is of critical relevance to any development of deep geothermal heat, subsurface storage of energy and gas or Carbon Capture and Storage. CERFS will provide the facilities to deliver such research and new insights.


How to cite: Kingdon, A., Spence, M., and Fellgett, M.: Cheshire Energy Research Facility Site (CERFS): A new experimental observatory location for geoscience energy research. , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11769, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-11769, 2020.

D774 |
Rauno Heikkilä, Jorma Hopia, and Anssi Rauhala

A study of Multi-Dimensional information modelling of underground tunnel spaces is introduced. As a reference model an international  standard of Building Information Modelling (BIM) supported by Building Smart is used. Specific Finnish guidelines for infrastructures including tunnels are used. As experimental case underground Pyhäsalmi Mine on North Finland was used. Three selected tunnel at level of 660 meter were used. The tunnels were measured using advanced 3D laser scanning technologies as well as photogrammetric imaging. Different examples of tunnel information models were created and analysed. Recommendations for future work how to develop tunnel information modelling towards more and more information rich  Multi-Dimensional information models are suggested.

How to cite: Heikkilä, R., Hopia, J., and Rauhala, A.: Multi-Dimensional Information Modelling Method for Underground Tunnel Spaces, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22309, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22309, 2020.

D775 |
Krzysztof Fulawka, Marcin Szumny, Witold Pytel, and Piotr Mertuszka

Underground laboratories, due to their unique location, are facilities with high research and educational potential. Development of old mine chambers or setting up of new mining panels designed strictly for research and educational purpose may contribute to the development of new mining technologies. One of the initiatives aimed to enhance of the underground space usage in Europe is BSUIN project conducted in the framework of INTERREG Baltic Sea Region program. At the moment there is only one underground laboratory designed fully for research and development purposes i.e. Experimental Mine Barbara lead by Central Mining Institute of Poland. But still, there are several dozen active underground mines working in Poland. Unfortunately, the large scale of the mined-out area contributes to the generation of relatively high seismicity around mining regions. Due to safety reasons management of Polish underground mines in most cases do not allow to build such a facility like underground laboratories in close vicinity of active mining works.

Within this paper, the prototype of an underground laboratory affected by additional seismic load was prepared in condition of Polish underground copper mine. Changes in total displacement and stresses around newly created chambers with use of FEM-based numerical modelling were determined. In result possibility of setting up of underground facility under dynamic load condition was determined.

How to cite: Fulawka, K., Szumny, M., Pytel, W., and Mertuszka, P.: Conceptual design of underground laboratory under dynamic load condition in deep copper mine, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4437, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4437, 2020.

D776 |
Katarzyna Szkliniarz, Kinga Polaczek-Grelik, Agata Walencik-Łata, Jan Kisiel, Toni Mueller, Falk Schreiter, and Robert Hildebrandt

The Reiche Zeche mine is one, out of 6 Underground Laboratories (ULs) participating in the BSUIN (Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network) project. The main goal of BSUIN is to improve the utilisation of Underground laboratories operating in the Baltic Sea Region by creating an umbrella organisation, an association, to represent the underground locations. To improve the utilisation the Uls, the sites have been characterized to understand the possibilities of the sites. Of of the studied characteristics is natural background radiation. The Reiche Zeche mine is located at a depth of 150 m (410 m w.e.) in the eastern part of the Erzgebirge Mountains, Germany. The measurements of natural background radiation (NBR) were performed: (1) in-situ by using portable HPGe semiconductor spectrometer and RAD7 electronic radon detector, and (2) in the laboratory, where the concentration of radioisotopes in water and rock samples was determined. The laboratory measurements were done in the Institute of Physics, University of Silesia (Poland) by using a liquid scintillation α/β counter (LSC), gamma-ray spectrometry and α-particle spectrometry. The obtained results of natural radioactivity in Reiche Zeche (BSUIN UL) will be presented.

How to cite: Szkliniarz, K., Polaczek-Grelik, K., Walencik-Łata, A., Kisiel, J., Mueller, T., Schreiter, F., and Hildebrandt, R.: Characteristics of natural radiation background at the Research and Education mine Reiche Zeche (Germany) performed within the BSUIN project., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2980, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2980, 2020.

D777 |
| Highlight
Ossi Kotavaara, Jari Joutsenvaara, Eija-Riitta Niinikoski, Pertti Martinmäki, and Ursula Heinikoski

Globally there are various underground facilities or laboratories, which are commonly located in active or closed mines, in tunnel systems or they are built for this specific purpose. There are also a vast number of study groups and researches within several disciplines utilising resources of these facilities. The Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network (BSUIN) develops six such facilities, all having unique characteristics and operational settings. In developing underground laboratories, understanding characteristics, needs and accessibility of research communities applying these facilities is crucial. Aim of this study is to product new knowledge in this field, by analysing research published by this community. Geographic information systems (GIS) is applied to scrutinise the metadata of scientific literature databases. There is a great deal of published research having connection to underground facilities. For example, between years 2009-2018, Scopus database covers over 13,000 articles by over 40,000 authors. Preliminary analysis indicates that a wide variety of disciplines, such as engineering, earth and planet sciences, environmental sciences, physics and astronomy, as well as energy, material, computer and social sciences, are active within underground themes. In the analysis, publication specific data are compiled from literature databases, research units located globally by geocoding and data is organised for geographic and temporal analysis. By discipline information and indexed research fields and themes, patterns of global research trends within underground studies are explored. Results will indicate how distribution of study fields is organised, visualise the strength and activity of different disciplines and show the key temporal elements in development of research. This data enables also to extend the analysis to cover also the networked characteristics of research and researchers within underground laboratories.

How to cite: Kotavaara, O., Joutsenvaara, J., Niinikoski, E.-R., Martinmäki, P., and Heinikoski, U.: Global network of underground research – Literature metadata analysis by Geographic Information Systems (GIS), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20255, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20255, 2020.

D778 |
| Highlight
Päivi Aro and Helena Ahola


The purpose of this case study is to describe the process of developing business models for the underground labs (ULs) and their network in a Baltic Sea Interreg project (BSUIN). The RQs are the following:

  • What kind of business models the ULs in the project have?
  • How could their business models be developed by focusing on specific customer segments and services and their value propositions?
  • What kind of business model(s) could serve best the network of ULs?

Professional services, such as ULs also offer, can be characterized by high labour content, high customization and high customer contact. The distinguishing feature of these services is also their knowledge-intensive nature. Business model describes the logic of how a company intends to make money.  Business Model Canvas is a useful tool for describing, analyzing and designing business models. At the core in the business model is Value Proposition. The value proposition describes the benefits customers can expect from the services and products.

Service Design was used as an approach in the project. It is a mindset, a process, a toolset, a cross-disciplinary language and a human-centred management approach. Data was gathered by facilitating Service Design workshops and analyzed by qualitative methods. The research process consisted of three phases: 1) describing and analyzing the existing business models of the ULs 2) developing business models of the ULs focusing on specific customer segments and services and their value propositions, and 3) developing business models for the network of the ULs.

In the Exploration workshops the business models of the ULs were described and analyzed. It can be concluded that paying customer segments are few in number, and fixed costs are significant. Each UL is unique having specific know-how, expertise and infrastructure. 

In Creation workshops the focus was on specific customer segments and services and their value propositions. The outcomes of the workshops were promising and recommendations for the ULs were made. ULs should look for new customer segments and create new services and value propositions. In addition, they should create and describe business models for the chosen customer segments and services.

In Reflection workshops business models for the network of the ULs were developed. The focus was particularly on core, supporting and additional services of the ULs. The core (essential) services are research infrastructure, underground infrastructure, site characterization and wide expertise for underground projects. A generic business model for the network was described based on the data, results, analyses and feedback of all the previous workshops.

It is challenging to develop business models for the ULs because they have not been business oriented. Every UL is unique, and the expertise is related to underground sciences. Business orientation would offer them an opportunity to boost underground scientific research which is the key element in the business model.

How to cite: Aro, P. and Ahola, H.: Developing Business Models for the Underground Labs, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-1451, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-1451, 2019.

D779 |
Rüdiger Giese and Katrin Jaksch

The Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network BSUIN is a European research project funded by Interreg Baltic Sea Region. The BSUIN network consists of six underground laboratories in Finland, Sweden, Russia, Poland and Germany with associated business and research partners. Each of the underground laboratories is unique in its geology, underground space and use. The BSUIN aims to build up a platform for innovative research and business concepts for the use of underground infrastructures and also especially for applications after completion of mining activities.

For an innovation management it is important to identify research and application fields in underground labs for the present but also research areas of interest in the future. Also it is significant to define the relevant research fields, which are more likely to result in innovations and business applications.

Within BSUIN an innovation platform concept will be established as a guideline for innovation management and support for the innovation processes. For that purpose we questioned aspects of the use of underground labs for users from several kind of customers and users from research and business of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Here we present an overview of the evaluation of the questionnaire. What are the main aspects which are important for the use of underground labs for research and innovation and especially for business activities? Within BSUIN a concept of an innovation platform concept will be integrated in the BSUIN web based tool. This will allow to apply innovation keywords to site-specific research activities in each BSUIN mine.

How to cite: Giese, R. and Jaksch, K.: Innovation Management of BSUIN Underground Laboratories, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21767, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-21767, 2020.

D780 |
Toni Mueller, Helmut Mischo, Vera Lay, and Stefan Buske

The Reiche Zeche mine is a unique location for research and education. Since 1919, the former ore mine is used for educating and training of miners, engineers and mine surveyors by the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. Drifts and tunnels of the mine stretch over several kilometres at depths down to 230 m. Today, the Reiche Zeche mine plays a major role in mining research and related activities including various research institutes and industrial partners. Several underground test facilities and laboratories are in use and important in university education. A variety of local (15 institutes of TU Bergakademie Freiberg) and external partners (30 from 26 countries) are actively shaping research and education in the mine. Within the framework of the Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network (BSUIN http://bsuin.eu), we aim at forming an efficient platform for future, innovative research and business activities in underground laboratories.

How to cite: Mueller, T., Mischo, H., Lay, V., and Buske, S.: Research and Education Mine Reiche Zeche in Freiberg, Germany, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8989, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8989, 2020.

D781 |
Galina Borodulina

Ruskeala underground laboratory was organized jointly by the Karelian Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KarRC RAS) and Kolmas Karelia company as an experimental innovative facility for the study of underground spaces. KarRC RAS is a partner in the Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network (BSUIN) project of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. Ruskeala quarries can act as a showcase of the transformation of the chemical composition of groundwater formed in Proterozoic calcareous rocks of the Fennoscandian Shield and exposed by open mining. Drillholes reveal weakly alkaline fresh (0.4 g/l) bicarbonate calcium-magnesium groundwater, which, when discharged in quarries, loses dissolved gases (CO2, He, Rn), becomes more alkaline and fresher due to atmospheric precipitation. Since the biota in the man-made reservoirs is poor, nitrates, as the final product of the transformation of nitrogen compounds brought in by surface runoff, can accumulate in the quarry water. The mine network provides a unique opportunity for studying the hydrodynamics and geochemistry of groundwater and its interaction with surface waters.

The study was supported by BSUIN project of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme

How to cite: Borodulina, G.: Ruskeala underground laboratory for the study of natural waters (Karelia, Russia), EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22053, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-22053, 2020.

D782 |
| Highlight
Andrus Paat and Veiko Karu

The Underground laboratories (Uls) due to their unique conditions can be used in many ways - as machinery test site by industrial equipment providers, for scientific and technical equipment testing, as test site for various experiments for instance in particle and nuclear physics, for food production, for safety personnel trainings, for data storage purposes etc. In order to use underground spaces for various purposes, you have to know what underground working conditions are. Depending on location, depth, and other characteristics the working conditions and requirements in every underground facility are different.

We present an overview of the underground working environment in six different Uls. Named Uls locates in different EU countries and have different national regulations and requirements. We conducted a common standard of underground working environment what acts as the minimum level on which the working environment must meet. We mapped working environment conditions in such topics as ownership and regulation, air and water quality, safety and monitoring in ULs, lighting requirements, noise, vibration and radiation measurements, including risks and monitoring. The results are based on held questionnaire and data collection tour, which was carried out among six Uls.

Additionally, we will highlight the best practices and experiences that Uls have implemented in order to improve their working conditions. These best practices are usually more than the national laws and regulations have requested. The collected practices will help to set new higher standards of the working environment for the other Uls to aim at. The best practices are based on held questionnaire and data collection tour, which was carried out among in six Uls. By sharing the best practices among the Uls will lead to knowledge transfer and implementation of better working conditions where new practices can be applied.

The minimum working environment conditions and the best practices are part of the Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network, BSUIN, project, which is funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme

How to cite: Paat, A. and Karu, V.: Working environment: requirements and restrictions at Underground laboratories, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2891, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2891, 2020.

D783 |
Andrei Ivanov, Kirill Shekov, Vitali Shekov, Krzysztof Fuławka, and Witold Pytel

The underground space, which is not used for mining purposes, now serves more like a room for storing various goods, for organizing the production of goods, as mining museums, etc.

Using such space creates some dualism in its maintenance. On the one hand, it is simply an underground space, used as a storage, on the other hand the characteristics of this space are completely dependent on the natural conditions and properties of the rocks surrounding the mining workings. This is especially true for mining space used as mining museums, where it is unacceptable to cover mining workings walls with solid concrete support that will simply destroy the authenticity of the object. Whether it is necessary to have a mining engineer in the staff of such a museum?

The authors hold to the concept that regulations for the use of each underground space for use as a museum must be developed by professionals, but this space should be managed by ordinary museum workers, just as it is not necessary to be a professional mechanic to drive a car.

Besides the air conditioning, removing the water one of the most serious problems in the use of unsupported underground space is the control of the stability of the roof and walls of the workings to provide safety for visiting this museum people.

The authors propose some solutions to control the stability of mining workings using instrumental observation methods developed specifically for unprofessional workers in such underground museums.

How to cite: Ivanov, A., Shekov, K., Shekov, V., Fuławka, K., and Pytel, W.: Safety issues when using a museums in unused mining workings, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-20188, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-20188, 2020.

D784 |
Marcin Szumny, Krzysztof Fuławka, and Piotr Mertuszka

Development of the new mining technologies is inherently connected with scientific researches. In many cases, there must be done in very specific and demanding conditions what is possible in underground laboratories only. These facilities can be located in tunnels or chambers deep below the surface. In this kind of underground objects very specific and sophisticated scientific devices are often used. Modern technical equipment is frequently very sensitive and must be protected from various undesirable factors e.g. vibrations. During the lifetime of some underground facilities, located in the hard rocks there  could be the necessity to perform works where explosives have to be applied. One of the unwanted effects of explosives usage in rock is generation of the seismic waves.Vibrations inducted by seismic wavescan generate additional seismic load on the support of the underground facility and damage sensitive scientific devices. In this kind of blasting works, called caution blasting, there are strict restrictions for maximum vibration level that cannot be exceeded. In these kind of situations there must be used explosives and technologies that ensure fulfilling these kinds demands and restrictions. In this paper, prepared in the framework of in The Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network (BSUIN) project, there are shown some solutions that could be applied during blasting works perform in the vicinity of protected facilities.

How to cite: Szumny, M., Fuławka, K., and Mertuszka, P.: Cautions blasting in vicinity of underground laboratories, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4443, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-4443, 2020.

D785 |
Vitali Shekov and Andrei Ivanov

Abstract. The use of parametric modeling, similar to BIM (Building Information Model) technology, widely used now in the building construction industry, and very interesting to use this approach in documenting and modeling underground space.

Unlike construction sites, not reinforced tunnels and underground workings have a very large specific associated with the properties of the surrounding rocks, which are described by specific technical and physical parameters, taking into account their resistance over a long period while using them for the purpose of extracting a useful fossil.

Geotechnical modules built into Autodesk products are designed to solve specific problems in the construction of concrete tunnels and other facilities related to the bowels. A geological model in that module is a collection of AutoCAD® Civil 3D® triangulation models (planar surfaces) that display the top and bottom of geological layers, indicating the thickness of the geological layer and tracing the boundaries of the surfaces. Solid-state models are formed only at the locations of geological wells, illustrating their composition using conditional 3D AutoCAD® bodies constructed in accordance with good patterns.

Authors of this presentation propose the primitive families for the description of the geological and structural composition of rocks around the not reinforced tunnels are being developed for the Autodesk Civil 3D and Revit program.

At the same time the use of the FreeCAD program, which supports the exchange of parametric data in the IFC (Industrial Foundation Classes) format, can be also very promising, which means that the primitives developed in this program can be used in the Autodesk software too.

Parametric models of rock in the workings can play the role of the information model while calculating the stress, deformations, heat distribution and other physical fields for different technical applications. As an Open Source software with sufficiently developed tools for modeling and parametric description of models based on information modeling, with a certain adaptation, FreeCAD program can be used for this tasks, it can also be used as the basis for creating a unified information system for underground laboratories at different scale of accuracy needed for any calculations.

How to cite: Shekov, V. and Ivanov, A.: The use of parametric modeling as the geological description of the surrounding rocks in the workings., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-14254, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-14254, 2020.

D786 |
Sebastian Rehde and Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Heinz Konietzky

Underneath the small town of Freiberg, Saxony, stretches the ore mine complex 'Reiche Zeche'. The underground laboratory (URL) inside the mine was inaugurated in 1919 and is an internationally acknowledged institution for experimental work of variable scales and subjects. Our work is part of the Stimtec project, which aims on improving planning and conducting hydraulic stimulation in anisotropic, crystalline rocks. The project comprises numerical modelling and field work inside the URL. Prior to the numerical analysis, we implemented a tool to perform a slip tendency analysis of faults that were mapped along the tunnel walls at the project site. It allows to assess the slip tendency of arbitrarily oriented faults and stress fields. The tool is used for preselection of stimulation intervals, enabling identification of faults which are likely to be reactivated by hydraulic stimulation.
We perform the stress field modelling using a multiscale numerical model approach. Therefore, we set up three different sized models deriving from a large scale 3D geomodel. The geomodel contains the topography, drifts and 47 fault structures taken from mine maps. The project site and measurement points are positioned in the center of the model. From the large scale geomodel, we developed a simplified numerical model geometry with 12 major faults, disregarding the galleries. We use the distinct element code 3DEC for discontinuous numerical modelling of the stress field. This allows to take into account discrete displacements along the faults. Far field stress is taken from previous investigations and literature as boundary and initial conditions. The resulting stress  field provides the stress tensors for calculating the corresponding forces for each gridpoint at the model boundaries of the small scale model. The small scale numerical model is smaller by a factor of 10, including two major fault segments, the galleries and mapped local faults. Hydraulic fracturing stress measurements taken during the field tests indicate that the stress field is strongly distorted in the vicinity of the tunnels and excavations along the ore veins. Hence, we developed a third model approach, a 2.5D slice model, to investigate the influence of the assumed excavation damage zones.
With this work, we provide an approach to predict the stress field inside the complex, anisotropic rock volume. Within the framework of the Stimtec project, we developed a workflow for planning hydraulic stimulation tests and 3D geological models for a diverse set of further appliations in the URL 'Reiche Zeche'.

How to cite: Rehde, S. and Konietzky, P. Dr.-Ing. H. H.: Multiscale 3D stress field modelling for the URL 'Reiche Zeche' using a discontinuum model approach, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8120, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-8120, 2020.

D787 |
Audrey Bonnelye, Pierre Dick, Stefan Lüth, Jan Henninges, Grzegorz Kwiatek, Anja Scleicher, Alexandre Dimanov, Jérôme Fortin, and Fabrice Cotton

The understanding of the coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of fault zones is of fundamental importance for a variety of societal and economic reasons, such as the sustainable energy transition for the safe use of natural resources (energy storage, nuclear waste disposal or geothermal energy). The overall objective of this inter-disciplinary project is to create a dataset that will allow to highlight the physical processes resulting from a thermal and hydric load on an existing, identified and characterized fault zone.


An in situ experiment will be performed at IRSN’s Tournemire Underground Research Laboratory to evaluate the hydraulic properties and mechanical behaviour of a fault zone in a shale formation due to an increase of gas or water pressure under incremental thermal loading. This fracturing field tests will be conducted using four types of boreholes drilled from the URL : (i) one injection borehole (INJ) with one chamber measuring 10 m in length; (ii) four boreholes (H1 to H4) dedicated to host steel canister electrical heaters, (iii) 5 boreholes (S1 to S5) dedicated to the geophysical monitoring of seismic and aseismic fracturing processes, (iv) two to four boreholes (M1 to M4) to record deformation and estimate fracture location, which will help assess the seismic survey. After an initial saturation phase of the chamber, successive sequences of fluid injection tests are planned. The preliminary injection tests will be done stepwise either at constant flow or at constant pressure rate in order to obtain a steady-state flow regime at normal in situ temperatures. The hydraulic conductivity and permeability of the fault zone will be then inferred. A second stage of hydraulic testing will involve the determination of the main hydraulic parameters during a stepwise increase of temperature within the volume (maximum temperature 150°C). In the meantime, the seismological responses of the injected structures, from the static deformation to the high-frequency (100-kHz) acoustic emissions will be surveyed. The evolution of temperature and deformation will be monitored thanks to fibre optic array. In addition, a controlled seismic experiment is proposed, using coupled magnetostrictive vibrators to investigate the structural environment before and after experiment.


Moreover, to accompany the field study, a series of laboratory experiments will be conducted to understand the chemical and structural evolution occurring within fault zones during the thermal and hydraulic loading. Experiments in climatic chambers exposing the samples to the same heat treatment as that of the in situ experiment will be carried out in order to compare the mineralogical composition evolution of the samples with those taken from the field investigated zone. Finally, a rock mechanical study, from the microscopic to the centimeter scale with monitoring of the acoustic properties will be carried out. This study will include experiments from Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) allowing the identification of the micro-scale mechanisms of deformation localization to which it is planned to add an acoustic measurement system. In order to study the evolution of mechanical behaviour as a function of scale, experiments in triaxial press, again with acoustic monitoring, are planned.

How to cite: Bonnelye, A., Dick, P., Lüth, S., Henninges, J., Kwiatek, G., Scleicher, A., Dimanov, A., Fortin, J., and Cotton, F.: CHENILLE : Coupled beHaviour undErstaNdIng of fauLts : from the Laboratory to the fiEld, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-13477, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-13477, 2020.

D788 |
Carolin Boese, joerg Renner, and Georg Dresen and the STIMTEC Team

Between early 2018 and late 2019 the STIMTEC hydraulic stimulation experiment was performed at ca.~130 m below surface at the Reiche Zeche research mine in Freiberg, Saxony/Germany. The project aims at gaining insight into the creation and growth of fractures in anisotropic and heterogeneous crystalline rock units, to develop and optimise hydraulic stimulation techniques and to control the associated induced seismicity under in situ conditions at the mine-scale. These aspects of failure and associated seismicity are important for the development of enhanced geothermal energy systems. We present the infrastructure developed for the STIMTEC experiment and provide an overview of the obtained data, including 295 m of core material retrieved from 17 boreholes, 225 m of acoustic TV log, >50 TB of continuous passive seismic data from four field stimulation and hydraulic testing campaigns, as well as ~300 active velocity calibration measurements.

We highlight some of the first results regarding the hydro-mechanical and seismic response to the stimulation, the rock mass characterisation in-situ and in the laboratory, as well as 3-D numerical modelling of the stress state and fracturing. The heterogeneity and anisotropy of the strongly foliated metamorphic gneiss significantly affects fracture creation and propagation in the experiment.

How to cite: Boese, C., Renner, J., and Dresen, G. and the STIMTEC Team: The STIMTEC experiment at the Reiche Zeche ULab, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-14117, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-14117, 2020.

D789 |
Karol Jedrzejczak, Marcin Kasztelan, Jacek Szabelski, Przemysław Tokarski, Jerzy Orzechowski, Włodzimierz Marszał, and Marika Przybylak

The BSUIN (Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network) aims to enhance the accessibility of the underground laboratories in the Baltic Sea region for innovation, business and science. One of the BSUIN project activities is characterization of natural background radiation (NBR) in underground facilities. A specific type of NRB is neutron radiation, whose measurement requires specific instruments and long-term exposure in-situ, in heavy underground conditions.

In this talk the method of natural neutron radiation background will be presented as well as results of pilot measurements in several underground locations. In order to make this measurements, a measuring setup was designed and made. The setup design is closely matched to the task: the setup is scalable in a wide range, completely remotely controlled (via the Internet) and capable of long-term operation (months).

The pilot measurements were performed in Callio Lab, Pyhäsalmi, Finland, (4100 m w.e.), in Reiche Zeche mine in Freiberg, Germany (410 m w.e.) and in Experimental Mine “Barbara” in Mikołów, Poland (100 m w.e).

How to cite: Jedrzejczak, K., Kasztelan, M., Szabelski, J., Tokarski, P., Orzechowski, J., Marszał, W., and Przybylak, M.: Characteristics of natural neutron radiation background performed within the BSUIN project., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-3353, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-3353, 2020.

D790 |
Jan Kisiel, Kinga Polaczek-Grelik, Katarzyna Szkliniarz, Agata Walencik-Łata, Jari Joutsenvaara, Hannah Puputti, Marko Holma, and Timo Enquist

The BSUIN (Baltic Sea Underground Innovation Network) aims to enhance the accessibility of the underground laboratories in the Baltic Sea region for innovation, business and science. One of the BSUIN project activities is characterization of natural background radiation (NBR) in underground facilities. In this talk results from NBR measurements performed in Callio Lab, Pyhäsalmi, Finland, at the depth of 4100 m w.e. will be presented. The in-situ gamma spectra were collected with the use of  HPGe semiconductor spectrometer, whereas the  concentration of radon were measured with RAD7 electronic detector. In addition, the water and rock samples were taken for laboratory analysis in Institute of Physics, University of Silesia, Poland. The concentration radioisotopes in water samples were performed by using a liquid scintillation α/β counter (LSC) and α-particle spectrometry, while the concentration of radioisotopes in rock samples were performed by using laboratory gamma ray spectrometry and also α-particle spectrometry.

How to cite: Kisiel, J., Polaczek-Grelik, K., Szkliniarz, K., Walencik-Łata, A., Joutsenvaara, J., Puputti, H., Holma, M., and Enquist, T.: Characteristics of natural radiation background at the Callio Lab (Finland) performed within the BSUIN project, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-2979, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu2020-2979, 2020.