Echosounder explores the underground in Hagen


Seismic measurements to explore the deep geothermal energy in Hagen

Seismic Vehicle Copyright: © Fraunhofer IEG

From Saturday, February 20th to February 24th, two seismic profile lines will be measured in the urban areas of Hagen, Dortmund, Herdecke and Schwerte on behalf of Kabel Premium Pulp & Paper GmbH from Hagen and the Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Infrastructure and Geothermal Energy IEG.

The 2D seismic campaign is part of an exploration program with the help of which the structure of the subsurface is examined. The aim is to find out whether the location in Hagen is suitable for technically and economically sensible use of geothermal energy at a depth of 4,000 m. Kabel Premium has set itself the goal of covering large parts of its process steam generation - currently around 500,000 MWh annually on the basis of natural gas - with renewable energies in the context of the research project "Geothermal Paper Drying" and the vision "Kabel ZERO". For this purpose, the geothermal resource - more precisely deep geothermal energy at around 4,000 m - is to be explored and characterized around the location in Hagen. "The project helps to shape the energy transition towards renewable energies and to replace part of the fossil natural gas currently required for paper drying and to reduce CO2 emissions," says Juha Ebeling, Managing Director of Kabel Premium Pulp & Paper GmbH.

The measuring principle
The seismic method works similarly to an echo sounder in seafaring; On the surface, special measuring vehicles generate artificial sound waves that are reflected on the various layers of rock in the underground. The reflected waves register sensitive measuring instruments, so-called geophones, on the earth's surface.

Measurements are made along two measuring sections - the so-called seismic profiles - which are each approx. 11 kilometers long. For a good underground model up to a depth of 4,000 meters, it is essential that the measuring lines are long enough to achieve a corresponding depth resolution in the central area. "There are no alternative methods of obtaining information about the subsurface at a depth of 4,000 meters," explains Dr. Oliver Ritzmann, geologist from Fraunhofer IEG.

While the first profile line runs from the northeast to the southwest, for the most part on the A1 autobahn (Schwerte driveway to the Eichenkamp rest area), the second profile line extends from Schwerte-Ergste in the southeast via Dortmund-Syburg and Herdecke to Dortmund-Kirchhörde in the northwest.

Further information is available on the Fraunhofer IEG website.