Making the invisible visible
Geophysical measuring processes based on seismic and gravimetric methods provide basic information about the location, extent and depth of salt deposits such as salt layers or salt domes.
Exploratory and subsequent cavern drilling produces drill cuttings and core samples. These provide additional information about the geological structure. Geophysical borehole measurements (logs) provide further information about the structure of the salt formations that have been drilled through.
Tests of selected salt cores ultimately lead to recommendations for leaching and cavern sizing:
- Determining the leaching speed and the amount of insoluble material (see „Solution mining technology“)
- Pressure tests to determine the rock strength and deformation (see „Rock mechanics“).
Geological 3D-models based on the information obtained from the tests visualise the sometimes complex internal structure of the salt formation. In this way, suitable cavern sites can be determined while minimising the geological risk involved in cavern well drilling.
All of these measures are designed to create safe and successful large-scale caverns.