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01.12.2013 | Special Issue | Ausgabe 8/2013

Environmental Earth Sciences 8/2013

The deep geothermal potential of the Berlin area

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 8/2013
Autoren:
Oliver Kastner, Judith Sippel, Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth, Ernst Huenges

Abstract

In this study, we model the geothermal potential of deep geological formations located in the Berlin region in Germany. Berlin is situated in a sedimentary geological setting (northeastern German basin), comprising low-enthalpic aquifers at horizons down to 4–5 km depth. In the Berlin region, the temperature increases almost linearly with depth by about 30 K per kilometer, thus allowing for direct heating from deep aquifer reservoirs in principle. Our model incorporates eight major sedimentary units (Jurassic, Keuper, Muschelkalk, Upper/Middle/Lower Buntsandstein, Zechstein Salt and Sedimentary Rotliegend). Owing to lack of available petro-physical rock data for the Berlin region, we have evaluated literature data for the larger northeastern German basin to develop a thermodynamic field model which regards depth-corrected equations of state within statistical intervals of confidence. Integration over the thicknesses of the respective structural units yields their “heat in place”—energy densities associated with the pore fluid and the rock matrix under local conditions in Joule per unit area at the surface. The model predicts that aquifers in the Middle Buntsandstein and in the Sedimentary Rotliegend may well exhibit energy densities about 10 GJ m−2 for the pore fluids and 20 GJ m−2 to 40 GJ m−2 for the rock matrices on average. Referring these figures to the city area of Berlin (about 892 km2), a significant hydrothermal potential results, which however remained undeveloped until today for the reason of present development risks. The model accounts for these risks through statistical intervals of confidence which are in the order of ±60 to ±80 % of the trend figures. To minimize these uncertainties, scientific field explorations were required in order to assess the petro-physical aquifer properties locally.

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