Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Seismic reflection reveals potential energy sources

A deep seismic reflection investigation of the tectonic structures in the southwest region of the Baltic Sea has revealed the potential for new geothermal energy and natural gas supplies. The study analysed new seismic information, and hence develop theories on the evolution and tectonics of the Baltic region. The study has uncovered new target areas that will benefit from further seismic mapping.

The work has been carried out by a consortium of three technical centres from Germany and the UK. In order to acquire a highly detailed structure of the Earth's crust below the region, three shallow seismic networks were used. They covered the areas around Rügen and Bornholm Island, and around Babel A line (a seismic line) The interpretation of this information was made easier by the addition of data from several boreholes which had been drilled through the rock strata. The project has improved the understanding of the Tornquist suture and associated tectonic structures in the southwest Baltic Sea region. For example, the Caledonian Deformation Front, an important tectonic boundary, could be mapped between Fyn (Denmark) and Ruegen. The folded sediments within this front were found to have been thrust on to the Baltic Shield in a manner which mimics other hydrocarbon-bearing structures. The research has also led to the discovery of new subcrustal structures in the region such as the root of the Caledonian Deformation Front within the Earth's mantle. This feature could be followed along the length of the Babel A line and other seismic lines.

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Rolf MEISSNER
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