There is a strong need in all branches of applied earth sciences for an exploration tool able to investigate the structure and
characteristics of rockmasses around boreholes within a radius of several hundreds of meters. Directional borehole radar is presently the most promising technique in this field because it gives a true 3D information.
Although various instruments have been developed, the RAMAC
directional borehole radar system, manufactured by Malaa Geoscience (Sweden) is presently the only equipment available worldwide for general applications. There are however several limitations, inherent to the present design, which result in restricted operating depth (max. 1000-1500 m), slow data acquisition, uncertain directional interpretation in some circumstances, and high operating costs. The main technical objective of the proposed research is to develop a new borehole radar system in order to overcome these limitations. It would consist of a directionalmodule for deep operation (2500 m in this project, expandable to greater depth in a further stage), working on a standard logging cable and of a module for fast data acquisition mainly dedicated to shallow tomographic use.
An efficient and environmentally friendly fluid exchange procedure in deep boreholes, necessary in order to carry out radar surveys, will be developed and tested for the exploration of salt deposits around gas storage caverns.
Sofware developments, including diffraction tomography, and laboratory measurements of dielectrical characteristics of rock samples will also be carried out in order to improve the quality of the geophysical and geological interpretations.
The industrial objective is not only the design of the new intrument, but also the expansion of the application range of the method, thus increasing demand for both the instrumentation and the service. This will be achieved through a comprehensive test measurement programme applied to mining, quarrying, engineering, environmental and hydrogeological problems.
The parnership consists of Malaa Geoscience, developer and
manufacturer, world leader in borehole radar instrumentation; K-UTEC and G-TEC, engineering and service companies, users of the equipment and developers of innovative applications; SGW, solution mining operator on the largest salt cavern field for gas storage in Germany, end user of the interpreted results; Dresdner
Grundwasserforschungszentrum for the laboratory measurements and the geophysical department of Liège University for the software
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts