Geoscientific information

The geophysical, geothermal and geological conditions of the EUL’s underground environments have been characterized. The natural radioactive background has been measured, and structural information has been collected.

Geophysical conditions

Geophysics are used to understand how the bedrock works. It is essential for determining major fracture zones, exploring for energy, water, and mineral resources and monitoring environmental impact.

Information from geophysical site surveys of applied seismic, induced seismic, electromagnetic measurements and radar have been collected from the six underground laboratories within the EUL network. Geological, geothermal and petrophysical information has also been collected.

All the data were used to create a web-based data platform for potential customers of the underground laboratories. This database includes the metadata for each geophysical survey, location of the borehole and sampling point, and links to more detailed information on the measured data.


The available geophysical information collected from the underground laboratories are:

Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory

Geophysical measurements include reflection seismic, seismic tomography, geoelectric, induced seismicity, magnetotelluric, geo-radar

Geological rock description, density, geothermal parameters

Callio Lab

Geophysical measurements include passive seismic, reflection seismic, magnetic

Geological rock description, petrophysical parameters, geothermal parameters

Cuprum

Geophysical measurements include seismic

Reiche Zeche

Geophysical measurements include high-resolution seismic, seismology, seismic tomography, geoelectric, geo-radar, geothermic, gravity

Geological rock description, petrophysical parameters, geothermal parameters


Natural radioactive background

The purpose of natural radioactive background characterization is to determine (by measurement and/or calculation) the level of different types of ionizing radiation typically present in the underground laboratories.

Therefore, the following parameters should be determined: a) gamma radiation, spectrum and intensity, b) alpha and beta radiation, c) thermal neutron flux, d) cosmic ray muon flux, e) radon level in the air.

Each parameter requires specific measuring devices and methods, so they should be treated as independent issues.

Information about natural radioactive background was collected [1, 2] during the preparatory work for the EUL network (within the BSUIN project). Pilot natural radioactive background measurements have been performed in the Callio Lab (Finland) [3-8, 14] and in the Reiche Zeche mine (Germany) [8, 9-14].


Measurements performed in the underground laboratories:

In-situ gamma radiation, with portable gamma-ray high-purity germanium (HPGe) semiconductor spectrometers.

Radon concentration in air, with RAD7 electronic radon detectors.

Neutron background, with different sets and configurations of 3He proportional counters. All sets were designed for very long recording time fully remote-controlled via the Internet.

Samples of water and rock were collected from several locations and analysed at the Institute of Physics, University of Silesia (Poland). The following analyses were performed:

Concentration of radioisotopes (uranium 234,238U; radium 226,228Ra) in water samples, using liquid scintillation α/β counter (LSC) and alpha-particle spectrometry.

Concentration of radioisotopes (uranium 234,238U; radium 226,228Ra; thorium 232Th; potassium 40K) in rock samples, using laboratory gamma-ray spectrometry and alpha spectrometry.

Neutron activation of the rock sample, using 252Cf source and measurements with a high-purity germanium detector (HPGe).


Read more:

[1] A.2.2 Table with available data on NBR in ULs.xlsx (next Cloud BSUIN in REPORTS READY FOR PUBLISHING/Report_A.2.2)

[2] Feedback Questionnaire with data devoted to NBR in ULs.xlsx (next Cloud BSUIN in REPORTS READY FOR PUBLISHING/Report_A.2.2)

[3] Report Measurements NBR Freiberg 03.2019 (next Cloud BSUIN in WP2/A.2.2 Natural Background Radiation/reports_measurements_NBR)

[4] Scheme of Callio Lab devoted to natural background radiation (NBR) characterization (next Cloud BSUIN in REPORTS READY FOR PUBLISHING/Report_A.2.2)

[5] K. Polaczek Grelik, A. Walencik Lata, K. Szkliniarz, J. Kisiel, K. Jedrzejczak, J. Szabelski, M. Kasztelan, J. Joutsenvaara, H.J. Puputti, M. Holma, T. Enqvist, Natural background radiation at Lab 2 of Callio Lab, Pyhäsalmi mine in Finland. Nuclear Inst. and Methods in Physics Research, A 969 (2020) 164015, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2020.164015

[6] CallioLab Report 1 qualitative and CallioLab Report 2 quantitative (next Cloud BSUIN in WP2/A.2.2 Natural Background Radiation).
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2019.108987

[7] S. Pohuliai, A. Sokolov, V. Gostilo, J. Joutsenvaara, J. Puputti, Measurements of gamma ray background radiation in Pyhäsalmi mine, Applied Radiation and Isotopes 161 (2020) 109166
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2020.109166

[8] Study of natural background radiation in Callio Lab (Finland)
http://bsuin.eu/2020/05/19/study-of-natural-background-radiation-in-callio-lab-finland

[9] Report Measurements NBR Freiberg 03.2019 (next Cloud BSUIN in WP2/A.2.2 Natural Background Radiation/reports_measurements_NBR)

[10] Scheme of Reiche Zeche mine devoted to natural background radiation (NBR) characterization (next Cloud BSUIN in REPORTS READY FOR PUBLISHING/Report_A.2.2)

Study of natural radioactivity in TU Bergakademie Freiberg mine

Study-of-natural-radioactivity-in-TU-Bergakademie-Freiberg-mine.pdf

Underground Farming

Underground-farming.pdf

Best practices from the Uls to Uls

Best_practices.pdf

Underground laboratories working environment common standard

Common-underground-working-standard-in-ULs.pdf

Structural characterization

In an underground facility, the surrounding rock structures largely determine the location for new tunnels, niches and underground halls. In civil engineering, building information models are becoming more standard and this has also been introduced to underground construction. 3D models and pilot cases for building information models have been made in the EUL network. The 3D models help to design, construct and maintain, and even serve as a basis for a digital copy of the underground laboratory.

Learn more about the available structural characterization information.


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