The use of high-resolution geophysical exploration systems, developed by the German Research Centre for Geosciences, for underground applications at tunneling and within boreholes requires a high demand due to safety and operational reliability. The GFZ-Underground-Lab in the research and education mine “Reiche Zeche” in Freiberg offers the possibility to run series of experiments to develop underground applications. With respect to the known geological background, market-ready systems can be realized.
Surrounded by three galleries the test site comprises a block of homogeneous high grade gneiss of almost 50 m width and 200 m length ensuring constant environmental conditions. Along the galleries over thirty 3-component one and two meter long geophone anchors are installed with a distant of 4-9 m from each other. Two horizontal 8 ½" boreholes of 20 and 30 meters were drilled into the test site. In 2011 the GFZ-Underground-Lab has been extended by a chamber 10 m above the galleries. From up there a 70 m 8 ½" vertical borehole has been drilled through the gneiss block. All boreholes are open and completely cored.
The GFZ-Underground-Lab is completed by a heated workshop with power, telephone and internet connection and seating-accommodations for up to 6 persons. The laboratory is in a large part accessible by rail vehicles. Furthermore, the excellent labor conditions are ensured by the good collaboration with the staff of the research and education mine “Reiche Zeche”.