Centre for Scientific Drilling

An overview of the projects that have been approved as part of the ICDP, can be found here

The project COSC (Collisional Orogeny in the Scandinavian Caledonides) focuses on the mid Paleozoic Caledonide Orogen in Scandinavia in order to better understand orogenic processes, both in the past and in recent active mountain belts. The Scandinavian Caledonides provide a well preserved example of Paleozoic plate collision, where the surface geology in combination with geophysical data supply control of the geometry of the Caledonian structure, both of the allochthon and the underlying autochthon, including a shallow W-dipping décollement surface on a thin skin of Cambrian black shales beneath the Caledonian thrust sheets. The COSC project will examine the structure and physical conditions of these units, in particular the Caledonian nappes ("hot" allochthon) and the underlying basement, with two approximately 2.5 km deep drillholes, located near Åre and Mörsil in western Jämtland/Sweden (http://www.ssdp.se/projects/cosc/).


The DFG-funded project is dedicated to complement the surface seismic measurements by drillhole-based investigations to better resolve and define the small-scale structures (including lithological boundaries, steeply dipping fault segments, fracture sets, etc.) around the drillhole COSC-1. This will be achieved by a combination of seismic transmission and reflection experiments using a 3C borehole geophone system complemented by 3C geophones at the surface.Therefore, sources and surface receivers will be aligned at different azimuths starlike around the borehole location. The data processing will employ recently developed advanced imaging techniques and will focus on, amongst other things, the analysis of anisotropic effects caused by aligned fractures and faults and their relation to the stress regime.

Project period: 01.03.2013 - 28.02.2015 Project Partner: TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute for Geophysics and Geoinformatics

The Centre for Scientific Drilling contributes with high-resolution seismic exploration in the underground to the project ProSalz. A natural cavernous structure will be examined along different profiles in the underground mining setting. Furthermore, measurements will be done to monitor an artificial cavity which will be created in a salt pillar. Consequently, cavern-like processes can be observed under in situ conditions.

Integrated seismic imaging system; research and system development for the most accurate exploration of underground space. In order to ensure the safe and efficient construction of underground structures (tunnels, tunnels, galleries, caverns, etc.) it is necessary to explore the underground space as precisely as possible. In addition to direct methods such as drilling, geophysical, especially seismic, measurements are particularly suitable for this purpose. Seismic exploration methods from the surface are already successfully used for the exploration of shallow structures.

Seismic sources:

Pneumatic hammer for generating a reproducible and energy-rich shock signal; magnetostrictive vibration source for generating a reproducible and very high resolution sweep signal

Seismic receivers:

3-component geophones, mounted in the tips of rock anchors to receive the complete seismic wave field.

Evaluation software:

the ISIS software is used for seismic data processing and for the integrated display and interpretation of measurement results together with other geotechnical parameters. The seismic sources and receivers are designed and manufactured by the geotechnical development workshop. The system has been in use since March 2000 as part of several operations during the construction work on the Gotthard Base Tunnel.


the following partners are involved in the development and implementation of ISIS:

  • Amberg Technologies AG
  • Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel FH Brandenburg
  • Free University of Berlin
  • Herrenknecht AG
  • Institute for Joint Geoscientific Tasks Hannover (GGA)
  • TU Bergakademie Freiberg


  • Giese, R., Klose, C., and Borm, G. (2005): In situ seismic investigations of fault zones in the Leventina Gneiss Complex of the Swiss Central Alps. In: Harvey, P. K., Brewer, T. S., Pezard, P. & Petrov, V. A. (eds). Petrophysical Properties of Crystalline Rocks. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 240,15 - 24.
  • Lüth, S., Buske, S., Giese, R., Goertz, A., 2005. Fresnel volume migration of multicomponent data. Geophysics 70 (6), 121-129. Borm, G. & Giese, R. (2004): High-resolution seismic exploration of rocky mountains during tunnel construction in solid rock. Geotechnics 27, No. 2,164 - 167.
  • Giese, R., Dickmann, Th., Eppler, Th. and Lüth, S., 2006, Seismic tomography to investigate the tunnel surroundings of the Side Gallery West of the multifunctional station Faido. In: Geology and geotechnics of the base tunnels at the Gotthard and Lötschberg, vdf Hochschulverlag AG at the ETH Zurich, 145-154.



BSUIN (Duration from 2017-2020) is an EU-project in the programme Interreg Baltic Sea Region. In BSR, there are world leading science organizations and industrial companies, specialized in geophysics, low background instrument manufacturing and underground construction. 14 partners enhance together the underground facilities to a network of underground laboratories (UL). The capabilities and the value of the ULs will be expanded for the requirements of scientific or commercial users. So, the access and the usage of underground facilities in BSUIN will reach together a higher standard for possible users.


Around the Baltic Sea 14 partners create an underground innovation network and a unique knowledge base. This includes all important parameters of the underground laboratory like infrastructural, structural, geophysical or organizational characterization. The Baltic Sea Region ULs and their users benefit from transnational co-operation to speed up the development of the ULs capabilities to serve industries, maintain high quality of the UL operations, and create new services and joint marketing efforts. This enables innovations and the growth of underground businesses through co-operation. The network activities gain the development of efficient methodologies to standardize the characterization of the underground facilities for end users and will improve innovative service concepts to enable the more efficient use of BSR ULs as a “natural resource”. The joint development and sharing of best practices between the partners, especially for safety will save costs and effort. Also, a joint marketing increases the visibility and allows an easy access to and for customers.

Aims are to

  • improve underground facilities as a working environment,
  • enable a more efficient utilization of technical resources and expertise and
  • offer a bigger variety of improved services and new innovation through cross-pollination.

The outcomes of the project are:

  • Characterization of ULs to create shared methodologies for the assessment of technical properties of the underground facilities and the operational and legal requirements for using the underground infrastructures
  •  Service design of methodologies and new service concepts so that the outside users can better utilize the ULs and the facilities as a capacity for innovation
  • Facility development especially related to ergonomics, health and safety and visitor experience
  • Networking, branding and business development activities to reach global market, providing easier access and one-stop-shop approach to BSR underground facilities

Additional information:




Core-log-seismic integration (CLSI) is an interdisciplinary strategy, integrating core logging, downhole logging and seismic data, to reduce the key uncertainties associated with formation evaluation. The combination of core, log and seismic measurements merges lab data on samples with in situ logging information and bridges scales from the sub millimetre-scale of core investigations to the decimetre scale of logging data and ultimately the metre to kilometre scale of seismic data. The project aims to investigate the geophysical properties of the rocks from Seve Nappe Complex at the COSC-1 borehole (Sweden) and nearby areas and to establish a high-resolution seismic stratigraphy using a cross-disciplinary approach.

CLSI application at COSC-1, Sweden

This project is seeking for perspectives of further developments of the Drilling Information System (DIS) toward modern technologies and system architectures. A questionnaire early 2016 among previous and current DIS users shows that the product DIS proved itself quite good, but it has deficits with regard to professionality and state-of the-art technology, platform independence, costs and licensing. In consequence to that a survey has been performed in 2017 to specify the existing or future technological developments for a re-design or even new build of a mobile DIS. The development phase will start in 2018.

TRIDEC focuses on new approaches and technologies for intelligent geo-information management in complex and critical decision-making processes in Earth sciences.

INFLUINS is a research project examining the movement of fluids (and associated gases) below ground at the Thuringian Basin.

The DOI Metadata Portal, formerly Scientific Drilling Database, enables the search of meta data  and is hosted by the GFZ Data Service.

The German Research Drilling Consortium, GESEP, was founded to link the expertise and infrastructure of scientific drilling in Germany.


Ulrich Harms
Section Head
Dr. Ulrich Harms
Centre for Scientific Drilling
Building A 69, Room 316
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-1085