In Germany, salt deposits play an important role for raw material supply and energy storage. However, taking into account the presence of a geological fault zone, salt rocks can interact with groundwater, what may induce the formation of geogenic caverns by salt dissolution, potentially representing high risks to active potash and rock salt mining. Uncontrolled development of salt caverns may introduce ground surface subsidence, potentially resulting in surface and mine infrastructure damages. The main objective of the ProSalz project is to substantially improve the process understanding of reactive multi-phase flow in the transition zone between the salt cavern and the solid salt rock to facilitate a safe long-term retention of geogenic salt caverns within the Zechstein.
The Fluid Systems Modelling Section is responsible for numerical modelling and data management in the ProSalz project. We elaborate numerical models at different scales and perform multivariate sensitivity analyses within the parameter spaces provided by geochemistry and hydromechanics to support conceptualization of the scheduled laboratory and field experiments. Experimental observations will support development of models of enhanced complexity and their calibration, so that the chemical and hydromechanical behavior of salt caverns can be modeled to also assess their mechanical stability.