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Gas Shales in Europe

The main aim of this project is to study electrical properties of black shales on rock samples and on a regional scale using the magnetotelluric method. A magnetotelluric (MT) field campaign was carried out in the SE Lower Saxony Basin, Germany, with the main goal of testing this method for imaging the regional Posidonia black shale sediments. Eighty-three MT stations were deployed along a sixty-three kilometre long profile. In addition to MT data, electrical resistivity measurements were made on a series of black shale samples from boreholes located in the Hils Syncline, Germany, and the Barnett, USA to correlate macro-scale electrical resistivity with regional models. We also examined variation of electrical resistivity with different thermal maturity levels, organic carbon contents, measurement orientation and water content.

Time frame

  • 11/2010 - 07/2014


  • GASH-consortium

Principal Investigator

  • PD Dr. Oliver Ritter (GFZ)


  • Filipe Adao (GFZ)
  • Erik Spangenberg (GFZ)


  • GASH Consortium (partners from international research institutions and industry)

Methods & Equipment

  • Magnetotellurics Controlled-Source Magnetotellurics Impedance Spectroscopy


Additional information

  • SHIP Platform - a network of international experts who share their expertise on different aspects of shale gas.


  • All equipment was provided by the MT component of the Geophysical Instrumental Pool Potsdam (GIPP-MT).
  • The land owners for providing access to their properties.
  • Numerous people for help in the field and preparing rock samples.
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