HU - Hydrogeology and Environment

Journal of the Dept. of Hydrogeology and Environment, University of Würzburg (ISSN 09309-3757)

Editorial office: BGI, Greisingstr. 8, 97074 Würzburg, GERMANY

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Vol. 27 (2002)


Vol. 27: 

Einsatz von Geoinformationssystemen (GIS) zur Standortbewertung und Potentialanalyse für die thermische Nutzung des flachen Untergrundes bis 200m Tiefe als Wärmequelle und Wärmespeicher in Unterfranken/Bayern

[Using geographic information systems (GIS) for site assessment and the analysis of the regional potential for heat extraction and heat storage in shallow underground up to depths of 200m in Lower Franconia, Northern Bavaria, Germany]

Roland Barthel

The objective of this thesis is to show how GIS can be used to assess single sites or larger areas with respect to their suitability for different geothermal applications that can be applied in low depths of up to 200m. The study area of about 8500km2 is located in the north-western region of Bavaria, Germany. The corresponding study included: the collection, input and organization of the relevant data, the definition of the criteria necessary for the suitability analysis and finally the development of several assessment concepts. A variety of approaches have been examined and applied to the study area. The different concepts were evaluated and analyzed regarding the relation between effort and use. The two most promising concepts were developed and studied in greater detail. The first of these concepts is a method to produce simple medium scale overview maps. The second is based on the concept of expert-systems. It provides a means for an interactive, site- and project-specific analysis of the geo- and hydrogeological situation at a location. A GIS application representing a small expert system was developed within ArcView GIS in Avenue. The most important part of this assessment concept is a three-dimensional geological underground model. This model is used to store and analyze the relevant three-dimensional distributed lithological thermal and hydrogeological properties of the subsoil. The thesis gives a brief description of the relevant geothermal techniques, a detailed explanation of the relevant geological, hydrogeological and thermophysical processes involved, a geological overview of Lower Franconia and an introduction to the GIS methods used.
There are two ways of using the shallow underground up to a depth of 200m with geothermal techniques: The extraction of heat from rock or groundwater with Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) and the seasonal storage of solar or waste heat in Underground Thermal Energy Storages (UTES). Both techniques can be used for cooling purposes as well. Despite the fact that these techniques have been investigated and applied for several decades now, their use in Germany compared to other countries like Sweden, Switzerland or the US is low. Many experts believe, that studies showing the regional potential and suitability could increase the exposure and use of such techniques.
The main objective of this thesis is to evaluate the benefit of GIS usage for the site assessment and analysis of the regional potential of the geothermal applications described above. In addition to the theoretical examination of the use of GIS, the potential of geothermal applications in Lower Franconia was investigated. The results of this study are at first valid for the conditions in Lower Franconia. They can also be applied to similar geological settings, that is: sedimentary environments with flat-lying fractured sandstones, siltstones, limestones and marls in areas with considerable regional groundwater flow. The use of the GIS concepts that were developed is not limited to geothermal applications though. They can be applied to a wide range of questions that require three dimensional analysis of geological features.

Paper language: german; german abstract

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