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The internal structure of the Asse salt diapir – new insights from 3D geological modelling

As part of the retrieval planning of radioactive waste from the ASSE II salt mine, located in the western part of the Asse-Heesberg salt structure south-east of the city of Braunschweig in northern Germany, a detailed and consistent 3D geological model of the internal structure is required. It’s used as a planning tool for the construction of a recovery mine and includes the Zechstein units from the Staßfurt to the Aller-formations (z2-z4). The data basis consists of a multitude of prospecting data such as drill cores, georadar reflectors, 3D seismic and dip values, for instance.

3D geological modelling of salt rock which has been highly deformed by salt migration and tectonical stress as well, faces some challenges. The various layers within the salt rock are strongly folded and overturned in parts. Lithologically different salt bodies often intertwine. The visualization of such complex structures often cannot be realized using conventional 3D modelling software that bases on fixed mathematical algorithms. Thus, details of the internal structure remain disregarded in many cases. Salt model surfaces can be shaped more precisely considering not only the input data, but also the geologic evolution of the salt structure. Therefore, in this project, we use a software (OpenGeo7) that requests complete manual drawing of the isobaths of the model surfaces. In the present study, we present some challenges and results of this type of 3D geological modelling.


York Fischer1, Evelyn Suchi1
1Federal Institute For Geosciences And Natural Resources, Germany
GeoBerlin 2023
Subherzyn Zechstein Basin in Lower Saxony; Asse salt diapir