Project GeoMAP is supported by the Free State of Saxony – Czech Republic Cooperation Program 2014-2020 within the framework of the European Territorial Cooperation Program of the European Fund for Regional Development. The project is being carried out through the collaborative efforts of the Department for Environment, Agriculture, and Geology – Saxony; the Department of Technical Thermodynamics and the Department of Rock Mechanics at Freiberg University of Mining and Technology; and the Technical University of Ostrava.
The project timeframe for Project GeoMAP is from January 2019 – June 2021. The project serves to facilitate knowledge sharing about geoscientific methods and modeling as the critical foundation for wide-ranging considerations in mining and post-mining regions.
The decommissioning and flooding of many underground and open-pit mines presents great challenges for all parties involved. Consequences often include the rising and sinking of the ground level, as well as the contamination of ground and surface waters, all of which should not be underestimated.
Bringing together expert competencies from the Saxon-Czech border region, Project GeoMAP will collaboratively investigate the rising ground and mine water, as well as opportunities for utilizing this mine water. Within the scope of this project, the resulting impacts on mining areas in the Saxonian District Lugau/Ölsnitz and the Northern Bohemian Basin (also known as the Most Basin) in the Czech Republic will be investigated.
The most important tasks of the project include:
Organizing four internal project workshops for the sharing of knowledge and experiences
Organizing four public conferences on these topics for interested people and organizations
Creating three exhibitions and demonstration pieces
Forming a network for confronting the rising mine water levels in former mining regions
An integral aspect of this project is not only the collaboration among the individual project partners but also the formation of a network tasked with successfully combating the challenges in these post-mining regions long term.
The Department of Environment, Agriculture, and Geology – Saxony (LfULG)
Without qualified data collection and analysis, reliable conclusions and predictions concerning mine flooding and rising groundwater levels cannot be made.
For this reason, the lead partner of Project GeoMAP has given itself the task of creating a geological 3D model of the Lugau/Ölnitzer district, which takes into account all of the current knowledge about the geological structure and mine tunnels in the area and which can be regularly updated in the future. The modeling will proceed with the help of the 3D software GOCAD, which has already been successfully employed for complex geological problems on multiple occasions. In the last few decades, comprehensive experience with software-supported data collection, modeling, and visualization has been collected in both in Saxony and the Czech Republic. The plans for this project are built off of and further develop this knowledge and experience. On top of this, the LfULG supports the exchange of experiences among the project partners through their coordinative work for this project, as they also do for other institutions in this field. Their goal is to collect and analyze data acquired through new initiatives and, thereby, to improve the prediction of various impacts caused by mining.
A further goal of GeoMAP is to involve the wider public in the current state of affairs in mining and post-mining regions. For this reason, the results of the modeling are going to be used in the design of an exhibit in the Saxony Mining Museum in Ölsnitz, which will be newly re-opened as a part of the fourth Saxonian State-Exhibition for industrial culture in 2020 after extensive renovations. A visually appealing, interactive 3D-underground model displaying the geology, open-pits and mining operations will be created for the exhibit, in which the state of mine flooding in the Lugau/Ölsnitz coal-mining area is also depicted.
The Department of Rock Mechanics is working on a numerical simulation for investigating the consequences the rising mine water has on the post-mining landscape of Lugau/Ölsnitz. As part of this simulation, hydromechanical coupling will be considered in order to evaluate the impacts of the rising water on the rock-structure. As a result, this will enable conclusions about the rising and sinking of the land, as well as the effects on the ground and surface waters, to be reached. Recommended actions for addressing the geo-technological issues affecting post-mining landscapes will be extensively developed. These are intended to serve as an informational foundation for communities, agencies, and other interested parties.
As part of the focus of the Department for Technical Thermodynamics, a mobile heat-pump pilot skid is to be developed for studying the geothermal use of accumulating mine waters and the resulting fouling that occurs in the system’s heat exchangers. The testing carried out with this mobile pilot skid will supplement and expand upon the studies conducted for Vodamin II. Because of the high mineral content of the water, a significant degree of fouling in the heat exchanger results during the operation of the heat pump system, decreasing its efficiency. The pilot system offers the opportunity to investigate and optimize the operating conditions and component specifications. Furthermore, this apparatus will serve as a demonstration piece at conferences and special exhibitions. In addition to the pilot plant, an “Engineer for Renewable Energy Systems and Resource Management” certificate will be created and offered for students at Freiberg University of Mining and Technology to be earned alongside their studies.
A central theme of the GeoMAP-Project is the formation of a network for the course of the project and thereafter. As part of the responsibilities, four public conferences and workshops will be held in both Saxony and the Czech Republic, two of which will be organized and hosted by Freiberg University of Mining and Technology. Additionally, a doctoral sponsorship is to be created between the university in Freiberg and the Technical University of Ostrava. The shared goal of the project partners is the long-term success of the cross-border initiatives carried out for the post-mining regions in Saxony and the Czech Republic.
The Technical University of Ostrava is studying the re-rising of mine water in the North Bohemian Basin in the Czech Republic. For this purpose, the underground and mine water conditions will be illustrated. Moreover, the geoscientific methods for investigating, modelling, and monitoring the ground and mine water level, landslides, recultivation and revitalization will be carried out in a field laboratory workshop.