INFLUINS - geoscientific excellence

(copyright: MMZ FSU Jena, A. Habisreuther & INFLUINS team)

INFLUINS is a major research project examining the movement of fluids (and associated gases) below ground. It focuses on the region between the uppermost soil horizon down to groundwater at depths of several kilometres. The use of the phrase "integrated fluid dynamics" in the name of the project underlines our interest in the relationship between near surface and deeper fluid and material flows. About 50 scientists from the university of Jena and partner institutions work together from fields spanning geology, hydrogeology, geophysics, mineralogy/geochemistry and climatology (Partners). INFLUINS is financially supported by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Culture of the state of Thuringen. The giant "open air Geolaboratory" in which we carry out our research is the Thuringian Basin.

The Thuringian Basin covers most of Thuringen. It is bordered in the north by the Harz mountains, the south by the Thuringian Forest and the east by the Thuringian slate belt. The basin has the form of a broad, flat saucer. The largest deposits are of Triassic age - the "Bundsandstein", Muschelkalk and Keuper. The present day basin geometry developed 80 million years ago, as the Thuringian basin began to subside, whilst the surrounding regions were squeezed together. This caused faults and fault zones to develop within the basin, which offset, tilted and sometimes folded the geological units.

Important data from the Thuringian Basin were gained through three major campaigns: seismic reflection (2011), survey flight with SQUID magnetometer (2012 and 2013), and research drilling (summer 2013). Measurements and the drill cores reveal further information about the interior of the Earth. With the research drilling we aim to get further insights into aquifer flows, the temperature gradient, and subsurface microbial components, among others. INFLUINS also investigates the possibility for commercial utilizations, because sedimentary basins have a high potential to provide renewable energy and for storing of fluids and heat. Nevertheless, no commercial utilization is planned for the research drilling.

A film shows INFLUINS, its aims, the campaigns and the insights we seek:

INFLUINS film (Duration 17:31 min.)