DEEPWATER-CE – Developing an integrated implementation framework for Managed Aquifer Recharge solutions to facilitate the protection of Central European water resources endangered by climate change and user conflict

The aim of this project is to investigate the feasibility of managed aquifer recharge (MAR) solutions for replenishing groundwater resources, which are endangered by climatic change and excessive pumping.

Project status: completed 2022

Funded by: ERDF Interreg Central Europe

Cutting-edge research at the interface of natural science and engineering

Public water suppliers in Germany, Europe, and the US have problems with elevated nitrate concentrations in groundwater. Groundwater, however, represents an important drinking water resource, particularly in those regions that have no surface water. It is also well known that high nitrate concentrations in groundwater are associated with adverse health effects and ecosystem damage. Although decreasing in most member states of the EU, there are still regions with high loads of nitrogen, depending on agricultural intensity, including livestock density.

Project status: completed

Financed by:

- International Graduate School of Science and Engineering (IGSSE)

- TUM Graduate School

GeoPot: Geothermal Potential of the tertiary subsurface in the wider area of Munich

The research objective of the GeoPot project (2016 – 2019) is to edit hydrogeological and geothermal data, to create, for the first time, an area-wide database, especially for 3D modelling and the use of geo-potentials of the tertiary subsurface (OSM) in the wider area of Munich (Planungsregion 14 München).

Geothermal Alliance Bavaria (GAB-1)

The Chair of Hydrogeology investigates the long-term hydraulic and thermal behavior of the Malm aquifer. For this purpose the Geothermal Alliance Bavaria analyses relevant data from the geothermal sites in the southern molasses basin and participates in borehole logging campaigns and well testing to elevate a set of “best-off” data for the research. Additionally lab experiments for the rock parameter (permeability, porosity, thermal conductivity and capacity) are conducted. These results are integrated in THM-simulations to assess the hydraulic behavior.

Project status: completed 2019 (first phase)

Funded by: Bavarian Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Art

GEO.KW - Efficient thermal use of groundwater for a decentralised urban heating and cooling supply

The objective of GEO.KW is the development of tools that improve an efficient thermal use of groundwater in complex urban environments.

Qualitative status assessment of the deep geothermal aquifer in the Lower Bavarian-Upper Austrian Molasse Basin

The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) commits EU member states to achieve a good qualitative and quantitative status of all their water bodies. For this purpose, it provides a list of actions to be taken to achieve this goal of “good status”. The directive, however, neglects the specific conditions under which deep ground water aquifers exist, compared to shallow ground water or surface water bodies.

Project status: completed 2021

Untersuchungen zur anaeroben Methanoxidation gekoppelt mit der Denitrifikation (n-damo) in einem Süßwasserhabitat

Das von der DFG finanzierte Projekt soll einen Betrag dazu leisten, in wie weit n-damo in Süßwasserhabitaten unter variierenden hydrodynamischen Bedingungen in eine Rolle spielt und mit den bereits bekannten C und N-Kreisläufen in der Umwelt gekoppelt ist. Dazu werden isotopenchemische, wasserchemische, hydrogeologische und molekularbiologische Methoden angewandt, um vermutlich eine der letzten offenen Fragen im Stickstoffkreislauf weiter aufzuklären.

Project status: completed 2021

Funded by:

- DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft)


- Prof. Dr. Bernhard Mayer, University of Calgary

- Dr. Armin Ehrenreich, Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, TUM

Water movement and fate of pesticides in the unsaturated zone linked to biodegradation processes

Compounds originating from agriculture, such as nitrate and pesticides, have increased in many aquifers over the past decades, posing a serious threat to drinking water quality. Within this project, we analyze water flow, chemical transport and fate processes of pesticides in the unsaturated zone by using stable isotope technique linked with modeling applications. Among others we evaluate mean transit times of water and process-related isotope fractionation. We will determine process kinetics and apply/develop analytical and numerical modeling approaches. A particular focus is on the significance of interfaces in the subsurface which may demonstrate hot-spots for microbial degradation.

Project status: completed 2019

In cooperation with:

- Bavarian Environment Agency

- IGOE - Institute of Groundwater Ecology

GRETA - Near-surface Geothermal Resources in the Territory of the Alpine Space

The aim of the GRETA project is to demonstrate the potential of renewable near surface geothermal energy in the Alpine Space and to foster its integration into future energy plans at different administrative levels.

Project status: completed 2018

Funded by: ERDF Interreg Alpine Space

Integrated environmental isotopic, hydrogeochemical and hydraulic investigations of the Malm aquifer in the Bavarian Molasse Basin

The aim of the project is to improve the understanding of the reservoir characteristics of the Malm aquifer (Upper Jura) in the Bavarian Molasse Basin. Therefore, we want to identify the composition of the different water components in the Malm aquifer, their origin as well as apparent mean transit time, groundwater ages and recharge conditions with integrated hydro-chemical, hydraulic and isotopic investigations at several geothermal wells.

Fracture-dominated aquifer exploitation

The aim of the project is to test, analyze and exploit a fracture-dominated dolomite aquifer in the Malm-reservoir of the Bavarian Molasse Basin. The Chair of Hydrogeology leads the WP2: “The influence of fracture zones on the hydraulic aquifer behavior”. The research tasks for the Chair of Hydrogeology in this project comprises lab experiments to derive rock parameters (permeability, porosity, thermal conductivity and capacity), hydrochemistry analysis and THM-modelling of the aquifer.

The Hohenthann Nitrate Project

Elevated nitrate concentrations in groundwater can often be sourced back to intensive agriculture, livestock farming or sewage. With the help of isotope methods, the precise origin of the nitrate and the denitrification rate, in respect to the self-purification potential of the aquifer, can be identified. Moreover, the determination of the so-called groundwater age (mean transit times) of the different groundwater storeys in the heterogeneous porous aquifer in the Molasse basin can support the prevention of further contamination in the deeper aquifer that is used as a drinking water source in the region.

High-Temperature Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage

On behalf of the BWM Group, a High-Temperature Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (HT-ATES) will be set up in the Jurassic "Malm" aquifer, buried about 500 meters deep in the South German Molasse Basin. The basic idea is to cache currently not needed, excess heat energy - as it occurs in summer during operation of a combined heat and power plant (CHP) – into the aquifer storage and, if required, recover it again during winter.

Project status: completed

Funded by:

- BMW Group

- Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media


- Bavarian Environment Agency


- Erdwerk

- Hydro Consult

- Aquasoil

Geothermal Potential of the Munich Gravel Plain (GEPO)

The research objective of the GePo project (2012 – 2015) was the creation of a hydrogeological and geothermal database to estimate and improve the geothermal potential of the shallow quaternary aquifer in the wider area of Munich.

Optimization of Borehole Heat Exchanger Field at Ludwigshöhe

Improvement of the planning and design of a borehole heat exchanger field by establishing a numerical model with data acquired from the field and from laboratory. Focus is laid on the heterogeneity of the thermal conductivity - an important parameter governing the heat transport mechanism of the subsurface.

Project status: completed 2015

Funded by:

- Bavarian Environment Agency

- Nagelschneider Foundation

GeoMol: Assessing Subsurface Potentials of the Alpine Foreland Basin

A fundamental issue of the transnational GeoMol project is the determination of the geothermal potential of the Molasse basin. Therefor a reproducible, harmonized 3D temperature model considering uncertainties will be developed for two pilot areas, based on a modified and transparent workflow.

Assessment of the Dynamic-Hydraulic Relations of the Geothermal Plant of SWM

Project status: completed 2015

Funded by:

- Stadtwerke München

Green Market Garden - Conceptual Design of Geothermal Share in Energy Concept for an Organic-Vegetables gardening

Projekt status: completed 2015

Funded by:

- Kartoffelkombinat


- Kempten University

Klimaprogramm Bayern 2020: Deep Geothermal Energy in the Bavarian Molasse Basin (KLIP)

In the framework of  the KLIP project an update of the temperature distribution on the surface of the Malm aquifer is made in two pilot areas near Munich. Besides the temperature regionalization based on corrected “bottom-hole temperatures” (BHT), a sensitivity analysis  for the different parameters used in the BHT correction methods is required to distinguish and quantify uncertainties due to the different correction techniques.

Risk Evaluation of Geothermal Potential of Western USA

Project status: completed 2014

Funded by:

- Munich RE

Statistical Investigation of Uncertainty in the Temperature Forecast of Deep Aquifer

The investigation of uncertainty factors of temperature prediction regarding geothermal purposes, considered a graphical correction of bottom-hole temperatures (BHT) to determine undisturbed formation temperatures and a variation of the therefor necessary parameters. Based on this sensitivity analysis, the variance of the predicted formation temperatures could be calculated.

Project status: completed 2014

Funded by:

- Munich RE

Leuchturmprojekt: Green Hospital Lichtenfels

The new building of the hospital in Lichtenfels shall be operated exclusively with renewable energy. This project investigates the long-term performance of borehole heat exchangers for heating and cooling purposes by establishing a local-specific numerical model.

Project status: completed 2014

Funded by:

- Bavarian State Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection