trip to KTB 2012

On 23th May 2012 13 GPS members followed the invitation of Mr. Harms and Mr. Kück and visited the KTB (German Continental  Deep Drilling Program) near Windischeschenbach, where the GFZ (German Research Centre for Geosciences) runs a deep crustal lab. The KTB is still used for research by the ICDP (International  Continental Scientific Drilling Program).

At first we were introduced into the basic facts of this about 9 km deep scientific borehole. Between 1987 and 1989 a pilot hole of 4000 m depth was drilled, before the main hole was drilled in a distance of 200 m from 1990 to 1994. It reached a depth of 9101 m and a temperature of 270°C. The outcome was different from the geologists’ assumptions about the geological situation at the site. Altogether the project can be seen as successful, because it gave new information about the earth’s crust and new drilling techniques were applied. After the presentation of Mr. Harms we were shown several tools of the used logging equipment and learnt some interesting facts about the problems, which they encountered while drilling. Then we had the chance to look into the dark main hole and to climb the KTB drill rig with a height of 83 m, which is now serving as a landmark. We watched an interesting movie there, which showed and explained the drilling process. Finally we also were guided to some used drilling tools, like drill heads, and to the pilot hole.

For all of us this was a great experience and we thank Mr. Harms and Mr. Kück, who took the time to guide us and to explain us so much. Every participant was even given a bag full of information brochures and magazines to take along as well as a souvenir.  The GPS will stay in contact with Mr. Harms and Mr. Kück, as we were invited to visit another interesting project of them.