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Insight } Exploration: Search for resources in Germany

Issue 01/2012

} Event: Science Summer 2012 in Luebeck

} Tomography: Technologies for better images of the Earth

} Interview: Communication of scientific topics in museums

Valuable Germany – rising prices and the latest technology spur renewed prospecting

The federal government has also recognized this. Thus, the German Raw Materials Agency DERA at the Federal Institute for Ge-

osciences and Raw Materials (BGR) in Hannover was founded and the Helmholtz-Institute for Resource Technology has been established in Freiberg. With the latter, strategically important research skills will be bundled to secure raw material supply for the German economy. Raw materials and their associated technologies will also be the subject of the coming GEOTECHNOLOGIEN exhibition.¢


In Germany, prospecting crews are on the road again, searching for exploitable deposits of mineral and fossil resources. The much cited rising commodity prices on world markets are one reason. In early 2009 a ton of copper traded at around 2,000 €, today the price is about € 6,000. This can be seen in almost all mineral commodities making it worthwhile to reassess the re-commissioning of old mines and seek new deposits in Germany. Yellow flags that mark the position of Geophon chains are now a familiar sight in Worms. Between 1952-1994, seven million barrels of oil (one barrel equals about 160 litres) were extracted in this region. Whether renewed exploration is worthwhile does not, however, depend on rising commodity prices alone. Developments in sensor technology, the progress in data analysis and new technologies for drilling and extraction of raw materials helps deposits that were once written off as unprofitable to be revitalized. In the key research area "Tomography of the Earth's crust" of the R & D program GEOTECHNOLOGIEN, for example, scientists are working on the optimization of data analysis. 3D seismic, multi-sensor, multi-method approach, are the key technologies that are giving the exploration branch and resource companies a boost.

the excellent scientific findings that have been made in the respective areas of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN have previously been published by coordination office in the socalled Science Report Series. The individual series issues were sent to geoscientific libraries, various committees and of course to all project partners free of charge. This ensured that all project staff and other interested parties were informed about the findings achieved within the different topics. Furthermore synergies could be used more effectively. The authors valued this publication very much, but brought up the fact that this form of publication in the Science Report Series was not available internationally. For this reason we have transferred the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN series to the book series of Springer publishers "Advanced Technologies in Earth Sciences". This e-book series is available worldwide in many academic libraries, on subscription and can also be ordered from bookshops. All those who have previously received the Science report, will also receive the Springer-GEOTECHNOLOGIEN issue free of charge. For non-commercial use the authors maintain all rights on their articles. We hope publishing in the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN program will now be even more attractive. Yours Ute Münch

Imprint: Coordination Office GEOTECHNOLOGIEN, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany, Tel.: +49 (0)331 288 1071,, Dr. Ute Münch (VisdP) GEOTECHNOLOGIEN is a geoscientific research and development programme, supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Research Foundation (DFG). You can find our newsletter in both English and German in the download area. Our newsletter is published twice yearly. Should you no longer be interested in receiving this newsletter, simply send us an email at: Picture Source Header (left to right): DMT GmbH, GEOTECHNOLOGIEN, CGG Veritas, Museum of Man and Nature, Munich Issue:01/2012

Science up close – Exhibit stand GEOTECHNOLOGIEN


Dear GEOTECHNOLOGIEN program partners,

By taking part in the science summer in Lübeck, themed "Future Earth project" the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN coordinating office drew attention to the creation and use of geological resources. The industrialization advanced the mining of geological raw materials tremendously, so that today - 200 years later - many of the sought-after commodities (like oil, gas, coal, gold, lead, copper, iron ore), must often be recovered from several thousand meters depth, as many natural, near-surface resources have already been exhausted. Geological materials that have been formed over millions of years are thus irreversibly consumed. Using various interactive exhibits visitors were informed, how and when geological raw materials formed and where metallic raw materials are found and processed today. Some metals are essential for the production of high quality technical products. Therefore not only the specific element properties and the origin and import volumes have been explained for the various raw materials, but pointed in particular to the possibility and neccessity of the raw material recycling. The exhibits shown in Lübeck are part of a new traveling exhibition, explaining the research topic „Tomography of the Earth’s crust“ with its exploration methods in detail. Furthermore the genesis and the sustainable use of raw materials are of great interest in this exhibition. The exhibition is still in work and will start at the beginning of next year at the Senckenberg Museum in Dresden. For further information:



In the joint GEOTECHNOLOGIEN project MuSaWa - Multi-scale Swave tomography for exploration and risk assessment of development sites (BMBF, 03G0745A) he currently conducts research in the context of his PhD on innovative methods for the characterization of the near-surface subsoil. It focuses on the use of seismic methods in combination with direct-push-methods for geotechnical parameters of unconsolidated sediments at the local scale. ¢

Who is Who – Young Geoscientists Dipl.-Geol. Jörg Hausmann studied geology from 2000 to his graduation in 2006 specialising in paleontology at the University of Leipzig and the Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg. Jörg Hausmann also gathered valuable experience abroad in 2004 during studies at the Universidad Nacional de San Marcos Major in Lima (Peru) as well as on field research in various mines in Chile and Peru. He completed his thesis in 2006 on "The Kulkwitzer lake, a reference for the development of stagnant anthropogenic water bodies in the mining landscape of central Germany". He was awarded the Rolf and Marlies Teichmüller - Prize 2006 for this work by the German Society for Geosciences. After a successful three and a half year occupation as an engineering geologist in the field of soil investigation, exploration of non-metallic minerals as well as the applied blast engineering, in November 2010, he joined the Department MET at the Helmholtz Centre for the Environment Research - UFZ in Leipzig.

Ms. Dr.-Ing. Melanie Schumann studied mechanical engineering with an emphasis on material engineering at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern. Since 2006 she has worked in the working group materials and surface technology in Kaiserslautern (AWOK). Her research concerns the influence of internal and external interfacial surfaces of polymers with regard to their reactional behaviour and properties. During her PhD, which she completed in 2011, Melanie Schumann developed a method for the mechanical analysis of polymeric properties in bonded joints influenced by interfacial surfaces. As part of the subproject FÜLLSTOFFE within the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN topic "mineral surfaces" she examined the structural-activity relationship of mineral fillers in adhesive formulas. The aim of this project was to investigate the influence of natural calcium carbonates on the processing behaviour of adhesives in liquid-pasty condition and their technical use characteristics in the hardened state. Not only can the effectiveness of new mineral filler recipes in the polymer matrix can be assessed in tests using the models and methods developed in this project, but it can also be cost effectively predicted. Dr.-Ing. Schumann will continue her research at the University of Kaiserslautern as a postdoc in the field of materials and surface technology. ¢

Marketing for development of geotechnical inventions – Geotechmarket The technology transfer of the coordinating office GEOTECHNOLOGIEN has now been established for several years. In contrast to the internal technology transfer offices of academic institutions, the focus here is on the implementation and commercialisation of inventions from the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN program. For this, the aim is particularly on the creation of research-industry collaborations with a view to guiding inventions from the development stage through to becoming mature products. For this reason Geotechmarket supports all participants of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN program with comprehensive marketing development. Initially this is in the evaluation of research results, the development of strategic objectives and assistance in finding and contacting appropriate industry partners. Furthermore the invention will be explained in an understandable technology flyer pre-

senting the market potential of the final product and formulating the requirements to the development partners. Based on research potential business partners, contacted and initiated cooperation (through trade fairs, personal conversations, transfer projects) are then identified. If you see a potential market for your technology, we would be happy to hear from you. ¢

Contact: Dipl. Chem. Alexandra Scherer Phone: 0331- 288 1074 E- Mail: More information at:

Museum of Man and Nature, Munich

GEOTECHNOLOGIEN in Conversation … with Dr. Michael Apel

Dr. Michael Apel Director of the Museum of Man and Nature, Munich

Michael Apel studied biology in Frankfurt with a focus on zoology, his doctorate in 2001 dealt with the taxonomy and zoogeography of crabs. For several years he was a scientist and pedagogue at the Senckenberg Museum. Before coming to Munich as museum director in autumn 2006, he worked at the Museum Wiesbaden as a natural science curator. The Museum of Man and Nature in Munich is the central exhibition forum of natural history collections in Bavaria. Under the slogan "Natural History as an experience", it offers the broader public lively and sustainable education experiences. GEOTECHNOLOGIEN spoke to Dr. Apel about the modern scientific content and communication channels as well as new challenges in the presentation of research in museums.

GEOTECH: Dear Mr. Apel, as director of a natural history museum you are heavily dependent on communication of science, how much has this changed in recent years? Apel: The communication of scientific information has changed in accordance with

our communication as a whole. New communication channels such as blogs, etc. make it easier for scientists to communicate directly with the interested public. In addition, the public representation of one's own research has become more important, not least due to the growing importance of external funding. The downside is that the public representation of science is becoming increasingly optimized according to its perception by the media, and therefore even dubious results become accepted. The fossils of early primates from the Messel Pit found in 2009 are a good example. They were presented to the public under tremendous media attention, as a human ancestor. This is not a scientifically tenable position, however, it made the findings broadly acceptable for the mass media. Overall, I think it is positive that researchers are thinking more about how they present their research results to the public.

GEOTECH: Do you see a demand on the part of scientists, museums and other partners to improve and expand communication? Apel: Of course there are many areas where we still need to catch up and not every scientist is an outstanding communicator. Overall, I believe, however, that there probably never were so many possibilities to become informed about current research. As for the museums, they are increasingly making efforts on presenting their own past research and show the importance of their collections. A successful example is the Darwin Centre of the Natural History Museum in London, open since 2009, where the visitor is presented with a variety of research projects and has an insight into the laboratories of the scientists. A similar idea is behind the “Wet-Collection” of the Natural History Museum in Berlin, where all sort of animal life preserved in alcohol is shown or the glass laboratory at the German Museum.

GEOTECH: Increasingly science centres - “hands-on museums”, are shaping the scientific communication in museums. How do established museums see this trend? Will the science centre

concept be introduced to natural history museums? Apel: Since the eighties Science Centres have brought fresh air into the realm of science museums. The basic idea of bringing scientific topics closer to visitors with the help of smaller experiments is not new however. The German Museum has been doing this for more than three-quarters of a century. For natural history museums these concepts were rather foreign for a long time. That has now changed fundamentally, the Museum of Man and Nature being one of the forerunners in Germany. Above all, our area "playful natural science" in which you get to the roots of natural history phenomena through play, which was something new when it opened in 1990 and took on many ideas from the science centre. The fundamental difference between the museum and science centre lies in the presentation of original exhibits. Here lies the strength of the classical museum. Just as many visit the Louvre just to see the original of the Mona Lisa, natural history museums have unique outstanding exhibits. For a long time museums put an emphasis on working in textbook-like manner show as many objects as possible, even casts. Now, less is more is the motto and we should present our highlights as such. This has been highly successful in Berlin, where the original of the ancient bird Archaeopteryx has been on display for several years, in a walk-in vault. All visitors are immediately aware of the importance and value of this object.

GEOTECH: For several years now we have successfully designed and coordinated touring exhibitions on geoscience topics. The exhibition "The Earth from space" was managed in close cooperation with the Museum of Man and Nature in Munich. What prompted you to assist this geoscience-oriented exhibition? Apel: The Museum of Man and Nature is always looking to connect natural science with social issues. The issues raised in "The Earth from space" were ideal in this respect. Of course, we are less interested in the purely technical aspects but rather the question of environmental observation with satellites, the search for raw materi... continued on the next page

als, but also their use in basic research and the knowledge they bring us. Here, the external view often helps to identify problems and the exhibition had much to offer in this respect. Our visitors, incidentally, were very enthusiastic about the exhibition.

GEOTECH: What geo-scientific issues do you see as misrepresented in German natural history museums? What topics should be prepared more intensively by Earth-scientists for the museum audience? Apel: Unfortunately the geosciences in Germany still have somewhat of an image problem: They are often seen as boring, difficult to understand and even slightly antiquated. In fact the exact opposite is the

case, the geosciences are highly modern and play a crucial role in almost all central issues such as efficient use of resources, the future of our energy supply. It just needs to be communicated more clearly. The exhibitions of the coordination office GEOTECHNOLOGIEN have been making an important contribution, but the natural history museums also have to join in here and pick up on relevant topics. Dear Mr. Apel, thank you for the enlightening interview. ¢

Museum of Man and Nature München

... continued conversation with Dr. Apel

Tomography projects – Detailed insights into the interior of the Earth

It is primarily application-oriented projects that have been promoted as part of the R&D program GEOTECHNOLOGIES, the key area »tomography of the Earth's crust - from transmission to real-time monitoring". The subtitle very accurately describes the contents of the nine projects promoted between 2011 and 2014. Implying that the methods used hitherto are interpreted as static. They certainly allow a highly accurate analysis of the structures in the subsurface, but they only partially help to directly observe changes in these structures. New innovative methods, however, make it possible, to almost go "live" underground. Changes, for example by altered flow patterns in groundwater or by elevation or reduction processes in the environment of salt intrusions should be directly visible and interpretable. A new dimension and quality make the imaging of the subsurface possible, considerably improving the usefulness for industrial ap-

plications as well as for predictions and assessment of potential geological hazards. ¢


Scientists have been capable of placing sensors a little more than 12 kilometres into the Earth’s crust, namely, on the Kola Peninsula while studying the Earth's interior. To the center of the earth, however, it is 6371 km. A single drilling cannot provide information about three-dimensional structures. In order to view the Earth’s interior, geophysicists have been developing sophisticated techniques and methods for decades.

Patents from science – Criteria and instructions for obtaining intellectual property rights

New in the team

In general: Scientific measurement results are not patentable inventions. However, the development of a new technology for measuring or caused by measurements is patentable.

In Germany and Europe, there are three clearly defined criteria: 1. Novelty: The invention cannot have been published, worldwide. In addition to written publications; posters, trade shows, websites or any form of verbal distribution at conferences or in university lectures ruin the chances of filing for a patent. This explicitly excludes "internal" conversations and seminars as part of a preferably written nondisclosure agreement. 2. Inventive Step: The work must have an inventive character, for example, a surprising effect, not immediately obvious to the technical expert even when combining existing knowledge. 3. Industrial applicability: The product or process must find industrial application in the non-private sector. Exceptions to patentability in Europe are: software patents (does not apply to controller software of other technical apparatus), patents on life or patents on surgical procedures. Before you reveal too much about your invention at your next lecture, seek patent-law assistance from your technology transfer office or a patent lawyer! Geotechmarket can help you find the right advisor. ¢

Calendar }

September 4-5 Kick-Off Meeting on »Technologies for safe and permanent storage of the greenhouse gas CO2 « in Hannover


September 12 Opening of the exhibition »Die Erde im Visier« at the Natural History Museum in Chemnitz


October 1-4 Meeting of the German Society for Geosciences, GeoHannover, Leibniz University of Hannover, GEOTECHNOLOGIEN information booth and session


October 22-23 FONA forum, Radialsystem, Berlin


December 3-7 AGU Fall Meeting, joint booth with the German Research Foundation »Research in Germany«

Alexandra Scherer is a graduate chemist and has worked since mid-November with us as project manager for technology transfer in Geotechmarket. After completing her diploma in chemistry with studies at the University of Munich and Toronto, she worked for several years in biophysical research at the University of Munich. Then she switched fields, to project management for the German Space Operations Center (GSOC) at the German Aerospace Centre. From 2009, Ms. Scherer was a freelance patent researcher and patent-classifier for the European Patent Office (EPO) amongst others. In a year abroad in Canada, she recently gained insight into the English and French speaking life and work culture. Ms. Scherer thus combines extensive experience in the worldwide scientific community with corporate and patent law expertise that qualify her to act as an interface between research and industry. ¢

Insight Edition 1/2012  

GEOTECHNOLOGIEN Newsletter 1/2012