Groundwater and hydrogeology
Groundwater is an important resource, but can also represent a source of great hazard.
Leakages and reduction of the groundwater table can lead to damage to buildings and infrastructure. In addition, environmental toxins may be spread over large areas if they come into contact with groundwater.
The ground may also be utilized as a source of energy. Geothermal energy is an environmetally good source of energy with great potential. Energy is stored in the rock formation and the groundwater may be used for heating of buildings by use of heat pumps. Many of these background heating systems may be used for cooling in the summer.
NGI's state-of-the-art expertise
- hydrogeological field methods and groundwater mapping
- groundwater flow and contamination dispersion
- geothermal energy - site investigations and design of installations
Services related to groundwater and hydrogeology
Groundwater and hydrogeology are concerned with the relationships between geological materials and processes involving water. As hydrogeologists, we draw on knowledge of geology, geochemistry, geophysics and hydrology. Hydrogeological knowledge is important in connection with all building and construction activities, such as tunnels and excavations for large buildings and, combined with geologic expertise, to determine the energy withdrawal from the groundand to design successful geothermal energy installations.
In many of NGI's projects, hydrogeology is one of a number of technical aspects that have to be taken into account, while sometimes it is the main focus.
Research and development
Black shale is an important research area that involves hydrogeologists at NGI. One large partner group, with participants from both the public and private sectors, is collaborating on a project financed by The Research Council of Norway on environmental impact and mitigation measures at a national level.
Mitigation measures designed to clean up pollution in fractured rock is a challenging subject that NGI is now focusing on.
Groundwater will be an important subject in the years ahead and NGI is working with several stakeholders in eastern Europe and central Asia on environmental and water resources. NGI is one of the few institutions in Norway with a detailed knowledge of the implementation of the EU's environment and water directives.