New insights from a detailed hydrogeological survey in the upper Main Valley near Bamberg (Germany)

Nadine Hoffmann1, Sarah Jung-Bilk1, Alfons Baier1, Johannes A.C. Barth1
1 Lehrstuhl Angewandte Geologie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

P 13.2 in Czech-German exchange on environmental-, soil- and hydro(geo)logical issues


In the frame of a mapping programme of planning region three in Bavaria a revised groundwater survey was established between the towns Gädheim and Eltmann in the upper Main Valley. It includes maps of groundwater contours, surface-groundwater distances, groundwater saturated thickness and height distribution of the Quarternary base as well as four profiles. The main purpose of this work was to investigate the Quarternary aquifer for its drinking water availability and its potential use for shallow geothermal energy. The area of investigation had an East-West extension of 32 km and covered morphological heights between 225 and 231 metres above sea level. Local bedrocks from the Upper Muschelkalk to Middle Keuper had variable resistance to weathering. This has largely influenced the extent of the palaeovalley that also forms the Quarternary base.

Constructed maps rely on 110 levelled piezometer measurements and further 16 points with reference levels of surface waters. The Quarternary base was constructed by using drill logs of the piezometers. All data were plotted with the help of ArcGIS Software to establish groundwater level maps. They revealed a general direction of groundwater flow from East to West with the river Main as the key draining surface water body that mostly acts as a gaining stream. Groundwater levels ranged from 224 to 207 m above sea level and height differences of the Quartenary base were up to 16 metres. The aquifer thickness averaged 7.5 metres and had groundwater-saturated thicknesses of approximately 3.5 metres. Hydrogeological gradients and average permeabilities helped to establish tracer velocities between 2.3 * 10-4 and 7.5 * 10-6 m/s. These variances in groundwater flow are related to channel structures of the palaeovalley.



We are indebted to the Bayerische Landesamt für Umwelt for supplying data and advice fo this study 

Wir möchten uns beim bayerischen Landesamt für Umwelt für die Bereitstellung der Daten bedanken.



Sandige Fein-Grobkiese des Maintalaquifers
Sandige Fein-Grobkiese des Maintalaquifers


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last modified 2014-01-31