Sectional discharges as geothermal potentials of deep tunnels

Ulrich Burger, Thomas Geisler*, Florian Lehner, Tobias Cordes, Thomas Marcher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deep tunnels are long tunnel systems which cross different hydrogeological environments as a drainage. Thus, their water inflows have very different characteristics. The tunnel water discharges formed from these water inflows, which drain individual sections of the tunnel system, also have different properties. These discharges from individual tunnel sections – so-called sectional discharges – are important for determining the geothermal potential of deep tunnels. Knowledge of the origins of sectional discharges and their properties allows optimising the usage of the geothermal potential of the water by provision of adequate tunnel water management. By monitoring sectional discharges, the most effective ”mixing scenarios“ can be calculated and thus an optimization of the geothermal output can be achieved. The concept of sectional discharges for the geothermal evaluation of deep tunnels is presented based on data from the Brenner Base Tunnel (BBT).
Translated title of the contributionTeilströme als geothermisches Potential bei tiefliegenden Tunneln
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-103
Number of pages12
JournalGeomechanics and Tunnelling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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