The Federal Office of Topography, swisstopo, has unveiled a newly-developed 3D model of the geological features of the vast central regions of Switzerland. New views of the underground landscape will help future extraction and planning.
The GeoMol project charts the under- and over-ground geological features of Switzerland’s central region, a flattish area stretching between Lake Geneva in the southwest and Lake Constance in the northeast, swisstopo announced on Thursday.
While the upper surfaces of the 3D model were built using existing topographical data and digital models, the underground geological features were modelled according to data acquired from various hydrocarbon extraction companies over the past 50 years.
In total, swisstopo said, information from over 60 deep drilling sites, combined with the data from about 5,000 kilometres of seismic sections, “decisively contributed to the successful development of the 3D model, allowing us to show the various layers and fault-lines under the ground.”
The 3D model comes with several uses for underground organisation.
For example, the statement said, “a reliable representation of the subsoil helps the exploration and exploitation of raw mineral materials, as well as planning the underground disposal of radioactive waste”.
Further research and mapping of underground temperatures will also help in the harnessing of geothermal heat.
The government-funded GeoMol project – an earlier video of which can be viewed hereexternal link – was the result of widespread collaboration between swisstopo, various Swiss cantons, universities, and energy advocate groups.