Quaternary boreholes

Deposits of unconsolidated rocks from the Quaternary – the most recent geological time period from around 2.5 million years ago to the present – provide information on erosion processes and tectonic activity in the past. These deposits are therefore investigated using boreholes.

The data from the Quaternary boreholes can be used to reconstruct past processes and understand them better. This allows more reliable conclusions to be drawn about how the landscape will evolve in the future and hence about the long-term safety of a deep geological repository. In comparison, Nagra’s exploratory (deep) boreholes are used mainly to investigate deeper consolidated rock layers.

Where will the boreholes be drilled?

The Quaternary boreholes are used for the geological investigation of scientifically selected areas of Northern Switzerland. Depending on the geological situation, the boreholes are planned both within and outside the siting regions Zürich Nordost, Nördlich Lägern and Jura Ost (see map). The locations of the boreholes depend on where the Quaternary deposits occur, based on information from the seismic measurements.

Applications open for public inspection in the local communities

Nagra submits applications for exploration permits during the course of the geological investigations for Stage 3. The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) reviews the applications and these are then opened for public inspection in the affected local communities.

The first applications will be available for inspection from the middle of 2017 and drilling work will begin in the following year.