Einstein Telescope (E-Test)
The discovery of gravitational waves was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2017 and represents the final proof of Einstein's theory of space-time. With the aim to further investigate this phenomenon and to build a next generation gravitational wave detector, the EU-funded project "Einstein Telescope" was started. Together with 10 other multidisciplinary partners from the tri-border region of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, RWTH Aachen University is working on a feasibility study for the construction of this gravitational wave detector in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine.
In addition to complex, technical requirements, the construction of the Einstein telescope also presents the research partners with geological challenges: On the one hand, the facility is supposed to be operating underground. This requires tunnels in the shape of an equilateral triangle of 10 km at a depth of 300 meters. Secondly, this underground structure must be shielded as best as possible from natural and anthropogenic seismic noise. This shielding can already be ensured by natural sediment layers.
For all these challenges, a good understanding of the subsurface is required, which is why the CGGE is working on 3D geological models of the region. For this purpose, existing geological data from different databases are homogenized and geological maps and profiles are digitized. Furthermore, the results of the current geophysical exploration, collected by the partners involved in the "Einstein Telescope" project, will be used to improve the understanding of the subsurface in the region. These data allow to develop 3D subsurface models using the opensource modeling software "Gempy". Statistical methods can also be used to quantify the uncertainty caused by e.g. measurement inaccuracies for these models.
The final models can be used not only as a basis for simulations of geological processes such as groundwater flow or earthquakes, but also for decisions on the orientation and design of the Einstein Telescope, thus optimizing future decisions.
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