What are 3 tonnes of soil from the Baltic Sea doing in Saxony?

G.E.O.S. analyses soil samples from the Baltic Sea - results should provide insights into the feasibility of laying a data cable

In January 2022, an 18-man ship's crew was deployed in the Baltic Sea to take seabed samples from the Baltic Sea on behalf of the company VBW Weigt GmbH and a North German infrastructure provider. The aim of the offshore operation on the north-eastern coast of Rügen near Sassnitz was the sampling for the geotechnical assessment of the seabed for the laying of a data cable along a route length of approximately 63 kilometres.

The crew of the ship included geologists, geophysicists, surveyors and technicians in addition to the regular ship's crew. Using the vibratory core drilling method, 72 boreholes were drilled 3 metres deep into the Baltic Sea floor. The drill cores were cut into 1 metre long sections, transported ashore and prepared for transport to Halsbrücke in Saxony. The result: a total of 3 tonnes of Baltic Sea soil stored in 216 core pieces in liners with a length of 1 metre and a diameter of 10 centimetres.

The core liner sections were transported by truck from the Baltic Sea to G.E.O.S., where geologists and scientists are analysing the properties of the soil samples. For this purpose, the cores were sorted, cut open and documented. Afterwards, the inside of the cores gets analysed in G.E.O.S.'s own soil physics laboratory. That is, the samples from the layers along the route in the Baltic Sea are examined in accordance with a sampling concept and weighed, dried, divided, sieved, measured, tested in experiment stations and then documented.