In the scope of the BurVal project buried valleys are explored in the North Sea region. They developed as subglacial tunnel valleys during Quaternary times and are refilled with sediments afterwards. Depending on the distribution of permeable to non-permeable layers (sand and clay) they are important for future water supply. In order to address the intrinsic complexity of the buried valleys, high-resolution reflection seismic, vertical seismic profiles (VSP) and electromagnetic (EM) surveys are used amongst other geoscientific measurements for investigation. In the two German pilot areas, the Cuxhavener Rinne and the Ellerbeker Rinne, we can map the extension of a covering clay layer in the buried valley. It is visible in the EM surveys as good conductor. In combination with the seismic sections the relative position of the clay layer in the valley is further specified. Side deposits on the valley flanks influence the protective function of the clay along the valley rim. VSP measurements show the wide range of the seismic velocities in an unconsolidated and water-saturated environment. The collected data is integrated in a 3D structural model which enables the visualisation of the buried valley and will serve as basic model for future groundwater modelling.


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