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R&D Division Geologic Environment Division Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources
  • Groundwater Research Center
  • Geo-Environmental Hazard Research Center
  • Deep Subsurface Research Center
Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources
The increase needs to development of technologies to effectively response to global environmental changes such as increasing disaster caused by global climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emission to cope with new climate system, and increasing social interest and demand for sustainable development of the country. The Geologic Environment Division pursues 'Exploration/exploitation and conservation of groundwater and geothermal resources', 'Research and development to address the geological hazards and geologic environmental changes' and 'Characterization and utilization of deep geosystem and secure of geothermal energy'. The Geologic Environment Research Division runs three research centers: the Groundwater Research Center, the Geo-environmental Hazard Research Center, and the Deep Subsurface Research Center, which contribute to sustainable social development and continuous improvement of living standards. The main research areas include securing groundwater resources for temporal/spatial water shortage due to climate change, control and management of geological environmental risks, such as landslides, subsidence and soil/groundwater contamination, and characterization and utilization of the deep subsurface. The Geologic Environment Division promotes collaborative research with domestic and international research groups to secure technological competitiveness and provide solutions for issues through field-based integrated researches.
  • Groundwater Research Center

    Groundwater Research Center is focused on sustainable development and management of groundwater/geothermal resources with a view to global climate and environmental changes. We research groundwater fluctuation and prediction technology, securing groundwater resources, prevention and remediation of contamination, utilization of low-temperature geothermal energy, and evaluation of groundwater dependent ecosystems. We develop integrated solutions to resolve temporal/spatial imbalances of water resources, supply geothermal energy to reduce greenhouse gases and create new energy industries, and preserve groundwater ecosystems to improve safety and standards of living.

    Main Activity

    • Development of integrated core technologies for aquifer recharge system to facilitate sustainable use of groundwater resources
    • Study the mechanism of algal bloom caused by interaction between groundwater and surface waters
    • Development of technologies for reduction of radon concentrations in groundwater
    • Development of methods for surveillance of saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers
    • Research on evaluation of groundwater resources using UAV
    • Development of geophysical logging technologies for stratigraphic evaluation
    • Development of evaluation technologies using environmental tracers for dating of groundwater resources
    • Research on assessment of low-temperature geothermal potential for utilization of shallow geothermal energy
    • Technologies for exploration and value enhancement of Korea's Natural Good-Water
  • Geo-Environmental Hazard Research Center

    Recently, global warming and rainfall pattern changes often result in landslides and debris flows in steep slope areas that threatens the safety of Korean citizens. The Center focuses on development of the landslide monitoring system and early warning technologies to mitigate possible damages to life and property. In particular, landslide monitoring systems have been set up at national parks and a landslide early warning system connected to the weather forecast data has been developed and deployed in the Mt. Jiri area in collaboration with Korean National Park Service. In the future, nation-wide early warning systems for landslide are planned to be installed in all urban areas. The Center also addresses national needs for technology for preservation and reclamation of the geologic environment associated with mining and industrial activities. Specific areas of expertise include optimum assessment and monitoring of geological contamination, development of the treatment agents and integrated processes for combined contaminants, and passive treatment of highly acidic mine drainage. Our team works on high-resolution reconstruction of past environmental changes based on the data for present surficial processes in lakes, wetlands, rivers, cave sediments and landforms. In addition, the Center participates in establishing a nation-wide information system for the assessment of aggregate and industrial stone resources.

    Main Activity

    • Landslide prediction and risk assessment
    • Numerical simulation of debris flows
    • Monitoring and early warning for landslides and debris flows
    • Revegetation technology to prevent contaminant dispersion and soil erosion
    • Soil amendment using polymers and biochemical agents for mine waste treatment
    • Selective sequential precipitation of dissolved metals present in mine drainage
  • Deep Subsurface Research Center

    The Deep Subsurface Research Center is engaged in the development of core technologies related to safe, preservative development and utilization of underground space and geothermal resources for securing environment and sustainability. Unlike shallow geological environments, deep subsurface experiences complex interactions caused by extreme conditions, such as high temperature and high pressure. We need, accordingly, integrated multidisciplinary R&D activities to address deep subsurface problems. This further involves advanced technology, as accessing deep substructures for data acquisition is fraught with difficulties and uncertainty. We aim at developing unique world-leading technology for eco-friendly sustainable development of the deep subsurface and building appropriate facilities, which would allow access to a depth of 5km.

    Main Activity

    • Development of core technologies for underground energy storage systems taking into account the requirements for LNG, compressed air, thermal energy, and so on
    • Development of the InDEPTH elementary technology for characterization of deep subsurface based on boreholes
    • Development of T-H-M Coupled Analysis Framework for discontinuous rock masses
    • Construction of 5 km depth HPHT (high-pressure high-temperature) winch system for deep borehole logging and monitoring
    • Development of in-situ 3D Stress Measurement System
    • Production of geothermal property maps and assessment of geothermal potential in Korea
    • Exploration and exploitation of high-temperature geothermal energy in deep geothermal reservoirs
    • Laboratory rock test system certified by KOLAS