BGR Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe

6th Conference on the Mechanical Behavior of Salt: Understanding of THMC Processes in Salt Rocks
May 22 - 25, 2007

Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hannover (Germany)

Page updated June 12, 2007

Permeability in the excavation damaged zone (EDZ) around a drift in rock salt backfilled with crushed salt. Project BAMBUS, code JIFE Permeability in the excavation damaged zone (EDZ) around a drift in rock salt backfilled with crushed salt. Project BAMBUS, code JIFE Source: courtesy of Ulrich Heemann, BGR


The 6th Conference on the Mechanical Behavior of Salt has continued a long-lasting tradition which started in 1981 at the Pennsylvania State University, USA. We are all indebted to H. Reginald Hardy Jr. and Michael Langer who initiated and promoted this series of conferences.

This international conference brought together mining and reservoir engineers as well as researchers. More than 150 participants attended the conference.

The key lectures "Coupling in Salt and Salt Caverns" by Pierre Bérest and "Long-term Behaviour of Sealed Brine-filled Cavities as well as Waste-filled Cavities in Rock Salt Mass" by Karl-Heinz Lux covered and summarized the main items of interest, i.e. THMC process understanding, constitutive modeling, and numerical calculation for the prediction of the system behavior. With respect to their relevance, the stability of caverns as well as of repositories during the operation phase and the long-term isolation capacity of the salt host rock formation were of special concern.

These lectures demonstrate the pronounced progress in the general understanding of THMC processes, in the development of refined constitutive models, and in the improvement of efficient numerical codes for modeling and prediction - including the coupling with different back-fill material compounds.They also made obvious the need for future work on infiltration processes into the geological barrier system and on the impact of pore pressure effects on the mechanical and hydraulic properties of a barrier system.

The recent results, as reported and compiled in the proceedings of this conference, yield an important contribution for the application of reliable models and codes for sensitivity and scenario analyses as well as for long-term safety assessments and the maintenance of models and codes. These results and their improvement are the prerequisite to convince the public and promote approvals for the abandonment of a cavern or the closure of a final disposal.

Download: Oral presentations (PDF, 15 KB)

Download: Poster presentations (PDF, 48 KB)


Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)

Institute for Rock Mechanics GmbH Leipzig (IfG), homepage: Institut für Gebirgsmechanik GmbH (IfG), Leipzig

Clausthal University of Technology (TUC), homepage:


Conference venue had been at the:
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)
Geozentrum Hannover

Stilleweg 2
D - 30655 Hannover

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International Scientific Board

Pierre Bérest, École Polytechnique (F)

Otto Bornemann, BGR (D)

Nicolaie Cristescu, Univ. of Florida (USA)

Fritz Crotogino, KBB UT GmbH (D)

Gérard Durup, Gaz de France (F)

Maurice Dusseault, Univ. of Waterloo (CA)

Peter A. Fokker, Shell Research (NL)

Antonio Gens, Univ. of Catalunya (E)

Mehdi Ghoreychi, INERIS (F)

Frank D. Hansen, SANDIA (USA)

Stefan Heusermann, BGR (D)

Udo Hunsche, BGR (D)

Nina Müller-Hoeppe, DBE TEC GmbH (D)

Tom Pfeifle, SANDIA (USA)

Horst Pitterich, FZK (D)

Alexandra Pudewills, FZK (D)

Henry Rauche, ERCOSPLAN (D)

Reinhard B. Rokahr, Univ. of Hannover (D)

Tilmann Rothfuchs, GRS (D)

Chris Spiers, Univ. of Utrecht (NL)

Jacek Tejchman, Univ. of Gdansk (P)

Janos Urai, RWTH Aachen (D)

Leo van Sambeek, RESPEC (USA)

Wolfgang Voigt, BA Freiberg (D)

Advisory Board

Manfred Wallner, BGR (D)

Wolfgang Minkley, IfG (D)

Karl-Heinz Lux, TUC (D)

H. Reginald Hardy, Jr., Penn State Univ. (USA)

Conference Proceedings

The “Proceedings of the 6th Conference on the Mechanical Behavior of Salt“ are published by Taylor & Francis (incorporating A. A. Balkema Publishers), Netherlands.

The proceedings comprise more than 50 reviewed original papers (Abstracts of papers Saltmech6 (PDF, 558 KB) which were presented at the conference in eight thematic parts:

Part 1. THM-processes in salt rocks – observations at laboratory and in-situ scales

Part 2. Constitutive models for the mechanical behavior of rock salt

Part 3. Deformation processes at very large temporal and spatial scales - geological systems

Part 4. THM-processes in crushed salt backfill of final repositories – observations at laboratory and in-situ scales, modeling

Part 5. THMC-processes in backfill materials – laboratory observations and modeling

Part 6. Studies of mining and mine abandonment

Part 7. Cavern design for gas storage and solution mining

Part 8. Abandonment of caverns


For the generous financial support special thanks are paid to the sponsors of the conference 'SaltMech6'

-Akzo Nobel Base Chemicals
-DEEP Underground Engineering GmbH
-esco - european salt company GmbH & Co. KG
-PTKA-WTE Water Technology and Waste Management
-GSF- Forschungszentrum für Umwelt und Gesundheit, GmbH
-GTS - Grube Teutschenthal Sicherungs-GmbH und Co. KG
-Gesteinslabor Dr. Eberhard Jahns e.K.
-K + S Aktiengesellschaft
-KBB Underground Technologies GmbH
-SOCON Sonar Control - Kavernenvermessung GmbH
-VNG - Verbundnetz Gas AG

Organizing Committee

Uwe Düsterloh, TUC (D)

Bettina Landsmann, BGR (D)

Till Popp, IfG (D)

Otto Schulze, BGR (D)

Thomas Spies, BGR (D)



Hon.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Spies
Phone: +49 (0)511-643-2688

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