Projects, infrastructure and international collaboration:
Scientific drilling in Sweden is supported by the Swedish Research Council.
Sweden's present-day high standard of living is built to no small degree on Swedish bedrock. Many of the companies that have given Sweden its wealth began their operations in the mining industry in the 19th century. Swedish bedrock will store our nuclear waste in the centuries to come, perhaps allowing us to continue having an abundant supply of relatively inexpensive electricity. Knowledge of our bedrock comes mainly from surface observations, providing us with a 2D map of it's surface, at best. Boreholes, mines and geophysical investigations provide additional information in the important 3rd dimension. However, boreholes drilled for commercial reasons are often not optimally located for answering specific scientific or technical questions. To understand our bedrock, and to take advantage of its economic potential, we need to drill into it at critical locations.
SDDP was initiated by about 10 scientists in 2007.In early 2010, SDDP comprised seven projects in varying stages of development with international participation and large interest from the Nordic countries. SDDP obtained support from the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet - VR) for a Swedish membership in the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) in 2008.
ICDP is a multilateral international programme that was founded in the mid-1990's as a means to support high-quality scientific drilling projects of global importance (see also http://www.icdp-online.org). Projects accepted by ICDP are of highest quality and international importance and get support from ICDP staff (the so-called Operational Support Group). This includes help with drilling-project planning and implementation, financial contribution, training of scientists, technical support, an equipment pool, data storage, distribution and publishing of data, quality control and access to an indispensible international network. Two SDDP drilling proposals, COSC and PFDP (see http://www.sddp.se/projects) have already been granted workshops by ICDP. On this occasion the projects' international working groups get formally established and begin to work on project plans that eventually will result in full ICDP proposals. ICDP support to the Swedish scientific drilling community has already commenced in form of a scientific drilling – training course in May 2009 at Skokloster, Sweden. There, 28 particpants met 7 lecturers to learn about and discuss important aspects of scientific drilling projects - from the planning phase to data handling and long-term experiments.
In autumn 2009, the NordForsk funded researchers network “Scientific Drilling in the Nordic Countries” (http://www.geofys.uu.se/sdnc) will start to work on scientific exchange, cooperation and education related to scientific drilling with partners in all Nordic countries. The network is coordinated by the SDDP office.
In early November 2009, VR granted funds for the purchase of a mobile drillrig to the SDDP working group. With a capability to drill slim holes to 2500 m and more, this scientific drilling infrastructure is unique in Europe and envisaged to become the technical platform for most of the SDDP projects. Additionally, it is the ideal complement to existing scientific drilling infrastructure in Europe, the full-sized so-called InnovaRig owned by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) that is mainly intended for future ICDP projects. Two SDDP projects, COSC and CISP (see http://www.sddp.se/projects), were granted funds for site investigations in VR's annual call for scientific projects. Further project applications are waiting for decisions by other research funding agencies. SDDP is also a part in the Swedish initiative to join the European Plate Observing System (EPOS) - Research Infrastructure and E-Science and Observatories on Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Surface Dynamics and Tectonics (http://www.epos-eu.org). EPOS is a proposal submitted to the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI, http://cordis.europa.eu/esfri) for the update of the European roadmap of research infrastructure. It constitutes a unique chance for international collaboration and will strengthen the position of Swedish research infrastructure in Earth Sciences.
For more information about SDDP science please visit our project page.