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Berlin Environmental Atlas

01.15 Engineer's Geological Map (Edition 2017)

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Hydrogeological Situation

The glacial-spillway sands form a thick aquifer (main aquifer) within the overall freshwater system, in which several separate aquifers are hydraulically connected. The groundwater in the sands is present in an unconfined condition (cf. Maps 02.07 and 02.12).
The depth to groundwater generally comes to 2-4 m, frequently however more than 4 m. In low-lying areas, it is less than 2 m (cf. Map 02.07).
It should be considered that the groundwater levels are in some cases strongly affected in the vicinity of the waterworks wells by the withdrawal of water by the Berlin Waterworks for the city's water supply.

The aquifer in the glacial spillway is uncovered; it is not protected against pollutants penetrating over broad areas.
The velocity of flow can be assumed to be ≤ 0.25 m/d. Near well facilities, it can be considerably higher.

In the area of the plateaus, the main aquifer is in most places covered by thick Saalian and Weichselian Glaciation till. Generally, confined groundwater conditions can be assumed here, with depths to groundwater of usually more than 10 m. Towards the Glacial Spillway, the depth to groundwater becomes less, in accordance with the diminishing thickness of the till.

Figure 1
Fig. 1: Hydrogeologic Terms

In small channel and basin-like depression in the Saalian and Weichselian Glaciation till, in which meltwater sands and also drainage products of the debris loam or till occur, there is often an upper aquifer of low thickness. Here, near-surface groundwater must be assumed, depending on the precipitation level. This is also described as so-called "floating groundwater" (Fig. 1). In addition, it cannot be ruled out that such "floating groundwater" will occur in sandy islands within the till.

These conditions have to be taken into account in subsurface construction work and in the construction of buildings with cellars.

An unconfined, uncovered, independent aquifer separated from the confined main aquifer by the ground moraine in between, has developed in the sands of glacial valleys of the Panke Valley on the Barnim Plateau (Fig. 2).

Figure 2
Fig. 2: Hydrogeologic Situation in the Panke Valley

For more information, see the maps 02.12 Groundwater Levels of the Main Aquifer and Panke Valley Aquifer, 02.19 Expected Highest Groundwater Level (EHGL) and 02.20 Expected Mean Highest Groundwater Level (EMHGL).

Additional information on groundwater can be obtained from the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, Working Group II B 3 Geological Survey in the internet [in German].

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