TNO to study geology for underground Einstein Telescope

26 November 2020

The Dutch Black Hole Consortium will receive 4.9 million euros from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) within the framework of the Dutch Research Agenda. The new interdisciplinary consortium will further unravel the riddles of black holes and the mysteries of the universe. Astronomers and physicists will join forces to make new discoveries and geologists will `dive into the subsurface’ for the possible underground construction of the Einstein Telescope.

800gdn_laat-devoon-nabij-trooz-in-belgië
Example of a typical host rock for Einstein Telescope (Late Devonian, 370 million years ago near Trooz in Belgium)

By contributing to the development of the advanced Einstein Telescope, the consortium is preparing for future research on gravitational waves. The infrastructure for this next generation telescope will be built underground, possibly in the border region of South Limburg. As a knowledge centre of the Dutch subsurface, the Geological Survey of the Netherlands, part of TNO, will investigate this possibility. Together with the Province of Limburg and companies, it will map out the subsurface.

Together with higher education institutions, the consortium is creating new educational materials to interest people from all backgrounds, and children in particular, in science. Lead applicant, Stefan Vandoren of Utrecht University: “This is a wonderful project in which we combine research, technology and social interest.” NWO announced the award on 25 November.

The full press release can be read here.