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Satellite based synthetic aperture radar and optical spatial-temporal information as aid for operational and environmental mine monitoring

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dc.contributor.advisor Jordaan, Maarten Eloff, Corné 2018-08-27T07:52:16Z 2018-08-27T07:52:16Z 2018-04 2018-08
dc.identifier.citation Eloff, Corné (2018) Satellite based synthetic aperture radar and optical spatial-temporal information as aid for operational and environmental mine monitoring, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <>
dc.description.abstract A sustainable society is a society that satisfies its resource requirements without endangering the sustainability of these resources. The mineral endowment on the African continent is estimated to be the first or second largest of world reserves. Therefore, it is recognised that the African continent still heavily depends on mineral exports as a key contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) of various countries. These mining activities, however, do introduce primary and secondary environmental degradation factors. They attract communities to these mining areas, light and heavy industrial establishments occur, giving rise to artisanal activities. This study focussed on satellite RS products as an aid to a mine’s operations and the monitoring of its environment. Effective operational mine management and control ensures a more sustainable and profitable lifecycle for mines. Satellite based RS holds the potential to observe the mine and its surrounding areas at high temporal intervals, different spectral wavelengths and spatial resolutions. The combination of SAR and optical information creates a spatial platform to observe and measure the mine’s operations and the behaviour of specific land cover and land use classes over time and contributes to a better understanding of the mining activities and their influence on the environment within a specific geographical area. This study will introduce an integrated methodology to collect, process and analyse spatial information over a specific targeted mine. This methodology utilises a medium resolution land cover base map, derived from Landsat 8, to understand the predominant land cover types of the surrounding area. Using very high resolution mono- and stereoscopic satellite imagery provides a finer scale analysis and identifies changes in features at a smaller scale. Combining these technologies with the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) applications for precise measurement of surface subsidence or upliftment becomes a spatial toolbox for mine management. This study examines a combination of satellite remote sensing products guided by a systematic workflow methodology to integrate spatial results as an aid for mining operations and environmental monitoring. Some of the results that can be highlighted is the successful land cover classification using the Landsat 8 satellite. The land cover that dominated the Kolomela mine area was the “SHRUBLAND/GRASS” class with a 94% coverage and “MINE” class of 2.6%. Sishen mine had a similar dominated land cover characteristic with a “SHRUBLAND/GRASS” class of 90% and “MINE” class of 4.8%. The Pléiades time-series classification analysis was done using three scenes each acquired at a different time interval. The Sishen and Kolomela mine showed especially changes from the bare soil class to the asphalt or mine class. The Pléiades stereoscopic analysis provided volumetric change detection over small, medium, large and recessed areas. Both the Sishen and Kolomela mines demonstrated height profile changes in each selected category. The last category of results focused on the SAR technology to measure within millimetre accuracy the subsidence and upliftment behaviour of surface areas over time. The Royal Bafokeng Platinum tailings pond area was measured using 74 TerraSAR-X scenes. The tailings wall area was confirmed as stable with natural subsidence that occurred in its surrounding area due to seasonal changes of the soil during rainy and dry periods. The Chuquicamata mine as a large open pit copper mine area was analysed using 52 TerraSAR-X scenes. The analysis demonstrated significant vertical surface movement over some of the dumping sites. It is the wish of the researcher that this dissertation and future research scholars will continue to contribute in this scientific field. These contributions can only assist the mining sector to continuously improve its mining operations as well as its monitoring of the primary as well as the secondary environmental impacts to ensure improved sustainability for the next generation. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xvi, 174 leaves) : illustrations (chiefly color), maps (chiefly color), color graphs en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Landsat 8 en
dc.subject Pléiades en
dc.subject TerraSAR-X en
dc.subject Chuquicamata Mine en
dc.subject Sishen Mine en
dc.subject Kolomela Mine en
dc.subject Royal Bafokeng Platinum tailings pond en
dc.subject Africa en
dc.subject Airbus Defence and Space en
dc.subject Mining en
dc.subject Minerals en
dc.subject Environment en
dc.subject Land cover en
dc.subject Monoscopic en
dc.subject Stereoscopic en
dc.subject Surface movement monitoring en
dc.subject Elevation models en
dc.subject Remote sensing en
dc.subject Classification en
dc.subject Image processing en
dc.subject Image analysis en
dc.subject Spatial information en
dc.subject Spatial information en
dc.subject Earth en
dc.subject.ddc 621.38485096
dc.subject.lcsh Synthetic aperture radar -- Africa en
dc.subject.lcsh Environmental monitoring -- Africa en
dc.subject.lcsh Optical radiometry -- Africa en
dc.title Satellite based synthetic aperture radar and optical spatial-temporal information as aid for operational and environmental mine monitoring en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department Environmental Sciences en M. Sc. (Environmental Science)

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