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Open AccessArticle

Analysis of the Development of an Erosion Gully in an Open-Pit Coal Mine Dump During a Winter Freeze-Thaw Cycle by Using Low-Cost UAVs

1
Engineering Research Center of Ministry of Education for Mine Ecological Restoration, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
2
Shenhua Baorixile Energy Ind Co. Ltd., Hulun Buir 021000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(11), 1356; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11111356
Received: 7 May 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Monitoring Soil Degradation by Remote Sensing)
Open-pit coal mine dumps in semi-arid areas in northern China are affected by serious soil erosion problems. The conventional field investigation method cannot ensure a fine spatial analysis of gully erosion. With recent technological and algorithmic developments in high-resolution terrain measurement, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Structure from Motion (SfM) technology have become powerful tools to capture high-resolution terrain data. In this study, two UAV Photogrammetry surveys and modeling were performed at one opencast coal mine dump gully before and after a freeze-thaw cycle. Finally, a three-dimensional digital model of the slope of the drainage field was established, and a centimeter-level-resolution Digital Orthophoto Map (DOM) and a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) were created. Moreover, the development process of the erosion zone of the open-pit mine dump during a freeze-thaw cycle was studied by UAVs. The results show that there are clear soil erosion phenomena in the erosion gully of the dump during a freeze-thaw cycle. The erosion degree was different across regions, with the highest erosion occurring in high-slope areas at the upper edge of the bank. Moreover, the phenomenon of flake erosion and “crumble” was recorded. At the same time, the NE-E-SE slope and the high-sunshine radiation zone were seriously eroded. Finally, the relationship between the development process of the erosion gully and micro-topography factors was analyzed, providing managers with a sound scientific basis to implement land restoration. View Full-Text
Keywords: meltwater gully erosion; open-pit coal mine dump; unmanned aerial vehicle; 3D photo-reconstruction meltwater gully erosion; open-pit coal mine dump; unmanned aerial vehicle; 3D photo-reconstruction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gong, C.; Lei, S.; Bian, Z.; Liu, Y.; Zhang, Z.; Cheng, W. Analysis of the Development of an Erosion Gully in an Open-Pit Coal Mine Dump During a Winter Freeze-Thaw Cycle by Using Low-Cost UAVs. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1356.

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