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Open AccessArticle

Land Cover Changes in Open-Cast Mining Complexes Based on High-Resolution Remote Sensing Data

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Vale S.A. Mina de Águas Claras (MAC), Nova Lima, Minas Gerais 34006-270, Brazil
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Instituto Tecnológico Vale. Belém, Pará 66055-090, Brazil
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Geosciences Institute, Universidade Federal do Pará. Belém, Pará 66075-110, Brazil
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Vale S.A. Gerência de Meio Ambiente Corredor Norte, São Luís, Maranhão 65085-582, Brazil
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12040611
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 27 January 2020 / Accepted: 30 January 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
Remote sensing technologies can play a fundamental role in the environmental assessment of open-cast mining and the accurate quantification of mine land rehabilitation efforts. Here, we developed a systematic geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) approach to map the amount of revegetated area and quantify the land use changes in open-cast mines in the Carajás region in the eastern Amazon, Brazil. Based on high-resolution satellite images from 2011 to 2015 from different sensors (GeoEye, WorldView-3 and IKONOS), we quantified forests, cangas (natural metalliferous savanna ecosystems), mine land, revegetated areas and water bodies. Based on the GEOBIA approach, threshold values were established to discriminate land cover classes using spectral bands, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), normalized difference water index (NDWI) and a light detection and range sensor (LiDAR) digital terrain model and slope map. The overall accuracy was higher than 90%, and the kappa indices varied between 0.82 and 0.88. During the observation period, the mining complex expanded, which led to the conversion of canga and forest vegetation to mine land. At the same time, the amount of revegetated area increased. Thus, we conclude that our approach is capable of providing consistent information regarding land cover changes in mines, with a special focus on the amount of revegetation necessary to fulfill environmental liabilities. View Full-Text
Keywords: GEOBIA; canga ecosystem; Carajás National Forest; mine land revegetation; satellite images; environmental assessment GEOBIA; canga ecosystem; Carajás National Forest; mine land revegetation; satellite images; environmental assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nascimento, F.S.; Gastauer, M.; Souza-Filho, P.W.M.; Nascimento, W.R., Jr.; Santos, D.C.; Costa, M.F. Land Cover Changes in Open-Cast Mining Complexes Based on High-Resolution Remote Sensing Data. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 611.

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