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Remote Sens. 2011, 3(10), 2166-2186;

Monitoring the Extent of Contamination from Acid Mine Drainage in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain) Using Hyperspectral Imagery

Geological Survey of Spain (IGME), La Calera 1, 28760 Tres Cantos, E-28003 Madrid, Spain
Facultad de Ciencias Ambientales, Universidad de León, Campus de Vegazana s/n, E-24071 León, Spain
Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique de Nantes, 2 rue de la Houssinière BP 92208, 44322 Nantes Cedex 3, France
Remote Sensing Data Centre, German Aerospace Research (DLR), P.O. Box 1116, D-82234 Wessling, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2011 / Revised: 6 September 2011 / Accepted: 2 October 2011 / Published: 14 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hyperspectral Remote Sensing)
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Monitoring mine waste from sulfide deposits by hyperspectral remote sensing can be used to predict surface water quality by quantitatively estimating acid drainage and metal contamination on a yearly basis. In addition, analysis of the mineralogy of surface crusts rich in soluble salts can provide a record of annual humidity and temperature. In fact, temporal monitoring of salt efflorescence from mine wastes at a mine site in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (Huelva, Spain) has been achieved using hyperspectral airborne Hymap data. Furthermore, climate variability estimates are possible based on oxidation stages derived from well-known sequences of minerals, by tracing sulfide oxidation intensity using archive spectral libraries. Thus, airborne and spaceborne hyperspectral remote sensing data can be used to provide a short-term record of climate change, and represent a useful set of tools for assessing environmental geoindicators in semi-arid areas. Spectral and geomorphological indicators can be monitored on a regular basis through image processing, supported by field and laboratory spectral data. In fact, hyperspectral image analysis is one of the methods selected by the Joint Research Centre of the European Community (Ispra, Italy) to study abandoned mine sites, in order to assess the enforcement of the European Mine Waste Directive (2006/21/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council 15 March 2006) on the management of waste from extractive industries (Official Journal of the European Union, 11 April 2006). The pyrite belt in Andalucia has been selected as one of the core mission test sites for the PECOMINES II program (Cracow, November 2005), using imaging spectroscopy; and this technique is expected to be implemented as a monitoring tool by the Environmental Net of Andalucía (REDIAM, Junta de Andalucía, Spain). View Full-Text
Keywords: imaging spectroscopy; geology; acid mine drainage; pyrite weathering imaging spectroscopy; geology; acid mine drainage; pyrite weathering

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Riaza, A.; Buzzi, J.; García-Meléndez, E.; Carrère, V.; Müller, A. Monitoring the Extent of Contamination from Acid Mine Drainage in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Spain) Using Hyperspectral Imagery. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 2166-2186.

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