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Open AccessArticle

Detection and Monitoring of Surface Motions in Active Open Pit Iron Mine in the Amazon Region, Using Persistent Scatterer Interferometry with TerraSAR-X Satellite Data

1
Remote Sensing Division, National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Astronautas Avenue, 1758, Jardim da Granja District, São José dos Campos, SP 12227-010, Brazil
2
Image Processing Division, National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Astronautas Avenue, 1758, Jardim da Granja District, São José dos Campos, SP 12227-010, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2013, 5(9), 4719-4734; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs5094719
Received: 12 August 2013 / Revised: 3 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 18 September 2013
Persistent Scatterer interferometry (PSI) represents a powerful tool for the detection and monitoring of tiny surface deformations in vast areas, allowing a better understanding of its triggering mechanisms, planning of mitigation measures, as well as to find better solutions for social and environmental issues. However, there is no record hitherto of its use in active open pit mine in tropical rainforest environment. In this paper we evaluate the use of the PSI technique for the detection and monitoring of mine slope deformations in the N4W iron mine and its surroundings, Pará State, Northern Brazil. The PSI processing was performed with 18 ascending SAR scenes of the TerraSAR-X satellite acquired in the dry season of 2012. The results showed a significant number of widely distributed persistent scatterers. It was observed that most of the study area was stable during the time span. Nevertheless, high deformation rates (312 mm/year) were mapped over the mine waste piles, but do not offer any hazard, since they are expected displacements of meters in magnitude for these manmade land structures. Additionally, it was mapped tiny deformation rates in both the east and west flanks of pits 1 and 2. The main underlying reasons can be assigned to the accommodation phenomena of very poor rock masses, to the local geometric variations of the slope cuts, to the geological contact between ironstones and the country rocks, to the exploitation activities, as well as to the major geological structures. This study showed the applicability of the PSI technique using TerraSAR-X scenes in active open pit mines in tropical moist environment. However, the PSI technique is not capable in providing real-time warnings, and faces limitations due to SAR viewing geometry. In this sense, we strongly recommend the use of radar scenes acquired in both ascending and descending orbits, which would also provide a more complete understanding of the deformation patterns. View Full-Text
Keywords: persistent scatterer interferometry; surface deformation monitoring; open pit mine; tropical environment; Carajás Mineral Province persistent scatterer interferometry; surface deformation monitoring; open pit mine; tropical environment; Carajás Mineral Province
MDPI and ACS Style

Hartwig, M.E.; Paradella, W.R.; Mura, J.C. Detection and Monitoring of Surface Motions in Active Open Pit Iron Mine in the Amazon Region, Using Persistent Scatterer Interferometry with TerraSAR-X Satellite Data. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 4719-4734.

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