Day 4

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Paper title Terrain Motion Mapping and Multispectral Data Usage for Mining Risk Mitigation
  1. Pooja Ramakrishnan SkyGeo Speaker
  2. Jacqueline Salzer SkyGeo
  3. Anna Fabris
Form of presentation Poster
  • D1. Managing Risks
    • D1.01 Satellite EO for Geohazard Risks
Abstract text There are many geotechnical risks involved in the operation of a Tailings Storage Facility (TSF). Usually designed to withstand tremendous pressure exerted by the deposition of material against its dam walls, TSFs are often structures at risk of experiencing sinkholes on the crest of the dam, or the bulging of the toe due to this exerted pressure. Additionally, depending on the moisture content of the tailings, seepage, overtopping and destruction of liner integrity can pose additional risks. Using a combination of Earth Observation data, SkyGeo has developed an integrated monitoring service for TSFs. The data includes interferograms, coherence, and amplitude maps that are generated from high resolution X-band satellites as well as high resolution optical and open source multispectral data.

This service comprises reports that are generated every 4-7 days using multi-orbit SAR imagery processed with SkyGeo’s proprietary InSAR software. The phase information is used to estimate displacements that are further decomposed into displacement maps that indicate vertical subsidence or East-West motion. Coherence maps are used to track the integrity of the dam walls and as an advance proxy for dam breach situations. Using the SAR amplitude data combined with the multi spectral information from Sentinel-2, the distance or extent of the tailings water accumulation from the dam is computed. This serves as an indicator for potential overtopping incidents or any seepage from the facility. Finally, orthoimagery is also acquired on a quarterly basis by the high resolution optical satellite, Pleiades, to provide context for the monitoring service.

The EO data is integrated into the operations and safety management of the TSF by means of a risk report. The data is checked against thresholds based on engineering criteria and historical baselines of movement by SkyGeo. This is then communicated with the mining staff to provide timely actionable insights. In this way, SkyGeo’s use of EO data for risk management provides additional oversight and acts as a first link in the fence in the safety and management of the tailings facility.