Among the anthropogenic topographic signatures on earth, open-pit mines are of great importance. Mining is of interest to geomorphologists and environmental researchers because of its implication in geomorphic hazards and processes. In addition, open-pit mines and quarries are considered the most dangerous industrial sector, with injuries and accidents occurring in numerous countries. Their fast, accurate and low-cost investigation, therefore, represents a challenge for the earth science community. The purpose of this work is to characterise the open-pit mining features using high-resolution topography and a recently published landscape metric, the slope local length of autocorrelation (SLLAC) (Sofia et al., 2014). As novel steps, aside from the correlation length, the terrace’s orientation is also calculated, and a simple empirical model to derive the percentage of artificial surfaces is tested. The research focuses on two main case studies of iron mines, both located in the Beijing district (P.R. China). The main topographic information (Digital Surface Models, DSMs) was derived using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetric technique. The results underline the effectiveness of the adopted methodologies and survey techniques in the characterisation of the main mine’s geomorphic features. Thanks to the SLLAC, the terraced area given by open-cast/open-pit mining for iron extraction is automatically depicted, thus, allowing researchers to quickly estimate the surface covered by the openpit. This information could be used as a starting point for future research (i) given the availability of multi-temporal surveys to track the changes in the extent of the mine; (ii) to relate the extent of the mines to the amount of processes in the area (e.g. pollution, erosion, etc.), and to (iii) combine the two points, and analyse the effects of the change related to changes in erosion. The analysis of the correlation length orientation also allows researchers to identify the terrace’s orientation and to understand the shape of the open-pit area. The tectonic environment and history, or inheritance, of a given slope can determine if and how it fails, and the orientation of the topographic surface or excavation face, with respect to geologic features, is of major significance. Therefore, the proposed approach can provide a basis for a large-scale and low-cost topographic survey for sustainable environmental planning and, for example, for the mitigation of environmental anthropogenic impacts due to mining.

Open-pit mining geomorphic feature characterisation

SOFIA, GIULIA;TAROLLI, PAOLO
2015

Abstract

Among the anthropogenic topographic signatures on earth, open-pit mines are of great importance. Mining is of interest to geomorphologists and environmental researchers because of its implication in geomorphic hazards and processes. In addition, open-pit mines and quarries are considered the most dangerous industrial sector, with injuries and accidents occurring in numerous countries. Their fast, accurate and low-cost investigation, therefore, represents a challenge for the earth science community. The purpose of this work is to characterise the open-pit mining features using high-resolution topography and a recently published landscape metric, the slope local length of autocorrelation (SLLAC) (Sofia et al., 2014). As novel steps, aside from the correlation length, the terrace’s orientation is also calculated, and a simple empirical model to derive the percentage of artificial surfaces is tested. The research focuses on two main case studies of iron mines, both located in the Beijing district (P.R. China). The main topographic information (Digital Surface Models, DSMs) was derived using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetric technique. The results underline the effectiveness of the adopted methodologies and survey techniques in the characterisation of the main mine’s geomorphic features. Thanks to the SLLAC, the terraced area given by open-cast/open-pit mining for iron extraction is automatically depicted, thus, allowing researchers to quickly estimate the surface covered by the openpit. This information could be used as a starting point for future research (i) given the availability of multi-temporal surveys to track the changes in the extent of the mine; (ii) to relate the extent of the mines to the amount of processes in the area (e.g. pollution, erosion, etc.), and to (iii) combine the two points, and analyse the effects of the change related to changes in erosion. The analysis of the correlation length orientation also allows researchers to identify the terrace’s orientation and to understand the shape of the open-pit area. The tectonic environment and history, or inheritance, of a given slope can determine if and how it fails, and the orientation of the topographic surface or excavation face, with respect to geologic features, is of major significance. Therefore, the proposed approach can provide a basis for a large-scale and low-cost topographic survey for sustainable environmental planning and, for example, for the mitigation of environmental anthropogenic impacts due to mining.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3159353
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