Satellite based mine rehabilitation monitoring using WorldView-2 imagery

Dr Simit Raval (ACSMP), Raymond N.  Merton and Associate Professor David Laurence (ACSMP)

Remote sensing technology has increased in both application and significance over the past decade, and now promises an improved observation strategy for enhanced mine environmental management. However, its utilisation as a common monitoring tool within the mining industry is less prevalent than for other primary production sectors such as agriculture and forestry. This research investigates the application of multispectral WorldView-2 (WV2) imagery to map surface rehabilitation at the Ulan Coal Mines Limited (UCML), Australia. This new concept for monitoring a rehabilitation process focuses on the assessment of discrete mine site environments by mapping vegetation health using the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) as an indicator. This satellite based approach clearly identifies subtle changes in vegetation composition and health across an otherwise homogenous revegetated surface and proves a valuable addition for mine rehabilitation management.

Figure 1: (a) NDVI based classified WV2 image and (b) rehabilitation campaigns at UCML (Raval, S., Merton, R. N. and Laurence, D., 2013)