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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Research project: POSCAR

Currently Active: 

This project will exploit Earth Observation data from the Copernicus Programme. The focus will be on the Sentinel-1 satellites to provide an innovative way of monitoring terrain deformations resulting from mining activities via a near-real time ground deformation monitoring system.

Start Date: 1/12/2019

End Date: 31/05/2020

Ground motion is an inevitable effect of underground mining activities. Drilling, blasting, excavating and debris removal involve the movement of considerable volumes of material. As a result, ground instability can cause tremors, underground and surface displacements. This motion poses a significant risk to the mine workers, the mine structure itself and surrounding infrastructure such as urban areas, power lines and dams. Operational ground motion monitoring is therefore a key concern to the mining industry. It allows detecting the spatial pattern of surface changes and their evolution over time. Timely reliable information is vital for the design and implementation of early warning systems and targeted mitigation actions. In a collaborative project, the University of Southampton and Worldsensing will explore the feasibility of a cost-effective method to monitor mine surface displacement at large scale, integrating a network of ground sensors and imagery from the new constellation of European satellites. The results of this project have implications for the improvement of early warning of potential hazards, safety of mining operations, environmental and post-mining monitoring.

Related research groups

Environmental Change and Sustainability (ECaS)
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