Learn more about InSAR monitoring of subsidence induced by underground mining operations at our presentation at the RETC 2019 in Chicago.

You can be a part of the conversation by attending the session on InSAR Monitoring at: Geotechnical Considerations I – Regencey C, Tuesday, June 18th 3:00 pm. For more information go to www.retc.org/index.cfm/conference/agenda/technical-sessions/#

You can also join us at our booth for more detailed information on solutions for your monitoring needs.

Underground mining activities can produce extensive subsidence at the surface, which in extreme cases can cause production blocks, safety risks and damage to infrastructure. The mapping of the extent and magnitude of ground movement is usually one of the main challenges faced by mine operators and is important for mine planning, operational hazard assessment and to evaluate environmental and socio-economic impacts.

The instrumentation used for surface deformation monitoring in and around mining operations was generally based on conventional survey techniques, providing spatially and temporally sparse measurements. The advent of InSAR significantly changed this scenario by providing a high density, bird’s eye view of the surface movements. Beneficial features of InSAR surface monitoring include:

  • Provision of information without the need to install ground instrumentation,
  • capability to perform historical ground deformation analyses thanks to the existence of data archives going back to the 1990’s,
  • and millimetric sensitivity to vertical deformation, which allows accurate characterization of the areas affected by subsidence.

Recent advances in the satellite space segment and processing algorithms have significantly reduced computational time and the advent of newer satellites with increased spatial resolution and acquisition frequency have increased information density. Near-real time InSAR monitoring is now widely applied in different mining settings to highlight possible incipient movements in areas not visible to in-situ instrumentation. Some case studies of InSAR applied to underground mining worldwide will be shown during our presentation, highlighting the advantages of combining different InSAR techniques to monitor both slow and fast movements.