Satellite interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data has already proved its effectiveness and value when supporting deformation monitoring instrumentation installed at mine sites. Based on frequent imagery, such technology is applicable to detect unstable areas without the use of in-situ sensors. Moreover, multi-temporal analysis provides geological technicians with displacement maps and time series that can be integrated with the usual ground-based radars and RTS monitoring stations.

The paper will address the use of InSAR-derived products in African mines and mines elsewhere; the exploitation of rapid response reports will be shown, together with a profitable integration strategy with radar displacement maps and robotic total station time series. Such integration will be demonstrated over several areas of the typical mining environment, including the pit, tailings dam, and waste piles.


Currently, critical mine areas are monitored for geotechnical stability with the deployment of groundbased monitoring equipment. The cost of equipment and management of the complex data from multiple systems has limited full mine and mine infrastructure coverage. Interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), has always shown promise to provide full mine site monitoring; however the poor resolutions (10 and 20 m) and long repeat pass times (24-, 35-, and 46-day repeats) severely hampered this technique from becoming a commonly applied tool in the mining industry. The availability of modern synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, with revisit times down to 4 days and ground resolutions commonly down to 3 m, has brought InSAR technology back to the forefront of mine site deformation monitoring. Advanced algorithms have brought processing times down and provide better precision. This paper addresses these advantages.

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