Pyrite mine waste and water mapping using Hymap and Hyperion hyperspectral data

Research areas:
Year:
2012
Authors:
Journal:
ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES
Volume:
66
Number:
7
Pages:
1957-1971
Month:
August
ISSN:
1866-6280
Abstract:
Hyperspectral low spatial resolution Hyperion data are used to map mine waste from massive sulphide ore deposits, mostly abandoned, on the Iberian Pyrite Belt. Hymap high spatial resolution data are used for crossed interpretation. Mine dams, mill tailings and mine dumps in a variable state of pyrite oxidation are recognizable. Ponds of acid water in the mine sites are spectrally outstanding and, with simple image processing procedures, mappable. In addition, acid water with different chemical composition is mappable with hyperspectral data, whether of high or low spatial resolution. A sequence of hyperspectral image processing algorithms used to produce the maps is suggested. Therefore, hyperspectral data are invaluable in giving quick hints on the quality of the rapidly changing state of the contamination generated by sulphide mine waste, enabling the authorities to activate mitigation procedures.