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ArticleName The prospect of using satellite data to monitor the impact of mining waste on environment
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2019.06.10
ArticleAuthor Mesyats S. P., Ostapenko S. P.

Mining Institute, Kola Science Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, Russia:

S. P. Mesyats, Leading Researcher,
S. P. Ostapenko, Senior Researcher, Candidate of Engineering Sciences


The case study object is an industrial site of an iron ore enterprise of the Kola mining complex and the surrounding area. The work aims to assess the mining and processing ore waste impact on natural environment using satellite data to support decision-making on waste management and improve the ecological state of the region. A methodical approach to the research is to assess the impact of the mining and processing ore waste on environment using two parameters of the underlying surface: an index of presence of chemical compounds typical for waste and a vegetation index, taking into account their change in the course of time from 2005 to 2018. As a research result, an assessment was made of the total area of disturbed lands and the area of stored mining and processing waste in dynamics of their change over time. The environmental impact of stored mining and processing waste, leading to inhibition of a vegetation cover, was revealed. The efficiency of company’s measures to create the phytocenosis (vegetation cover) on the tailings with the aim to reduce the mining-induced impact on the environment is shown. The article highlights the perspective of using satellite observations to monitor the state of the mining and processing ore waste aimed at improving the accuracy of the assessment of the area of disturbed lands, identifying areas of negative environmental impact of stored waste and assessing the effectiveness of measures to create a vegetation cover. The proposed approach covers the support of decision-making during the development of deposits by mining enterprises and the assessment of the environmental impact of mining.
The study was carried out in the framework of the Basic Research Program of the Russian Academy of Sciences I.39 : Fundamentals and energy-effective, resource-saving and innovation technologies of mineral processing and factory and residential waste management. State Contract No. 0226–2018–0001.

keywords Iron ore deposit, mining waste, ore processing waste, satellite data, vegetation cover, vegetation index, index of processed ore components presence, monitoring, phytocenosis creation

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