|Characterization of environmental contamination on the premises of unregulated mining sites using remote sensing
|David Serrano, Author
|ISU Individual Project
|Illkirch-Graffenstaden (France) : International Space University, 2023
|1 electronic resource (vi, 30 p.) / col. ill.
|Includes bibliographical references
|Artificial satellites in remote sensing ; Mining ; Vegetation monitoring
Artisanal mining in the Venezuelan Amazon has proliferated in the last decade, due to multiple socio-economic factors. These operations employ heavy metals such as mercury and cyanide to facilitate the extraction of gold and other minerals. This study aims to characterize the invisible extent of vegetation damage caused by these practices on a gold mine in the Venezuelan Amazon through multispectral satellite imagery. Level-2 data from ESA’s Sentinel-2 satellite is used to compute two vegetation indices: Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Red Edge Position (REP). Spatial and temporal changes of these indices are examined visually through the application of index masks, as well as graphically through longitudinal slices of the raster data. The spectral response from a sample area adjacent to the mine is also evaluated.
The results exhibit evidence of vegetation degradation, particularly in the period 2021 – 2023, which suggests an increment in mining activity. The spectral signature of the control site showed significant decrease in reflectivity, providing additional support to the findings. Combination of the NDVI and REP measurements provide a suitable approximation of the mining area. Variations of REP both spatially and temporally did not reflect significant changes that would suggest vegetation degradation.
|ISU program :
|Master of Space Studies
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