Mining (especially surface) is one of the major causes of land and environmental degradation globally. Environmental impacts such as deforestation, landscape degradation, alteration of stream and river morphology, widespread environmental pollution, siltation of water bodies, biodiversity loss, etc., have been noted to be associated with mining. Surface deformation is the biggest problem in open cast mines and their surrounding areas due to mining activities. Surveying engineers study the amount of displacement in open pit mines by using leveling to calculate the amount of displacement and determine it. These methods are expensive and time consuming. Satellite images are considered as an important tool for land resource management due to the wide view that provide of an area and also due to its regular repetitive coverage. Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) is a useful tool in the study of surface displacements. The SAR interferometry concept has been introduced in the last 1980s.The objective of this study as an academic research is monitoring deformation using Persistent Scatterer Interferometry Synthetic Aperture Radar (PS-InSAR) method for managing a very rich iron ore resource in the eastern part of Iran named Sangan, near the Afghanistan boundary.
In this paper, surface deformation calculation based on the processing of PS-InSAR technique (Persistent Scatterers SAR Interferometry) have been carried out. For this study, according to the availability of data for study area 47 SLC images of Sentinel-1A covering the study area during the period of October 7, 2014 –July 7, 2020 are downloaded from European Space Agency website. Sentinel-1A acquired images with a swath width of 250 by 180, with revisiting time 12 days within the IW data acquisition mode, it is reduced to six days if the images acquired by the Sentinel-1B satellite are available. Sentinel-1 has launched on 4th April 2014 by ESA.
PS includes following steps:
Master image selection,
Reflectivity map generation
Amplitude stability index,
Persistent Scatterers Candidate selection (PSC),
PS point selection,
Multi-image sparse grid phase unwrapping,
Atmospheric phase screen estimation
Removal and PS phased reading
Sangan Iron Ore Complex (SIOC) is located at latitude N 34°24’ to 34°55’ longitude E 60°16’ to 60°55’ in the Khorasan-e-Razavi Province, North-Eastern Iran. The iron ore deposit is about 20 km Northeast of Sangan town at about 1650 meters above sea level. Sangan Iron Ore Mines (SIOM) is one of the largest mineral areas in Iran, and also considered to be one of the Middle East’s richest deposits which are located in a rectangular area with 26km length and 8km width.
Results and Discussion
In this paper, the 47 scenes of IW SLC Sentinel-1A images, spanning the period from October 7, 2014–July 7, 2020 are accumulated displacement map and the time series of the deformation derived. The PS were selected on the basis of the ASI threshold value of 0.7, which signifies the stability of target points. The LOS displacement was improved by using APS and atmospheric phase delay correction. Later, the LOS displacement velocity on PS locations was estimated. The temporal coherence of all the selected PS was also tested. The PS points having ASI value of 0.7 and above, and temporal coherence of 0.9 and above, gave a relatively stable estimation of LOS velocity. We have identified 215377 Scatterers points. By imposing the standard threshold of 0.7 on ensemble coherence value, this amount decreased dramatically to 52449 PS points. These factors make the chosen technique suitable for studies of surface deformations. The results showed that the deformation velocity in this area is -4.8 mm/yrs and maximum displacement-30mm. In order to verify the results, we collected the Total Station data and PS data for analysis and comparison. Due to the lack of data in the plain, the Total Station data is related to downslope areas and as a result, uplift of area has been used to validation the results. It has been observed that for the same area the Total Station value shows good agreement with the PS- InSAR result. However, there may be some errors due to the fact that the data are not synchronous and that the nature of the impression is different.
In the present study, PS-InSAR technique and C-band sentinel-1 data have been used for surface deformation monitoring in open cast mines of Sangan-Khaf, Khorasan Razavi. It can be concluded that monitoring the deformation of mined surfaces using traditional monitoring techniques such as field surveys and using Total Station, especially in large study areas, is time consuming. Since in using the interferometry methods in the study of open pit mines, the area covered by SAR images is much larger, so the use of this method will reduce costs. The results were assessed and validated using leavening data has been observed that, for the same area, the levelling value shows good agreement with the PS- InSAR result.