Remotely sensed land-cover changes in the Wuda and Ruqigou-Gulaben coal-mining areas of China
Published:January 01, 2007
Claudia Kuenzer, Jianzhong Zhang, Stefan Voigt, Wolfgang Wagner, 2007. "Remotely sensed land-cover changes in the Wuda and Ruqigou-Gulaben coal-mining areas of China", Geology of Coal Fires: Case Studies from Around the World, Glenn B. Stracher
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Medium-resolution Landsat5 TM (thematic Mapper) and Landsat7 ETM+ (Enhanced thematic Mapper) satellite data were used to investigate multitemporal land-cover changes in the Wuda and Ruqigou-Gulaben coal basins of China between 1987 and 2002. The surficial distribution of coal as detected by remote sensing may be an important indicator of mining activity. Coal that is exposed on the surface may appear as seams in openpit mines; the coal also may occur in storage and waste piles, as refuse at the entrance to a mine, or as coal dust covering areas adjacent to the exposed coal. Because both coal basins are affected by coal fires, monitoring surficial features, including the expansion of coal, is crucial for evaluating the risk for a coal fire. This risk increases where new, often private, mines develop.
Remote-sensing data reveal that the increasing number of exposures of coal in the Wuda and Ruqigou-Gulaben coal basins between 1987 and 2002 is correlative with an increase in mining activity there and the associated surficial coal dust adjacent to mining-transport networks. The data also reveal an increase in small-scale private coal mines, especially in the eastern part of the Wuda Coalfield. Such mines often suffer from inadequate mining and environmental regulations and are at high risk for coal fires. Satellite-based detection and in situ verification of new coal fires during field campaigns in 2003 and 2005 confirmed that land-cover analysis is useful for the identification of potential locations for coal fires. The changes that were observed in all other land cover in the Wuda and Ruqigou-Gulaben coal basins represent the more general dominant spatial dynamics in the two regions.
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Geology of Coal Fires: Case Studies from Around the World
The “sedimentary cover” refers to the stratified rocks of youngest Proterozoic and Phanerozoic age that rest upon the largely crystalline basement rocks of the continental interior. The early chapters of the volume present data and interpretations of the geophysics of the craton and summarize, with sequential maps, the tectonic evolution of the craton. The main body of the text and accompanying plates and figures present the stratigraphy, structural history, and economic geology of specific sedimentary basins (e.g., Appalachian basin) and regions (e.g., Rocky Mountains). The volume concludes with a summary chapter in which the currently popular theories of cratonal tectonics are discussed and the unresolved questions are identified.