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Thermal remote sensing for moisture content monitoring of mine tailings; laboratory study


Mining produces massive volumes of mine tailings that are deposited into large scale mine tailings impoundments. A key environmental objective of managing these large impoundments is mitigating fugitive dust emissions by monitoring and controlling moisture, because moisture directly affects the tailings' strength and the ability to apply dust control measures using motorized equipment. Therefore, understanding the spatial and temporal variations in moisture content for surface tailings is critical for characterizing dust susceptibility and trafficability. Remote sensing has been proven to be a useful tool for similar applications. This study utilized laboratory testing conducted on iron mine tailings to verify that: (1) a relationship exists between moisture content and strength for the surface of mine tailings, and (2) thermal remote sensing can be used to infer spatial variations in moisture content for surface tailings. Multivariate regressions were developed to identify the critical remote sensing and climatic variables, and evaluate their influence in remotely measured moisture content. For tailings samples collected from two different North American iron mines, regressions using sample temperature and ambient humidity were able to predict surface moisture content (R (super 2) >0.9).

ISSN: 1078-7275
EISSN: 1558-9161
Coden: ENGEA9
Serial Title: Environmental & Engineering Geoscience
Serial Volume: 23
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Thermal remote sensing for moisture content monitoring of mine tailings; laboratory study
Affiliation: Barr Engineering Company, Minneapolis, MN, United States
Pages: 299-312
Published: 20170322
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America, Association of Engineering Geologists, College Station, TX, United States
References: 50
Accession Number: 2017-035026
Categories: Environmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 6 tables
N41°45'00" - N48°25'00", W90°15'00" - W82°30'00"
N43°30'00" - N49°00'00", W97°10'00" - W89°45'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Michigan Technological University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2018, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Association of Engineering Geologists and the Geological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201720
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