Remote Sensing and Mine Subsidence

by Orville R. Russell, Geologist; Earth Satellite Corp., Washington, D.C.,
Thomas V. Leshendok, Geologist; U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.,
Roger V. Amato, Geologist; U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 2, Pg. 185-198

Document Type: Journal Paper


Several types of remote sensor impagery was evaluated for identifying and mapping surface subsidence resulting from underground coal mining in the Northern Anthracite Coal Basin of Pennsylvania. LANDSAT and radar imagery proved useful for identifying regional structural trends that could affect rock strength. Large-scale color and color infrared aerial photography proved to be of the greatest utility for identifying evidence of surface subsidence. Black-and-white photography from past years helped to establish and approximate date for the occurrence of the subsidence. Analysis of the various photography revealed over 1,000 unknown or unrecorded subsidence features and permitted the development of a classification of subsidence features that is genetically related to the environment of the underground coal mine.

Subject Headings: Coal mining | Remote sensing | Mines and mining | Land subsidence | Probe instruments | Mapping | Basins | Radar | Pennsylvania | United States

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