A study on the GIS-based near real-time radar interferometry for monitoring the surface subsidence of a mining area

Principal Investigator: Prof. Lin Hui

Project Ref No: CUHK4665/06H
Start Date: 2006/11/01
End Date: 2008/10/31
Type of Grant: RGC Competitive Earmarked Research Grant 2006/2007

China¡¦s poor record of underground mine safety has been challenging the tolerance of the society. New methods are needed to monitor those risky mining areas in addition to the improvement of the administrative system. The CUHK¡¦s newly constructed high performance satellite data ground receiving station which will become operational at the end of 2005 can be effectively used to assist mine management. We propose to address the critical safety issues through near-real time monitoring of ground surface subsidence due to underground mining by an optimal use of the radar data received by this station. Two or more radar images acquired over the same mine site will be analyzed using an Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar processing system (InSAR) in order to reveal subtle changes on the surface of ground in the affected area, which would otherwise be impossible to obtain using optical satellite data due to presence of cloud and/or vegetation cover.

The results form the InSAR data processing will be further analyzed using the Geographic Information System (GIS), with its database consisting of DEM, lithological characters, and other geo and mineral information, to generate a wide range of value-added products such as geological profiles, contour map, animation, three dimensional view, and flythrough of mine subsidence. The purpose to develop such GIS-based InSAR system is to monitor illegal mining activities (such as illegal underground demolitions) and to prevent mine disasters in additional to subsidence monitoring in China. A range of data compression methods and high speed data processing algorithms will be developed and implemented in software tools in order to deliver the above products in near real-time.

Outcomes of the proposed research include operational procedures as well as relevant software tools for near real-time operation of radar interferometry based on previous works done by PI and Co-Is. These outcomes will easily find other applications such as monitoring flood, storm surge, landslide, oil spill, and ground deformation in Hong Kong and neighboring areas.