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Using airborne thermal infrared imagery and helicopter EM conductivity to locate mine pools and discharges in the Kettle Creek watershed, north-central Pennsylvania

Love, E and Hammack, R and Harbert, W and Sams, J and Veloski, G and Ackman, T (2005) Using airborne thermal infrared imagery and helicopter EM conductivity to locate mine pools and discharges in the Kettle Creek watershed, north-central Pennsylvania. Geophysics, 70 (6). ISSN 0016-8033

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Abstract

The Kettle Creek watershed contains 50-100-year-old surface and underground coal mines that are a continuing source of acid mine drainage (AMD). To characterize the mining-altered hydrology of this watershed, an airborne reconnaissance was conducted in 2002 using airborne thermal infrared imagery (TIR) and helicopter-mounted electromagnetic (HEM) surveys. TIR uses the temperature differential between surface water and groundwater to locate areas where groundwater emerges at the surface. TIR anomalies located in the survey included seeps and springs, as well as mine discharges. In a follow-up ground investigation, hand-held GPS units were used to locate 103 of the TIR anomalies. Of the sites investigated, 26 correlated with known mine discharges, whereas 27 were previously unknown. Seven known mine discharges previously obscured from TIR imagery were documented. HEM surveys were used to delineate the groundwater table and also to locate mine pools, mine discharges, and groundwater recharge zones. These surveys located 12 source regions and flow paths for acidic, metal-containing (conductive) mine drainage; areas containing acid-generating mine spoil; and areas of groundwater recharge and discharge, as well as identifying potential mine discharges previously obscured from TIR imagery by nondeciduous vegetation. Follow-up ground-based electromagnetic surveys verified the results of the HEM survey. Our study suggests that airborne reconnaissance can make the remediation of large watersheds more efficient by focusing expensive ground surveys on small target areas. © 2005 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. All rights reserved.


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Details

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Love, E
Hammack, R
Harbert, Wharbert@pitt.eduHARBERT
Sams, J
Veloski, G
Ackman, T
Date: 1 January 2005
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Journal or Publication Title: Geophysics
Volume: 70
Number: 6
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1190/1.2127110
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Planetary Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0016-8033
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2012 13:55
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 15:57
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13708

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