Investigation of Topographic Changes in Open Pit Mines by Radar Interferometry (Case Study: Sangan- Khaf iron Ore Mines)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Student of Geomorphology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad

2 Associate Prof., Dep. of Geography, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad,

3 Associate Prof. of Geomorphology, Faculty of Geological Sciences, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

4 Assistant Prof., Dep. of Geogeraphy, Payame Noor University, Tehran

5 Prof. of Dep. of Geology, Ferdowsi University University of Mashhad, Mashhad


In the early 1990s, radar interferometry was introduced and used as a useful tool in the study of all phenomena that cause land surface deformations. If the land surface deforms between two radar images, a surface displacement map can be created with millimeter resolution and accuracy. This paper reports the findings of the Sentinel1 –A data time series results using the SBAS algorithm to detect surface deformation in the Sangan iron ore mine. Sangan Iron Ore Mine is the largest open pit iron ore deposit in the Middle East. Due to mining activities, this mine has undergone many changes in terms of topography and geomorphology, which can intensify geomorphological processes. To detect and obtain the amount of land deformation, 48 SAR images of Sangan iron ore mine obtained by the European Space Agency's Sentinel 1-A satellite were used. The time series (2014-2020) obtained from the deformation in the range of placer mines were analyzed. The results show the average displacement rate of -20 to -35 mm per year and the maximum cumulative rate of deformations of -120 mm. Investigation of the cross-section in the two parts of the apex and the center of the alluvial fan in the placer mines during the period 2014-2017 shows the topographic changes well. To evaluating the reliability of the results, the results derived from SBAS have been compared due to the lack of data in the range of placer mines with the values measured by the total station related to the mountain unit in the years 2020-2014. The results showed that the rate of deformations from radar data using the SBAS algorithm compared to the leveling data has followed a similar pattern. However, there may be some error due to the different nature, ie in the leveling of elevation deformations measured for a point, but in interferometry the average rate is obtained from adjacent points.


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