Mining Coal Basin Mine deposits in Pitkin County, Colorado, began in 1895 and continued until 1908 when production ceased for many years. Mid-continent Resources began producing coking coal at the Coal Basin Mine in 1956 and continued until the mine shut down in 1991. The State of Colorado wanted to test the utility of an unmanned aircraft system to map abandoned mine land features as well as vegetation cover on the site. In 2012, Office of Surface Mining (OSM) inspectors and the U.S.
OSM’s Technical Innovation and Professional Services (TIPS) Program provides off-the-shelf scientific and engineering software, customized software training, and technical assistance to its user community, which includes States, Tribes, and other OSM offices. Part of the technical assistance includes providing geospatial data and support to TIPS customers. OSM is one of the smallest Bureaus in the Department of Interior with equally small resources, so TIPS has limited remote sensing personnel and limited resources and a backlog of projects and requests to be completed. Therefore, TIPS
Use of Remotely Sensed Data in New Mexico Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) Reclamation Programs
The State of New Mexico Abandoned Mine Land Program is exploring remote sensing techniques to monitor land cover change over time.
The State of New Mexico Abandoned Mine Lands Program used terrestrial light detection and ranging (lidar) data to support an engineering project in Silver City. The project involved evaluating and safeguarding the Legal Tender Mine upon which the surrounding community established a system of trails. Multiple open stopes (excavations) are scattered across the abandoned mine that is visited by local townspeople and often used by wildlife. Considering the community’s desire to continue to utilize the aboveground area as a hiking and biking area, an engineering contract was established to as
OSM partnered with the USGS to investigate the use of Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (SUAV) to assist States with a more efficient and effective means of conducting oversight investigations of both active and abandoned mines.
A digital surface model (DSM) derived from WorldView-1 satellite imagery was used as supporting information in a court case dealing with an approximate original contour (AOC) dispute between OSM and a coal company.