Asbestos Pollution Mapping – NSW Australia

Case Studies Environmental Projects

Asbestos Pollution Mapping – NSW Australia

Objective of the Project:
Dimap was engaged to collect data in northern NSW over an old Asbestos Mine and the surrounding area to evaluate the toxicological situation and the distribution of wind-transported dust components and water-transported asbestos. The data will be used for further improvement in sanitizing the asbestos mine and the surrounding areas.

Technical Solution:
Dimap was collecting the data with a multisensory plan using Lidar, Hyperspectral sensors, and a thermal camera. The resolution of all image data was 60cm with an accuracy of better than 1.5m. Additionally to the Lidar processing to DTM, DSM, and Vegetation height, there was also a Surface hydrology system processed to identify the directions of transport of Asbestos by rainwater.

Using existing libraries the asbestos could be identified with a classical method and the distribution on the former asbestos mines and the dumps but also in the surrounding mapped. The data showed the concentration of the remaining asbestos especially on the dumps.

The Hyperspectral and Lidar data fusion allowed the separation of the classified asbestos into the two transport forms water and dust by wind and showed the distribution of the asbestos especially on the higher trees east of the mine.

Within one flight operation, all required data for the further planning of the sanitation of this old asbestos mine were collected. The data processing took less than 6 weeks and no ground surveys were necessary – therefore the risk for health was reduced. The technology can be also used further to identify results after further sanitation efforts.

Figure 1: Asbestos (red) hyperspectrally mapped around an old asbestos mine. The red parts on the dumps show asbestos open to transport by wind and rainwater.

Figure 2: Detailed asbestos analysis around the mining operation area.


Figure 3: Asbestos dust component on vegetation and digital terrain model as a base for the water transport component.

All copyrights with Dimap – 2014 

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