|(disponible en anglais seulement)|
A feasibility study was undertaken to evaluate the use of satellite-based remote sensing data and techniques for monitoring vegetation regrowth on placer
mine tailings. The intention was to develop a methodology which could enable repetitive monitoring by reducing the dependence on costly ground based methods which are currently used.
The research objectives were to develop a remote
sensing-based method for monitoring natural vegetation regeneration on placer mine tailings, and to identify the underlying relationships among environmental, terrain, and human factors controlling vegetation regrowth. The study area was located
along Bonanza Creek near Dawson City in the Yukon Territory. This has been, and still is, an area of extensive placer mining activity since the turn of the century. As a result the tailings are of varying ages and represent the result of a variety
of mining methods.
A methodology was designed and tested using Landsat Thematic Mapper data. These data provided sufficient resolution for the identification of ten classes of terrain. Field investigations revealed that time was not the
dominant factor controlling the regrowth of the vegetation rather the method used in mining the placer gold and the structure and composition of the resulting tailings were the more important factors. Working from an established base of knowledge in
an area, the monitoring of the vegetation classes would be limited to the cost of the imagery, the processing of the data, and limited field inspection for quality control. It should be recognized however, that to detect subtle changes in growth
from one year to the next, it would be advisable to user higher resolution airborne data and more extensive field sampling.