Multi-Sensor Tailings Monitoring


Processing and analysis of satellite radar data to detect ground movments applying PSI, DInSAR and SBAS technology. Optical data processing to detect surface and tailings content changes.

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  • Large area information using satellite radar observations and ground back scatterer analysis
  • No installations at AOI surface necessary, depending on surface structure (e.g. vegetation, earth works) artificial back scatterers might be necessary
  • One measurement result each 6 days (frequency depending on satellite type)
  • Good quality free of charge data from EU Sentinel 1 satellite available, high quality data available for purchase (e.g. TerraSAR-X) offering higher ground resolution
  • Satellite image stack necessary to start processing (~15 scenes)
  • LOS (line-of-sight) movement detection – no direct vertical movement is measured
  • Centimetre level accuracy


Planning, installation and operation of complex sensor networks at tailings site including e.g. online GPS, water level gauges, pore pressure sensors, liquid levels, temperature arrays, inclinometers and vibration sensors.

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Stability monitoring of tailing structures requires in general: monitoring of the ground surface for changes, robust monitoring of changes below the surface (e.g. along boreholes), monitoring of seismic signals from the environment. For this various sensor and logging system are available:

  • Pointwise measurements with installation at points of interest
  • Local power supply for each station necessary, autarkic low-power systems available
  • Automatic measurement, remote maintenance §Automatic data transfer via cell phone network
  • Automatic data processing at DMT servers
  • Automatic reporting
  • Real-time measurements possible
  • Result presentation via protected website
  • Established technology, high reliability


Advanced numerical analysis with regards to tailings construction and filling conditions, geophysical ground analysis and coupled hydraulic-mechanical modeling.

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  • Advanced numerical analysis with regards to tailing construction and filling conditions, geophysical ground analysis, coupled hydraulic-mechanical modelling
  • Analysis for different upstream lake filling conditions
  • Analysis for different water levels
  • Modell calibration and constant adjustment with monitoring data
  • Modelling provides threshold information for monitoring alerts


Analysis of saturation and pressure and substance transport applying DMT hydro modelling toolbx, simulation of accident influence via comprehensive flood area modelling.

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  • Analysis of saturation and pressure and mass transport applying DMT hydro modelling toolbox
  • Prognostic modelling of internal water flow to assess the dam stability under extreme conditions
  • Flood Area Modelling to estimate the impact of an accidental failure
  • Development of decommissioning concepts – dewatering, covering
  • Cleaning of discharge §Groundwater and reactive mass-transport modeling downstream of the pond


Operation of a unified data and information platform for worldwide data access, visualisation, reporting and alerting.

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  • Secure web-based user portal
  • Comprehensive interactive online visualisation
  • In-depth information analysis
  • Early warning
  • Reporting