KEGS Ottawa April Meeting


InSAR deformation monitoring with applications to the 
Kiirunavaara Mine, Kiruna Sweden

Drew Rotheram, 
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.


Tuesday, April 18th 
4:30 p.m.

Harrison Hall
Room 177 
601 Booth Street



It is well known that complex slope motions can be captured with space based Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) techniques. However, the best practice use of the measurements depends on the coverage achievable and the accuracy that can be demonstrated in the measurements. To provide excellent point coverage and demonstrate measurement accuracy, novel techniques for InSAR surveying have been developed and demonstrated. This presentation includes the results of a four year research project with Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag (LKAB) over the sublevel caving operation at the Kiirunavaara mine in northern Sweden.

Since 2010, six independent imaging modes from the RADARSAT-2 satellite been collected over the mine operations area. Advanced InSAR techniques have been applied to provide high resolution monitoring of the town of Kiruna and Kiirunavaara producing a high density motion map and demonstrably accurate measurement of the ground movement.

By considering multiple independent orthogonal image geometries, we are able to demonstrate a measurement accuracy of ±2 mm. Furthermore, by considering the spatial pattern of observation accuracy. We demonstrate that the differences are attributable to variability of the ground conditions. This technique allows us to demonstrate the accuracy of ongoing measurements which allows for the assignment of confidence levels when establishing boundary conditions for further modelling. The lessons learning and monitoring practices demonstrated in this project may be applied to other regions with complicated ground motion. (Henschel, et al, 2015). 



Drew Rotheram is the Lead Mining Analyst for the InSAR production department at MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates (MDA). His work focusses primarily on geotechnical deformation monitoring using synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR) for mine site applications. Drew is a graduate from the University of Toronto with a specialist degree in Geology, a major in Physics and a minor in mathematics. Prior to working with synthetic aperture radar, Drew gained several years of domestic and international experience in airborne geophysical survey, particularly airborne magnetics, radiometrics and airborne gravity gradiometry. He has completed geophysical survey projects in mineral exploration, oil & gas exploration as well as large scale geophysical mapping projects for government organizations such as the Geologic Survey of Canada, and the Ontario Geologic Survey. Drew is a licensed fixed wing pilot, uav enthusiast and avid python coder.