Institute for Environmental Solutions (LV)
The main objective of this activity is to develop an automated Sentinel-based service for remote and regular monitoring of subsoil use in open-cast mining areas with a monthly update frequency and 0.5 ha minimum detectable area to support control of subsoil use and detection of possible illegal mining.
The main natural resources located under the soil in Latvia are sand-gravel, sand, dolomite, clay, gypsum, limestone, quartz sand and peat which generates around 3.5 million Euro in tax revenue annually. Illegal activities, like mining without a license or inappropriate recultivation of mining sites, are intentionally concealed by the perpetrators, where expert estimates attribute the lost annual revenue from these illegal activities to 300-400 thousand Euro annually. Regular onsite monitoring of open-cast mining sites is performed by the State Environment Service (SES) and is time and resource consuming. SES are interested in the regular and remote screening approach of open-cast mining sites to optimise its onsite control process.