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Change detection and visualization of acid mine lakes using time series satellite image data in geographic information systems (GIS): Can (Canakkale) County, NW Turkey
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Can, a county in the province of Canakkale, is one of the most prominent coal mining districts in Turkey. Many mining companies have been operating coal deposits for power generation and district heating in this region since 1980. Generally, small and medium-scale mining companies operate for short periods and abandon the operational land without providing any rehabilitation. Human intervention in the natural structure and topography of the earth surface causes large holes and deterioration in these areas. Artificial lakes occur because of surface discharge and underground leakage into abandoned open pit mines with high lignite sulfur content (0.21–14.36 wt %). Furthermore, these lakes gain acidic character due to acid generation from pyrite oxidation. Acid mine lakes are highly acidic (pH < 3.05) and have elevated concentrations of (Formula presented.), Fe and some metals. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the environmental conditions and demonstrate the development of a monitoring system for their possible changes in the acid mine lakes of the open cast lignite mining area on a regional scale. For this purpose, the data received from remote sensing satellites were used. Areal change detection and perimeter changes of nine acid mine lakes caused by coal mining companies in Can from 1977 to 2011, were determined using Landsat, Quickbird and Worldview satellite images. As a case study, an area of 9 km2 was chosen for the variety of acid mine lakes. Using GIS software, satellite images were analyzed in time series, borders of acid mine lakes were digitized and converted into vector data format. At this stage, prior to the digitization, in order to create contrast on the satellite images, “stretch type” and “stretch values” were changed. The areal and perimeter changes were computed and presented via tables and graphics. In addition, thematic maps of the acid mine lakes were created and visualized. The results show that the number of acid mine lakes increased and these caused environmental risks due to their hydrochemical properties and areal increments.