This project entitled "Development and implementation
of a coal fire monitoring and fighting system in China" was
a collaborative project between the Chinese government and a Dutch
consortium, which consisted of EARS, NITG-TNO (former known as RGD)
and ITC. This three year long project was divided into eight work
packages (WP). ITC was responsible for WP1 (development of remote
sensing tools) and WP2 (development and support of a dedicated monitoring
and processing environment). The project had a total budget of 2.64
million Euro and was jointly funded by the Dutch (60% - DGIS-MILIEV)
and by the Chinese government (40%).
Ningxia located in North-Central China, is an
important coal mining area. This study site is 14 km long and 5.3
km wide, covering an area of nearly 54 km². It lies between
latitudes 39° 00' 54" N and 39° 08' 10" N and
between longitudes 106° 02' 54" E and 106° 11' 23"
E and has a roughly NE-SW orientation (see
map of study area). It mainly consists of three local coal mines,
namely Rujigou coalmine, Dafeng open coalmine and Baijigou coalmine.
The objectives of the Ningxia project can be summarised as:
- Developing a geographical information system (GIS) for detection,
monitoring and fighting of coal fires, using satellite and airborne
remote sensing data in combination with other information
- Developing a methodology to prevent the development of new
- Improving the coal fire fighting techniques
For the remote sensing studies, beside other input data, the
following images were used:
- Landsat TM
FCC from data of 28-5-1995
- SPOT panchromatic
image of 17-02-1993
- Landsat TM
thermal band night time image of 18-12-89
Click on the description to see sample input data of the Ningxia
These data were used to:
- identify and map thermal anomalies related to coal fires
- estimate surface temperatures from satellite/airborne data
- monitor the changes in fire scenario with time
- to estimate depth of subsurface fires
For coal fire mapping, monitoring and management a GIS system
called COALMAN was designed. The structure
of CoalMan is based on ILWIS
and has been installed at the local fire fighting bureau in Ningxia.
It is being used by the local fire fighting team there.
An extensive fieldwork campaign conducted during September 1997.
Thermal data from four different levels viz. satellite, airborne,
ground and underground, were collected. The fieldwork was carried
out in close collaboration with Chinese scientists. A poster
represents details of the fieldwork campaign in Ruqigou coalfields.