pISSN 0705-3797 eISSN 2586-1298
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Episodes 2023; 46(1): 19-33

Published online March 1, 2023


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Spatiotemporal subsidence over Pabdana coal mine Kerman Province, central Iran using time-series of Sentinel-1 remote sensing imagery

Ali Mehrabi1, Reza Derakhshani2,3*, Faramarz Nilfouroushan4,5, Jafar Rahnamarad 6, Mohammad Azarafza7

1 Department of Geography, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
2 Department of Geology, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
3 Department of Earth Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
4 Department of Computer and Geospatial Science, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden
5 Department of Geodetic Infrastructure, Geodata Division, Lantmäteriet, Gävle, Sweden
6 Department of Geology, Islamic Azad University, Zahedan Branch, Zahedan, Iran
7 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

Correspondence to:E-mail: r.derakhshani@uu.nl

Received: September 30, 2021; Revised: February 23, 2022; Accepted: February 23, 2022

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Environmental monitoring of mining regions using satellite imagery is crucial for sustainable exploitation and preventing geohazards. Movements due to the failure of the roof in underground coal mining, by migrating upwards and outwards from the seam being mined, could eventually appear as ground deformation. To investigate the matter further, the surface deformation that occurred over the Pabdana mining area was monitored in three time periods, between October 2, 2014, and July 27, 2019. Persistent scatterer interferometry (PSI) was used based on 150 ascending and descending Sentinel-1A images. The maximum mining subsidence rate during the studied periods was about 30 to 35 mm/yr. The PSI analysis shows that the subsidence rate varied both temporally and spatially during the three studied periods. The time series and the displacement rate for various cross-sections highlight a clear quantitative relationship between coal extraction progress and subsidence, which proceeded southward throughout the three study periods. So, considering coal mining subsidence as a geohazard, land developments and structures over the mining area may be safeguarded. The approach used in this investigation can be implemented in other similar coal mining zones.