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Apport de l'imagerie spatiale optique et radar pour la détection et le suivi des zones d'orpaillage en Guyane française

Abstract : Potential of optical and radar satellite imagery for detection and monitoring of gold washing sites in French Guiana. Mining activity in French Guiana, illegal in some cases, is poorly or not at all controlled by local authorities. Such activity can cause severe damage to nature (illicit deforestation, mercury spillage, etc.). The search for reliable and low-cost tools capable of mapping gold washing sites and monitoring their evolution with time consequently presents a major local interest. The aim of the present study is to assess the potential of optical (SPOT, LANDSAT) and radar (RADARSAT, SIR-C) satellite imagery in identifying and mapping gold washing sites in French Guiana. Images acquired between 1990 and 2003 were analysed for this purpose. The results reveal that the RADARSAT sensor (single band) offers a low detection capacity, whereas the SIR-C images (multi-band) enable a better detection of gold washing sites. Interpretations based on SPOT and LANDSAT images show that optical sensors are more suited to mapping this type of activity. The advantage of multi-date sequences is demonstrated for mapping landscape evolution related to the major modifications inflicted over recent years due to gold washing activities. Similarly, it can be used as a basis for checking whether the mapped workings are legal or not, and whether the claim holder only exploits the area allocated by his permit (location and extent).
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Nicolas Baghdadi, Anne Bourguignon, Jean Louis Lasserre. Apport de l'imagerie spatiale optique et radar pour la détection et le suivi des zones d'orpaillage en Guyane française. Bulletin de l'INC des Sciences Géographiques, 2005, 16 (36-46). ⟨hal-02924102⟩

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