21 March 2018
Planet Labs image of the Mae Moh mine landslide
On 19th March Planet Labs captured an image of the Mae Moh mine landslide in Thailand, which I featured yesterday. Thailand is a hazy environment, which renders high quality images quite challenging, but the image is plenty good enough to appreciate the scale and impact of the landslide. This image, captured on 13th March (a few days before the slide), shows the conditions prior to the failure:-
This image, captured on 19th March by Planet Labs, shows the aftermath of the landslide:-
The landslide is clearly visible in the centre of the image, most notably because of the displaced benches in the vegetated spoil slope. The landslide appears to be a large slump, with the toe of the slide blocking a substantial section of the drainage channel. It is worth comparing this image with the gallery of images available on the banmuang.co.th website (in Thai), which includes the following photograph of the landslide:-
The images appear to show recent tipping at the top of the slope – if so, it is unclear as to whether this may have been a factor in the failure. It is worth noting that the landslide is more complex than it might appear at first glance from the satellite image. Although the main part of the landslide is a large slump. there is also substantial deformation in the northeast section of the slope, which has caused the damage to the conveyor seen in the photo above. This is visible in the satellite image on careful inspection. It will be interesting to see if this large section of slope is now stable.
Planet Team (2017). Planet Application Program Interface: In Space for Life on Earth. San Francisco, CA. https://api.planet.com