This purpose of this project was to investigate erosion measurement using the method of high-resolution digital stereo-photography and to apply the method of up-close digital photography to measure surface texture. Application of stereo-photography to erosion measurement is of interest because it provides the potential for rapid assessment of the effectiveness (in terms of determination of erosion rates and volumes – both net and over time) of landform rehabilitation strategies, such that targeted and efficient practices can be identified to save money, minimize environmental damage and help facilitate compliance with regulations, especially in the mining industry. Hence, it is therefore important that the limitations and relative accuracy of this method be clarified.
The purpose of the report was clarified to encompass seven objectives, of which a hypothesis was derived for each. The objectives were:
a) To investigate the erosion measurement method of high-resolution digital stereo-photography (‘stereo-photography’) to determine its applicability to mine spoil slopes.
b) To determine how the stereo-photographic method compares to other erosion prediction methods such as RUSLE and MINErosion.
c) To compare the predicted annual erosion rates, since spoil pile construction, of stereo-photography to that estimated by direct measurement.
d) To test the effect of shadow on the erosion predictions of the stereo-photographic method.
e) To make general comparisons between the results obtained by Bawden and Keighley from 2001 and the results obtained at the same locations now.
f) To investigate the influence of surface texture on erosion rates and volumes.
g) To investigate changes in surface textures resulting from erosive processes by comparing the surface textures of the gullies against the ridges at various heights.