Coal fires in the Jharia coalfield pose a serious threat to India’s vital resource of primary coking coal and the regional environment. In order to undertake effective preventative measures, it is critical to detect the occurrence of subsurface coal fires and to monitor the extent of the existing ones. In this study, Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperature Radar (DInSAR) technique has been utilized to monitor subsurface coal fires in the Jharia coalfield. Results showed that majority of the coal fire-related subsidence were concentrated on the eastern and western boundaries of the coalfield. The magnitude of subsidence observed was classified into high (10–27.8 mm), low (0–10 mm) and upliftment (−10–0 mm). The results were strongly supported by in situ observations and satellite-based thermal imagery analysis. Major subsidence was observed in the areas with repeated sightings of coal fire. Further, the study highlighted on the capability of the methodology for predicting potential coal fire zones on the basis of land surface subsidence only. The results from this study have major implications for demarcating the hazardous coal fire areas as well as effective implementation of public safety measures.
Volume 129, 2020
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