Advanced differential SAR interferometry (A-DInSAR) has been used as an effective monitoring tool in mining environments. This work presents an investigation of surface displacement in the Germano iron mining complex (Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil), where on November 5, 2015, the Fundão tailings dam collapsed. Initially, the analysis was performed with 14 Sentinel-1 images, acquired from May 8, 2015, to November 4, 2015, and focused on the Fundão dam before its rupture to detect prior signs of surface deformations. The analysis after the Fundão dam collapse was conducted in the Germano area using 43 Sentinel-1 images, acquired from November 16, 2015 to May 15, 2017, and aimed at detecting surface displacement on the remaining infrastructure, the Sela&Tulipa and Selinha dikes and the main Germano tailings dam, which were directly or indirectly affected by the accident. The results reveal precursor signals of surface displacement at the Fundão dam prior to rupture, particularly on the left abutment setback sector where the collapse started according to a witness, reaching accumulated values of up to −60 mm. The results provided by the A-DInSAR analysis after the dam collapse indicate a stability in the Sela&Tulipa and Selinha dikes as well as in the main Germano dam, which is corroborated by in situ topographic measurements. On the auxiliary dikes within the Germano reservoir, accumulated displacement of up to −90 mm caused by settlements and continuous traffic of vehicles was detected. In addition, the detected accumulate displacement within the reservoir showed values of up to −120 mm, in general caused by settlements of the waste dry material due to the inactivity of the mining process. The investigation emphasized the important role that satellite-based A-DInSAR can play in mitigating possible accidents and for operational planning and risk assessment in mining operations.
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