An investigation on the use of GPS for deformation monitoring in open pit mines

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In order to implement GPS for deformation monitoring purposes, subcentimetre displacements must be detected in all three directional components. These results must be attained with such frequency as to provide sufficient warning of impending danger. In applications such as open pit mining where unfavourable conditions exist for GPS, this requirement is particularly challenging to meet. This research determines what accuracy can be expected in an unfavourable GPS environment. GPS data which have been collected in a large open pit mine are analyzed using optimal software settings determined from a nearly ideal scenario. It is shown that GPS can be used to augment the current robotic total station deformation monitoring system used at this mine site to obtain subcentimetre accuracy displacement values at 95%. The potential of improving these results through processing strategies and new technology is also investigated.