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Satellite data reveals increased mining activity in the Amazon

Peru: Gold mining has grown rapidly over the last 13 years in the region of Madre de Dios in the Peruvian portion of the Amazon, which borders Brazil and Bolivia. According to a study of the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University and the Ministry of Environment of Peru, the land area occupied by this activity increased from 10,000 hectares in 1999 to more than 50 000 hectares in 2012. The growth was 400%, well above the government estimates the area.

The study, which was published in ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences’, combined high resolution satellite images, field surveys and aerial mapping for the survey. According to the researchers, the software used by the researchers has a resolution that allows detection of small scale disorders, which cannot be mapped by traditional methods of remote sensing. The authors found that 94% of mines installed between 2009 and 2011, detected by high-resolution satellite, were confirmed by field observations and data from the Observatory of Carnegie Institute.

Source: G1 Globo