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Application of remote sensing in the red sludge environmental disaster in Hungary
- Bíró, T., Tomor, T., Lénárt, C. S., Burai, P., Berke, J.
- Acta phytopathologica et entomologica Hungarica 2012 v.47 no.2 pp. 223-231
- disasters, pH, remediation, remote sensing, rivers, sludge, spatial data, towns, villages, Hungary
- One of the largest industrial disasters in Europe took place in the village of Kolontár (Hungary) on October 4th, 2010. Due to a ruptured dam more than 1 million m3 of red sludge flooded the nearby small towns along the Torna river. The spilled material containing a highly alkaline solution (>12 pH) resulted in a complex environmental disaster, requiring a multi-disciplinary approach regarding the assessment and the remediation of the site.The Károly Róbert College has developed a remote sensing protocol, which greatly assists both the domestic and international disaster management (forecast, damage surveying and control). In case of the Hungarian red sludge disaster the primary objective of the hyperspectral remote sensing mission was to estimate the environmental damage, the precise size of the polluted area, the rating of substance concentration in the sludge. For quick assessment and remediation purposes, it was deemed important to estimate the thickness of the red mud, particularly the areas where it was deposited in a thick layer. The results showed that some of the existing tools can be easily modified and implemented to get the most out of the available advanced remote sensing data.