Author ORCID Identifier

Jose Garcia-del-Real: 0000-0002-7812-7314

Manuel Alcaraz: 0000-0002-5982-8983


Alberta’s oil sands mining operations rank among the largest human-made structures globally. Monitoring through the use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Multispectral satellite imaging is an indispensable strategy in attaining sustainable development and mitigating deforestation in the third-largest verified oil reserves worldwide. This paper introduces a novel approach for cost-effective and reliable monitoring of deforestation caused by oil sands mining, avoiding cumbersome methods. It focuses on observing forest/non-forest areas affected by Suncor Energy Company’s mining assets in Alberta, using a combination of SAR and Multispectral satellite remote sensing. Radar images from Sentinel-1B and Multispectral images from Sentinel-2A were analyzed with SNAP 8.0 and QGIS within a time series from June 2017 to June 2020, providing detailed information to monitor better the potential environmental impact of oil sands mining activities in Canada. The Sentinel satellite system offers several advantages, including near-global coverage, elevated spatial resolution for detecting small-scale deforestation instances, and the ability to track temporal and dynamic changes through time-series analysis. Additionally, the system’s open data policy promotes accessibility, collaboration among researchers, and innovative deforestation monitoring applications. The research results hold potential value for decision-makers, enhancing the efficiency and sustainable development of Suncor,s mining operations.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.