Wake Forest Researchers Use Drone to Measure North Carolina Coal Ash Spill

By Michael Biesecker | February 27, 2014

A team of academic researchers equipped with a drone estimate that about 35 million gallons of coal ash and contaminated wastewater spilled into the Dan River earlier this month.

Wake Forest University researchers released results from a study using photos collected by the drone that flew over the Duke Energy coal ash dump that ruptured Feb. 2 in Eden. The scientists used images captured by the drone to create a digital three-dimensional model of the pit, allowing them to calculate the volume of toxic ash that flowed out when a pipe collapsed.

The reported amount equals about 53 Olympic-sized swimming pools, making it the third largest coal ash spill in the nation’s history.

The independent measurement is within the broad range that Duke’s engineers had initially estimated.

 

 

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Latest Comments

  • February 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm
    CalDude says:
    OMG! A drone?! Clearly the rights of all citizens in SC have been violated.....
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