Mapping and Monitoring Sand Mining in Southern Asia

Navn på bevillingshaver

Lars Lønsmann Iversen


No affiliation to any Danish research institution


DKK 1,156,303




Reintegration Fellowships


In this project, I will conduct the first large scale study of sand mining in the world. The aim is to provide the first mapping of local sand mining in Southern Asia, construct a real-time detection system using modern satellite imagery for sand mining activities, and produce a short-term prediction model for future sand mining activities.


Rapid urbanization and global population growth have fueled the demand for sand and gravel. Consequently, we are now starting to exhaust a resource that most people consider infinite. Astonishingly, despite the central importance of sand across the developing and developed world, we possess no clear global overview, or statistics, of the sand resources available or those being mined. This has led to a lack of sustainable exploitation, planning and trade and a chaotic pattern of sand extraction. In the face of this sand mining chaos, a monitoring program is urgently required to address the current data and knowledge gap, and thus fully assess the magnitude of local sand mining.


The backbone of the project are manual and automated remote sensing procedures build to detect sand mining in the catchment areas of the Brahmaputra, Ganges, and Mekong river system. By combining spatial statistical modelling of geomorphological features and cutting edge artificial intelligent (AI) algorithms the project aims to: Map the occurrence of sand mining in the Brahmaputra, Ganges, and Mekong River systems. Produce a real-time detection system of sand mining via satellite images using AI algorithms. Produce a spatial forecast of near future sand mining within the study regions.

Tilbage til oversigtssiden