Mapping of Coal Fire in Jharia Coalfield, India: a Remote Sensing Based Approach

  • Anjali Singh
  • Ashwani RajuEmail author
  • Pitambar Pati
  • Narendra Kumar
Short Note


In India, Jharia Coalfield (JCF) has one of the densest congregations of surface-subsurface coal fires known worldwide. Systematic investigation and quantification of actual scenario of coal fires in JCF is always necessary to plan sustainable mining, industrial growth and environmental remediation on a long term basis. The present approach involves evaluation and mapping of coal fire using ASTER (Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection) data. Mapping reveals that the area located around western, eastern and south-eastern parts of JCF covering territories of Shatabdi opencast, Barora; Sijua opencast; Godhar colliery; Kusunda; Bokapahari; Kujama and Lodna are under intense fire with cumulative coverage of 6.23 km2. The ASTER derived Land Surface Temperature (LST) of the anomalous areas have been subsequently validated by the field observations, carried out in JCF in February, 2010. The methodology adopted in the present study would provide precise evaluation and monitoring of coal fire in Jharia.


ASTER Surface-subsurface coal fires Jharia Mapping 



The authors acknowledge the USGS Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Centre (USGS LP DAAC) for providing ASTER L1A data product through online We also thank Dr. Sonal Srivastava (Assistant Professor, Institute of Engineering and Technology, Lucknow) and reviewer’s for their valuable suggestions to improve the language and quality of this manuscript.


  1. Abrams, M., Hook, S., & Ramachandran, B. (1999). ASTER user handbook, version 2 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA and EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls, SD.Google Scholar
  2. BCCL (2008). Master plan for dealing with fire, subsidence and rehabilitation in the leasehold of BCCL, March, Bharat Coking Coal Limited.Google Scholar
  3. Chandra, D. (1992). Jharia coalfield. Bangalore: Geological Society of India.Google Scholar
  4. Chatterjee, R. S. (2006). Coal fire mapping from satellite thermal IR data-A case example in Jharia Coalfield, Jharkhand, India. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 60, 113–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chatterjee, R. S., Wahiduzzaman, M., Shah, A., Raju, E. V. R., Lakhera, R. C., & Dadhwal, V. K. (2007). Dynamics of coal fire in Jharia Coalfield, Jharkhand, India during the 1990s as observed from space. Current Science, 92(1), 61–68.Google Scholar
  6. Cracknell, A. P., & Mansor, S. B. (1992). Detection of subsurface coal fires using Landsat Thematic Mapper data. International Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 29(b7), 750–753.Google Scholar
  7. ENVI User’s Guide. (2009). ENVI Version 4.7, August, 2009 Edition.Google Scholar
  8. Feng, K. K., Chakravorty, R. N., & Cochrane, T. S. (1973). Spontaneous combustion-a coal mining hazard. CIM Bulletin, 66, 75–84.Google Scholar
  9. Geological Survey of India (GSI). (2004). Coal resource scenario of India (as on 01/01/2004). Available online at:
  10. Gillespie, A., Rokugawa, S., Hook, S. J., Matsunaga, T., & Kahle, A. B. (1999). Temperature/emissivity separation algorithm theoretical basis document, version 2.4, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, Aug. 16,
  11. Gupta, R. P. (2003). Remote sensing geology, 2nd Edition. Springer. 656 p., ISBN-13: 978-3540431855.Google Scholar
  12. Karmakar, B., Ghosh, M. T., Ojha, K., Pathak, A. K., & Devraju, J. (2013). Effects of chemical composition and petrography of coal for coa lbed methane evaluation with special reference to in-situ gas content. 10th Biennial International Conference and Exposition, Kochi.Google Scholar
  13. Martha, T. R., Guha, A., Kumar, K. V., Kamaraju, M. V. V., & Raju, E. V. R. (2010). Recent coal-fire and land-use status of Jharia Coalfield, India from satellite data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 31(12), 3243–3262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Michalski, S. R. (2004). The Jharia mine fire control technical assistance project: an analysis. International Journal of Coal Geology, 59, 83–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mishra, R. K., Bahuguna, P. P., & Singh, V. K. (2011). Detection of coal mine fire in Jharia coal field using Landsat-7 ETM+ data. International Journal of Coal Geology, 86, 73–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Prakash, A., & Gens, R. (2010). Remote sensing of coal fires. In G. B. Stracher, A. Prakash, & E. V. Sokol (Eds.), Coal and peat fires: A global perspective, volume 1, coal - combustion and geology (pp. 231–253). Oxford: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  17. Prakash, A., & Gupta, R. P. (1999). Surface fires in Jharia Coalfield, India - their distribution and estimation of area and temperature from TM data. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 20(10), 1935–1946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Prakash, A., Gupta, R. P., & Saraf, A. K. (1997). A landsat TM based comparative study of surface and subsurface fires in the Jharia Coalfield, India. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 18, 2463–2469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Quattrochi, D. A., Prakash, A., Evena, M., Wright, R., & Hall, D. K. (2009). Thermal remote sensing: Theory, sensors, and applications. In Manual of remote sensing 1.1: Earth observing platforms and sensors, volume ed. Mark Jackson, ASPRS, 550 p. ISBN: 1–57083-086-X.Google Scholar
  20. Raju, A., Gupta, R. P., & Prakash, A. (2013). Delineation of coalfield surface fires by thresholding Landsat TM-7 day-time image data. Geocarto International, 28(4), 343–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rosema, A., Guan, H., van Genderen, J. L., Veld, H., Vekerdy, Z., Ten Katen, A. M., & Prakash, A. (1999). Manual of coal fire detection and monitoring. Report of the Project ‘Development and implementation of a coal fire monitoring and fighting system in China’. Netherlands Institute of Applied Geoscience, Utrecht, NITG 99-221-C, ISBN 90–6743–640-2, 245 pp.Google Scholar
  22. Roy, P., Guha, A., & Kumar, K. V. (2015a). An approach of surface coal fire detection from ASTER and Landsat-8 thermal data: Jharia coal field, India. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 39, 120–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Roy, P., Guha, A., & Kumar, K. V. (2015b). Structural control on occurrence and dynamics of Coalmine fires in Jharia Coalfield: a remote sensing based analysis. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, 43(4), 779–786.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Yao-bao, M. (2010). Research on hyperspectral quantitative remote sensing detection of the Rujigou coal fire area in Ningxia. Remote Sensing For Land and Resources, 3, 69–75.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Society of Remote Sensing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anjali Singh
    • 1
  • Ashwani Raju
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pitambar Pati
    • 3
  • Narendra Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.School for Environmental SciencesBabasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar UniversityLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Geological Survey of IndiaJabalpurIndia
  3. 3.Department of Earth SciencesIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia

Personalised recommendations