Ursa Space analyzed two major dam collapses in Brazil using satellite imagery. In both incidents, involving the Fundão Dam (2015), also known as the Mariana dam collapse, and the Brumadinho Dam (2019), a tailings dam suffered a catastrophic failure, unleashing a toxic flood.
In this case study we will answer the following questions:
What was the change in water levels behind the tailings dam and downriver after the collapse?
How far downriver could pollution, likely due to the collapse, be detected?
What was the impact on vegetation around the flood zone?