Thailand Cave Rescue

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The Behind-the-scenes Story of the Thailand Cave Rescue (2018)

The article provides an evaluation as well as an analysis on how the twelve soccer boys and their coach can be rescued from Luang Nang Non-cave system in Thailand. The rescue was supported by Esri Thailand Ltd, department of mineral resource and GIS ltd. The team analyzed topography and hydrology of the area through an application of GIS technology that would help in the creation of cave passage maps.

Expertise in Geology and Data Analysis

According to the article, the expertise in geology was expected to come up with data and maps. In this case, the chief strategy was to assemble and create topographic and geological data, deduce cave data, and analyze the topography, hydrology and cross section of the cave. The Department of Mineral resources worked with the department of natural parks, royal irrigation department, Thai Navy and disaster prevention and mitigation department.

Data Collection Challenges and Solutions

During data collection, the topography lacked accuracy that was required for a real operation. The first activity of the GIS and mapping team was to gather topographic maps and conduct a higher-resolution digital elevation model from SRTM and other sources as well as the 2D of the cave. Additionally, during data collection, the GIS-generated a new DEM and a stereo image that would help create a route and the passage of the cave. Moreover, an analysis for cave analysis and orthophoto map was carried out. During data gathering, the dive exploration team had a hard responsibility to work in flooded and dark cave with no procedures before discovering the trapped boys. Consequently, the rescue team was supported by the mapping team by computing the cave capacity to determine the amount of oxygen remained. This severed as a significant input to the operation when the boys were saved.

Water Management and Diversion

Tham Luang cave is a limestone mountain ecosystem, and therefore, water flows into the subterranean aquifer system when the rain falls on the mountains. Due to heavy rain, the water level increased rapidly, making it hard for a safe rescue. To divert the water, the experts had to drill and pump the water at the main entrance. During the rainy seasons, the expert could not allow the volume of water to flow through the mountain during the rainy season, and therefore, they left the pump working all day and night. Additionally, a flow diversion model was created to limit the amount of entering the cave. The mapping team had to calculate the basin, the direction of water flow, geological details and accumulation of water using a digital elevation model.

Locating the Best Drill and Rescue Operation

During the determination of better locations, the information collected from topographic and geologic information was used to locate the best drill. The cave is approximately four hundred and forty-six meters beneath the limestone and the shale rock mountain surface, and therefore, there was a need to generate a cross-section along the cave from north to south as a way of estimating the distance between the surface and the cave. Both GIS and geologists played a significant role by producing useful maps and created longitudinal information to present to the decision makers and rescue operation team. To monitor the level of water, there was a need to construct diversions dams and pipelines in the north and south sections of the cave. Eventually, all the twelve boys and coach were rescued.

Work Cited

The Behind-the-scenes Story of the Thailand Cave Rescue (2018).

October 24, 2023

Life Science World



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