Exploitation of coal seams in Upper Silesia (Poland), which has been going on for several centuries, produces ecological disturbances of different types. One of them is constituted by developing 'sinking' holes. In mining areas, the latter change the elastic properties of the surroundings while moving upwards. When reaching the earth's surface, they may give rise to large changes in the industrial infrastructure, by producing e.g. the collapsing of roads, railroads, or houses. In order to prevent such catastrophic events, a location map of weak zones must be established. GPR methods seem to be best suited to obtain such a map. The GPR measurements and their interpretation over the sinking holes can also be used for the assessment and mapping of changes in rock properties, particularly those caused by the contamination of the soil. We are presently investigating the possibilities to locate the areas where the soil is polluted. We find that there is a number of parameters which influence the GPR results. In this case, the GPR measurements over the sinking holes help to understand the time processes recognizable on the GPR recordings.


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