Wake researchers use drone to assess size of Dan River spill - Winston-Salem Journal: Local News

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Wake researchers use drone to assess size of Dan River spill

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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 8:18 am | Updated: 2:48 pm, Tue Feb 25, 2014.

RALEIGH — A team of academic researchers equipped with a drone estimates that up to 35 million gallons of coal ash and contaminated wastewater spilled into the Dan River earlier this month.

Researchers at Wake Forest University's Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability released results Tuesday from a study using photos collected by the drone that flew over the Duke Energy coal ash dump that ruptured Feb. 2 in Eden. The scientists used images captured by the drone to create a digital three-dimensional model of the pit, allowing them to calculate the volume of toxic ash that flowed out when a pipe collapsed.

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