Past failures of coal refuse embankments have resulted in more intensified efforts in inspections of coal refuse sites. Inspections, however, are mainly qualitative and time consuming. In August 1975, a contract was awarded to identify, develop, and test a rapid system for monitoring coal refuse embankments to aid in inspections. The rapid-monitoring system developed uses convergent and vertical photography from conventional fixed-wing aircraft. The system was tested on an active landslide and on two coal refuse facilities using both black and white and color infrared film. Field tests showed the system was capable of accurate measurments while providing qualitative data through photointerpretation. The accuracy of the system allows it to be used to monitor coal refuse embankments, tailings dams, major earth dams, and natural slopes. Bibliographies of literature reviews in the area of past coal refuse embankment failures, monitoring instruments and methods, and photogrammetry are included.