what is a quarry? (with pictures)

what is a quarry? (with pictures)

A quarry is a large deposit of rock such as granite which is mined for use in construction projects. Quarries can be found all over the world, and most contain a heavy concentration of a particular type of rock such as marble, limestone, slate, or gypsum. In many nations, the word quarry is used interchangeably for two types of quarry: gravel pits, from which gravel and particulate matter are extracted, and dimension stone quarries, from which large chunks of sheets of rock are extracted for use in building. Dimension stone is used to make tiles, flagstones, counters, roofs, and other projects which require large slabs of uniform stone.

Unlike other types of mines, a quarry is usually not dug out underground, and rarely reaches a depth greater than 60 feet (18 meters). A shallow pit is excavated into a deposit of rock which runs close to the surface, and the pit is slowly expanded to remove valuable rock material. If the quarry is being used to extract gravel or fill, explosives may be used to break it up before it is removed and loaded into trucks. If dimension stone is required, the excavation process is more painstaking to ensure that the stone is not damaged.

While a quarry is in active operation, it must be protected from groundwater seepage and rain, or it will turn into a small pond or lake. Many quarries are surrounded with moats of impermeable material to prevent seepage, and are also covered to prevent rain from accumulating in the open pit. In some cases, pumps may be installed to assist with removing water from the quarry. The company which built the quarry also maintains roads to and from the site, and sometimes builds a temporary processing center for the rock so that it can be removed, graded, and processed on site, with excess being disposed at the site rather than miles away.

After a quarry is abandoned, it is usually fenced off or otherwise secured to prevent people from injuring themselves there. In some cases there may be toxins present at the site, due to the way in which the rock was extracted. In others, as the quarry slowly fills with water, it may be a tempting place to swim. However, the quarry may pose hazards to swimming through objects in the water, depth, coldness, or toxins which may have leached into the water. In some cases, an inactive quarry may be converted into a swimming area, with modifications made to create a safe swimming and recreation area.

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

the quarry story

the quarry story

Unless youve visited or toured a quarry, chances are you dont know much about what goes on inside one. In the simplest terms, a rock quarry is a place where little rocks are made from big rocks. Although the basic process is the same, each quarry is different and some of the things in Quarry Story may not apply to all operations. Geography, geology and the type of stone mined, how close a quarry is to neighbors, the size of the operation and the main transportation method used to get the stone products to customers all have an impact on how each quarry is designed and operated.

At Vulcan Materials Company, our primary business is quarry mining. We take big rocks out of quarries and make smaller rocks and sand by crushing them. We sell the crushed rock and sand to builders and contractors who use them to build roads, highways, bridges, houses, shopping malls, schools, churches and other buildings and structures.

Before we can start operating a quarry many preparations must be made. First, our geologists must find a place where there is a large supply of rocks beneath the earths surface. We mine igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks to be used for construction. A quarry is frequently located near a community where our products are needed because if it isnt, it will cost our customers too much to haul the crushed stone, which is very heavy, over long distances.

After we find a good place to put a quarry, our geologists survey the land, and we develop a design that will make our quarry safe and efficient. Then, we have to get a variety of operating permits from local, state and federal governments. For instance, to obtain the environmental permits, it is necessary to provide a plan that shows we can and will obey all environmental rules of the state and federal governments. Once we obtain the proper permits, equipment is purchased, roads are built to the facility and we begin building the processing plant.

It is very important to us that we operate as a good neighbor in the communities where we build quarries. For example, at many sites we create buffer zones around the quarry so noise is kept to a minimum. We landscape the entrance to the quarry so that it blends with the surrounding area. We install special water systems so we can recycle the water we use in processing, and we put in many other features to protect the health and safety of our employees and our neighbors.

Great care is also taken to protect the environment and the animals that live on our quarry lands. A quarry site might be as big as 600 or more acres, but, only a small part of that land is actually used for the quarry and processing plant. We often establish wildlife habitats in the buffer zones to attract and protect animals that might live around our quarries. At some locations we have also built parks, nature trails and ball fields in buffer zones. Our quarries are full of so many interesting things that they are often seen as huge outdoor classrooms where students can come to see what we do and learn about earth science and nature. Once we decide where to put a quarry, we prepare the site for quarrying.

In order to get to the rock beneath the surface of the earth, we have to clear the land we are going to mine. Once we have the land prepared we are ready to begin mining rock. At many sites, the material that is removed is used to begin construction of berms and other buffer areas, or donated for landscaping or construction projects in the community.

Drilling and blasting is a very important part of how we get rocks out of the earth. We design this process around how much rock we want to break apart, the type of rock we are working with and the size pieces we want to break off. We hire experts to help with drilling and blasting because they know exactly how to work with explosives to make sure this part of the process is handled safely, efficiently and as quietly as possible.

First, holes are drilled in the earth and explosives are placed inside. The explosives are detonated to provide the smallest release of energy for the most efficient blast. The entire blasting process occurs in just a few seconds. Larger quarries may blast once a day and smaller quarries may blast once or twice a week. Blasting is monitored with a special machine to record sound and vibrations so that the community around our quarry remains protected and safe.

The area that begins to form out of the earth when we blast away big pieces of rock becomes the quarry or pit. We use very large haul trucks to load and move the rocks out of the pit and to the processing plant where they are crushed and divided into different sizes. Trucks move back and forth between the pit and the processing plant.

When trucks deliver the big pieces of rock to the processing plant, the rocks are put into a primary crusher that will break them into smaller pieces. The primary crusher can crush between 300 and 2,000 tons per hour. Depending on what size we want to make the rocks, they may be put through different kinds and smaller sizes of crushers one or two more times. As the rocks pass through the crushers, they are moved around the processing plant on conveyor belts.

After crushing, comes screening. As the rocks are broken down to smaller sizes, we use screens to separate them into piles that are the same size. Some screens are larger and they allow the bigger rocks to pass through. The smaller screens let only the small rocks through. Rocks may be crushed and screened many times before they are put in a stockpile with other rocks the same size.

During the entire quarrying process, we make sure that we protect the health and safety of our employees and neighbors.quarry-story--truck Mining rocks and moving rocks around a processing plant can create fine particles of dust. We control dust by using water sprays on the rocks as they are processed, and by using spraying equipment to wet quarry roads.

To protect the environment, we use water that we recycle in our own closed loop water system that collects rainwater and water that we use during processing. Water is stored in a recycling pond where the sediment is allowed to accumulate. If we have to discharge water from a recycling pond, we test the water to make sure that it is safe and that it meets environmental water quality regulations.

Stockpiles are huge piles of rock, sand, gravel and other materials, and we do mean huge. Some of our stockpiles are as much as 30 feet high and 800 feet around. They are so big that we have to keep them outside. Because they are exposed to the weather, they have to be carefully maintained so heavy rain doesn't wash them away. We also have to be careful not to let other materials get mixed in with them. We use bulldozers and front end loaders to keep the stockpiles in place. When customers come to our facility for a load of crushed stone, they go to the stockpile. We use a shipping loader to fill their trucks with the rocks and other aggregates from the stockpile.

Our rocks are sold by the ton. Before we can bill a customer for the materials they buy from us, we have to know the weight of each load. When trucks come to our facility, they are weighed before loading. Once they are loaded they are weighed again. Then, we subtract the weight of the empty truck from the weight of the full truck and we know how much the load weighs. This is the way we calculate how much the company has to pay for the load. Weighing is also important because it helps make sure that the trucks leaving our quarry are not too heavy for the roads they will travel on. Each state has laws that say how much weight a truck can legally carry. If a truck weighs too much, some of the material is taken off of it and then it is weighed again before it leaves the quarry.

Most of the time customers come to our facilities and we load the materials they need onto their trucks for transport to where they need to use them. Sometimes though, the materials have to be moved over greater distances. If materials need to be moved a long way, we might use boats, trains or barges to move them.

As you can see, making little rocks out of big rocks isnt as easy as it sounds. At Vulcan Materials Company, we work very hard to be our nations best and most environmentally friendly producer of construction materials. We are committed to doing things right, every day, through every step in the process of making rocks. We take important steps to make sure that our employees and neighbors are safe and the environment is protected. We hope you enjoyed learning about how a quarry operates. If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected]

Vulcan Materials Company Corporate Office 1200 Urban Center Drive Birmingham, AL 35242 Tel: (205) 298-3000 Questions about our site? Contact Us To report Business Conduct concerns,click here To purchase or inquire about products visit our Product Sales page

heavy metal content and toxicity of mine and quarry soils | springerlink

heavy metal content and toxicity of mine and quarry soils | springerlink

Soils formed in metallic mines and serpentinite quarries, among other unfavourable features, have high levels of heavy metals. They can release into the environment causing surface and subsurface water contamination, uptake by plants, their accumulation in the food chain and adverse effects on living organisms. In this work, we studied the magnitude of the soils toxic effects not only on spontaneous plants but also on two species with phytoremediation potential.

Several soils from two different exploitations were selected: a lead and zinc mine and a serpentinite quarry. Soils were characterized, and the pseudo-total and extractable contents of Co, Cr and Ni in soils from a serpentinite quarry were determined. The Cd, Pb and Zn pseudo-total and extractable contents were determined in soils developed in the Pb/Zn abandoned mine. Using a biotest, the chronic toxicity of the soil samples on higher plants was determined. Festuca ovina L., Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link., Sinapis alba L. and Brassica juncea L. were selected, the first two because they are spontaneous plants in the study areas and the last two because they have heavy metal phytoremediation potential.

Pseudo-total contents of Co, Cr and Ni in the serpentinite quarry soils and of Zn, Pb and Cd in the Zn/Pb mine soils exceed generic reference levels. CaCl2 is the reactant that extracts the highest proportion of Co, Cr and Ni in the quarry soils and EDTA the largest proportion of Pb Zn and Cd content in the mine soils. The germination index values based on seed germination and root elongation bioassays revealed increasing plant sensitivity to the mine soils in the following order: B. juncea

The pollution index indicates severe Cd, Pb and Zn contamination in the mine soils, as well as high Cr and Ni and moderate Co contamination in the serpentinite quarry soils. The performed biotests were suitable for identifying toxic soils and showed that the studied soils are toxic to the spontaneous plants, more to C. scoparius than to F. ovina. They also indicate that the mine soils are more toxic than the quarry soils for both species.

Anawar HM, Canha N, Santa-Regina I, Freitas MC (2013) Adaptation, tolerance, and evolution of plant species in a pyrite mine in response to contamination level and properties of mine tailings: sustainable rehabilitation. J Soils Sediments 13:730741

Anjos C, Magalhes MCF, Abreu MM (2012) Metal (Al, Mn, Pb and Zn) soils extractable reagents for available fraction assessment: Comparison using plants, and dry and moist soils from the Braal abandoned lead mine area, Portugal. J Geochem Explor 113:4555

Ayora C, Caraballo MA, Macias F, Rtting TS, Carrera J, Nieto J (2013) Acid mine drainage in the Iberian Pyrite Belt: 2. Lessons learned from recent passive remediation experiences. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20:78377853

Bidar G, Pruvot C, Garcon G, Verdin A, Shirali P, Douay F (2009) Seasonal and annual variations of metal uptake, bioaccumulation, and toxicity in Trifolium repens and Lolium perenne growing in a heavy metal-contaminated field. Environ Sci Pollut Res 16:4253

Boularbah A, Schwartz C, Bitton G, Aboudrar W, Ouhammou A, Morel JL (2006a) Heavy metal contamination from mining sites in South Morocco: 2. Assessment of metal accumulation and toxicity in plants Chemosphere 63:811817

Boularbah A, Schwartz C, Bitton G, Morel JL (2006b) Heavy metal contamination from mining sites in South Morocco: 1. Use of a biotest to assess metal toxicity of tailings and soils Chemosphere 63:802810

Favas PJC, Pratas J, Gomes MEP, Cala V (2011) Selective chemical extraction of heavy metals in tailings and soils contaminated by mining activity: environmental implications. J Geochem Explor 111:160171

Feng MH, Shan XQ, Zhang SZ, Wen B (2005) Comparison of a rhizosphere-based method with other one-step extraction methods for assessing the bioavailability of soil metals to wheat. Chemosphere 59:939949

Gisbert C, Clemente R, Navarro-Avi J, Baixauli C, Ginr A, Serrano R, Walker DJ, Bernal MP (2006) Tolerance and accumulation of heavy metals by Brassicaceae species grown in contaminated soils from Mediterranean regions of Spain. Environ Exp Bot 56:1927

IUSS Working Group WRB (2014) World reference base for soil resources 2014. International soil classification system for naming soils and creating legends for soil maps. World Soil Resources Reports N 106. FAO, Rome

Jimnez MN, Bacchetta G, Casti M, Navarro FB, Lallena AM, Fernndez-Ondoo E (2011) Potential use in phytoremediation of three plant species growing on contaminated mine-tailing soils in Sardinia. Ecol Eng 37:392398

Mankiewicz-Boczek J, Naecz-Jawecki G, Drobniewska A, Kaza M, Sumorok B, Izydorczyk K, Zalewski M, Sawicki J (2008) Application of a microbiotests battery for complete toxicity assesstement of rivers. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 71:830836

Mench M, Schwitzgubel JP, Schroeder P, Bert V, Gawronski S, Gupta S (2009) Assessment of successful experiments and limitations of phytotechnologies: contaminant uptake, detoxification and sequestration, and consequences for food safety. Environ Sci Pollut Res 16:876900

Naidu R, Bolan NS, Megharaj M, Juhasz AL, Gupta SK, Clothier BE, Schulin R (2008) Chemical bioavailability in terrestrial environments, chapter 1. In: Hartemink AE, McBratney AB, Naidu R (eds) Chemical bioavailability in terrestrial environments. Developments in soil science, volume 32. Elsevier, Oxford, pp 16

Pueyo M, Lpez-Snchez JF, Rauret G (2004) Assessment of CaCl2, NaNO3 and NH4NO3 extraction procedures for the study of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn extractability in contaminated soils. Anal Chim Acta 504:217226

Quental L, Sousa AJ, Marsh S, Abreu MM (2013) Identification of materials related to acid mine drainage using multi-source spectra at S. Domingos Mine, Southeast Portugal. Int J Remote Sens 34:19281948

Santos ES, Abreu MM, Batista MJ, Magalhes MCF, Fernandes E (2014) Inter-population variation on the accumulation and translocation of potentially harmful chemical elements in Cistus ladanifer L. from Brancanes, Caveira, Chana, Lousal, Neves Corvo and So Domingos mines in the Portuguese Iberian Pyrite Belt. J Soils Sediments 14:758772

Shah MT, Ara J, Muhammad S, Khan S, Asad SA, Ali L (2014) Potential heavy metals accumulation of indigenous plant species along the mafic and ultramafic terrain in the Mohmand agency, Pakistan. Clean Soil Air Water 42:339346

Slattery W, Conyers M, Aitken R (1999) Soil pH, aluminium, manganese and lime requirement. In: Peverill KI, Sparrow L, Reuter D (eds) Soil analysis: an interpretation manual. CSIRO, Australia, pp 103125

US EPA (1996) Ecological effects test guidelines: Seed hermination/root elongation toxicity test. Office of Prevention, Pesticide and Toxic Substances (OPPTS) 850.4200. EPA, Washington DC, 712-C-96-154

Vidal-Torrado P, Calvo R, Macias F, Carvalho SG, Silva AC (2007) Geochemical and mineralogical evolution in alteration profiles on serpentinized rocks in southwestern Minas Gerais, Brazil. Rev Bras Cinc Solo 31:10691083

Wahsha M, Bini C, Argese E, Minello F, Fontana S, Wahsheh H (2012) Heavy metals accumulation in willows growing on Spolic Technosols from the abandoned Imperina Valley mine in Italy. J Geochem Explor 123:1924

We would like to thank the Xunta de Galicia for financing the project EM2013/018. F.A. Vega is hired under a Ramn y Cajal contract at the University of Vigo. A. Rodrguez-Seijo thanks the University of Vigo for his pre-doctoral fellowship. D. Arenas-Lago is grateful to the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and the University of Vigo for the FPI-MICINN.

We confirm that the manuscript has been read and approved by all named authors and that there are no other persons who satisfied the criteria for authorship but are not listed. This research does not involve human participants and/or animals.

Lago-Vila, M., Rodrguez-Seijo, A., Arenas-Lago, D. et al. Heavy metal content and toxicity of mine and quarry soils. J Soils Sediments 17, 13311348 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-016-1354-0

quarry | mining | britannica

quarry | mining | britannica

Quarry, place where dimension stone or aggregate (sand, gravel, crushed rock) is mined. The products of dimension stone quarries are prismatic blocks of rock such as marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, and slate. After cutting and polishing, these materials are used in the primary construction of buildings and monuments and also for decorative facing materials applied to the exterior and interior of buildings. Dimension stones are extracted in a highly selective manner, using time-consuming and expensive methods for freeing the blocks from the surrounding rock.

Sand, gravel, and crushed rock quarries employ standard surface-mining techniques. Crushed stone is used for concrete aggregate, for road building, and, in the case of limestone, as flux in blast furnaces and for chemical applications. The quarrying technique consists of drilling and blasting to fragment the rock. A large number of charges are fired at one time, producing up to 20,000 tons of broken stone in one blast. The broken stone is crushed into smaller pieces that are separated into uniform classes by screening.

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