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Not to be confused with Query.
For other uses, see Quarry (disambiguation).
Portland stone quarry on the Isle of Portland, England
Stone quarry in Soignies, Hainaut (province), Belgium.

A quarry is a place from which dimension stone, rock, construction aggregate, riprap, sand, gravel, or slate has been excavated from the ground. A quarry is the same thing as an open-pit mine from which minerals are extracted. The only trivial difference between the two is that open-pit mines that produce building materials and dimension stone are commonly referred to as quarries.

The word quarry can also include the underground quarrying for stone, such as Bath stone.

Types of rock[edit]

Types of rock extracted from quarries include:


Many quarry stones such as marble, granite, limestone, and sandstone are cut into larger slabs and removed from the quarry. The surfaces are polished and finished with varying degrees of sheen or luster. Polished slabs are often cut into tiles or countertops and installed in many kinds of residential and commercial properties. Natural stone quarried from the earth is often considered a luxury and tends to be a highly durable surface, thus highly desirable.


Extraction work in a marble quarry in Carrara, Italy.

Quarries in level areas with shallow groundwater or which are located close to surface water often have engineering problems with drainage. Generally the water is removed by pumping while the quarry is operational, but for high inflows more complex approaches may be required. For example, the Coquina quarry is excavated to more than 60 feet (18 m) below sea level. To reduce surface leakage, a moat lined with clay was constructed around the entire quarry. Ground water entering the pit is pumped up into the moat. As a quarry becomes deeper, water inflows generally increase and it also becomes more expensive to lift the water higher during removal; this can become the limiting factor in quarry depth. Some water-filled quarries are worked from beneath the water, by dredging.

Many people and municipalities consider quarries to be eyesores and require various abatement methods to address problems with noise, dust, and appearance. One of the more effective and famous examples of successful quarry restoration is Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC, Canada.

A further problem is pollution of roads from trucks leaving the quarries. To control and restrain the pollution of public roads, wheel washing systems are becoming more common.

Quarry lakes[edit]

Main article: Quarry lake

Many quarries naturally fill with water after abandonment and become lakes. Others are made into landfills.

Water-filled quarries can be very deep with water, often 50 feet or more, that is often surprisingly cold. Unexpectedly cold water can cause a swimmer's muscles to suddenly weaken; it can also cause shock and even hypothermia.[1] Though quarry water is often very clear, submerged quarry stones and abandoned equipment make diving into these quarries extremely dangerous. Several people drown in quarries each year.[2][3] However, many inactive quarries are converted into safe swimming sites.

An abandoned limestone quarry in Rummu, Estonia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "American Canoe Association explanation of cold shock". Enter.net. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  2. ^ "US Dept. of Labor list of mine related fatalities". Msha.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 
  3. ^ "on quarry drownings". Geology.com. 2007-11-03. Retrieved 2012-05-14. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Quarries at Wikimedia Commons

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quarry — Please support Wikipedia.
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15259 news items

Fri, 22 Aug 2014 19:15:00 -0700

SAN DIEGO - An investigation is set to begin into a quarry explosion that damaged two homes in Tierrasanta. A Cal/OSHA official told Team 10 that the organization's mining and tunneling unit will start their probe on Monday. Superior Ready Mix has ...
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 16:52:03 -0700

Bill Moody, is one of many neighbors rallying together in a self proclaimed group “Neighbors Against the Quarry”. "With the rock quarry going, it is only 2,500 to 2,800 feet from my residence," said Bill Moody, “Neighbors Against the Quarry” group member.


Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:07:30 -0700

SAN DIEGO - No one was hurt after a boulder -- which came from a rock quarry nearly a half-mile away -- struck a Tierrasanta home on Thursday. Bianca Bushnull was inside her home in the 11400 block of Madera Rosa Way when the giant projectile hit her ...

NBC 7 San Diego

NBC 7 San Diego
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:26:15 -0700

A Tierrasanta resident got a big scare Thursday after a blast from a nearby quarry left a couple of gaping holes on the side of her home. Bianca Bushnell was at her house on Madera Rosa Way when she suddenly heard a loud noise followed by her entire ...
Shelbyville Times-Gazette
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:48:45 -0700

Following a judge's order, the Shelbyville Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) approved a five-year conditional use of property for rock quarry activity on L. Fisher Road. A city ordinance provides that the BZA has to set a performance bond for the five-year ...
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Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:01:25 -0700

Bangor Mayor Joe Capozollo points out to where some of the deeper parts are in the quarry that sits behind CVS Pharmacy on North Main Street in the borough. Fifteen people were arrested on Monday afternoon for trespassing on the site, police say.
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Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:15:00 -0700

ELIZABETH — Local residents who loaned fossils for scientific enrichment were recently thanked by the Planetary Studies Foundation Earth & Space Science Museum. Chris and Courtney Timp of Scales Mound, owners of Hahn Quarry in Galena, provided ...
Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:41:15 -0700

The proposed quarry would be within five hundred feet of Bud Yngsdahl's home. He's concerned about increased truck traffic, the impact of any quarry waste on the area's watershed, and the potential for blasting to damage his home's rock foundation, and ...

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