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A quarry is a mine type from which rocks and construction materials are extracted. The process of extraction of these materials from a quarry is known as quarrying. Quarries are very similar to mines with the only difference being the fact that in a quarry rocks are extracted by breaking down or digging out large deposits of such rocks while mining involves digging very deep into the surface of the earth to uncover some essential elements like gold.

Quarries are majorly located in secluded areas where there is little or no human habitation. They are characterised with very high dust particles and noisy atmosphere due to some of the machines used in breaking down the rocks. Ancient quarries contain mostly manual labourers with hand held tools used in chopping into rocks but, these kinds of quarry often produce low quantity of extracted rocks due to human limitations. Contrarily, modern quarries use heavy machinery in performing most of its extraction, therefore, providing higher outputs.

A quarry is considered nuisance to human health when located close to any human habitation because there is a high risk of exposure to dust, some gaseous release and also high-pitched noise from the heavy machines. As a result, of constant digging and breaking down many quarries stand the risk of flooding due to out flowing of ground water. Most quarry are protected from flooding by simultaneous pumping out of this ground water as quarrying activities are conducted. In some very severe cases, this pumping procedure does not provide any solution which prompts engineers to develop a more strategic way of curbing the out flow of water.

Most of the useful rocks in building and construction are obtained through from quarries some of which include, coal, granite, chalk, marble limestone, construction aggregates, gypsum and others. A quarry becomes barren after a long period of constant quarrying causing it to be abandoned. Many of these abandoned quarries end up becoming lakes and landfills. Recently, developers have adopted methods of converting abandoned quarries into safe swimming pools to act as natural resort centres.

Additional Resources

Protolith   Quartz   Quartz Uses

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