For thousands of years humans have used stone for building, whether it was for monuments, religious buildings or houses.

 

What do we Quarry?

Today the demand for carefully worked stone for building has been reduced by the fact that we have so many new, easier to use and cheaper building materials but this does not necessarily mean that there is less quarrying. Although stone blocks are not used so much for building as they used to be, we still use stone in a different form for building and construction work today.

There is now a great demand for stone – especially limestone – in the form of ‘crushed rock’ and it is also an essential constituent in other building and construction materials.

Creating one kilometre of road 10 metres wide could use well over 500 lorry loads of crushed stone.

Because the stone used for this sort of construction work does not have to be extracted in a high quality block form, the techniques for quarrying have changed. Now, those that quarry can be less selective. Consequently one of the best methods of quick quarrying is the use of explosives which means that great chunks of hillsides may be blown up and transported away in a relatively short time.

Sand and gravel are used along with stone in construction work. Consequently millions of tonnes are being removed from sand and gravel deposits both on land – usually close to the urban areas where they are needed – and also from the sea bed.

Read More: What effect can Quarries have?