Lesson 1/Learning Event 1
waste material which often overlies pit
or quarry sites. This material must
removed before excavation of the construction materials lying below. Overburden refers to loose
materials but locally it may include solid rock lying above the desired material. Burden is the
construction material on the face of a quarry.
Figure 1 shows the names of various quarry features. The floor of the quarry is the inside bottom
surface which marks the lower limit of excavation. Often quarries contain one or more working floors at
various levels above the final quarry floor. A quarry wall is a more or less vertical surface which marks
the lateral limit of excavation. The face of a quarry is a rock surface (usually vertical) from which rock
is to be excavated. The top of the face is called the crest while the bottom is called the toe. A bench is a
step-like mass of rock behind a face and below a working floor. Waste soil and rock materials which
overlie the rock to be quarried are called overburden, while waste materials occurring within a deposit
are called spoil. Notice that each bench has a face, floor, toe, and crest.
FIGURE 1. QUARRY TERMINOLOGY