Last Updated on December 23, 2022

A sand quarry is a sand depression that results from digging or mining the ground. Quarries generally are created when hard mineral deposits such as rock, marble, clay, gravel, and sandstones are mined.

A quarry is a type of open-pit mine, because it is open to the Earth’s surface. They can often be several miles deep.

Sand quarries are typically located near sources of sand, such as on the shores of rivers, lakes, or oceans, or in desert regions where sand dunes are found.

Aggregate is what is extracted from a quarry in terms of sand, gravel, or crushed rock. Concrete and asphalt are made from aggregate, which is also used in construction to build sturdy foundations for things like highways and train tracks.

Sand Quarry near Sandiway, United Kingdom
Sand Quarry near Sandiway, United Kingdom

The largest sand quarries in the world

1. Thornton Quarry – Thornton, Illinois

One of the biggest aggregate quarries in the world, Thornton Quarry is located in Thornton, Illinois, just south of Chicago. The quarry has a length of 1.5 miles (2.5 km), a width of 0.5 miles (1 km), and reaches a maximum depth of 450 feet (137.16 m).

The Thornton Quarry has been in operation since the early 1900s and extracts high-quality limestone from an underground mine. The quarry produces a variety of products, including crushed stone, sand, and gravel, which are used in construction, manufacturing, and other industries.

2. The Rock – Mount Airy, North Carolina

The Rock quarry, also known as the Mount Airy Quarry, is the world’s largest open-faced granite quarry, located in Mount Airy, North Carolina.

The Rock quarry is located in an area with a rich history of quarrying and has been in operation since the early 1900s. It extracts high-quality granite from the earth and processes it into a variety of products, including crushed stone, sand, and gravel. The total size of the granite deposit is around 11 km long, 2 km wide, and 2.5 km deep. Over 60 acres of the site’s rock are exposed.

3. Rogers City Quarry – Rogers City, Michigan

The largest limestone quarry in the world is run by The Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company (also known as Michigan Limestone), and it is situated close to Rogers City, Michigan. In the northeastern region of Northern Michigan, next to Alpena and to the south of Rogers City, along the shore of Lake Huron, are the deposits extracted at the quarry.

The Rogers City Quarry is located on the shores of Lake Huron and has been in operation since the early 1900s. It extracts high-quality limestone from an underground mine and processes it into a variety of products, including crushed stone, sand, and gravel. The quarry is a major supplier of construction materials in the Midwest region of the United States.

4. Glensada Sand Quarry – Loch Linnhe, Scotland

The Glensanda sand quarry is a large quarry located on the shores of Loch Linnhe in Scotland. It is believed to be the largest sand quarry in Europe and has the capacity to produce up to 16 million tons of sand and gravel per year.

The Glensanda quarry is located in an area with a long history of quarrying, and has been in operation since the 1980s. It extracts sand and gravel from the bed of Loch Linnhe and transports it to customers by ship, using a purpose-built terminal and a fleet of specially designed vessels. The quarry also produces a variety of other construction materials, including crushed rock and asphalt.


List of noticeable quarries worldwide

Australia

Bombo Headland Quarry Geological Site
Boogardie quarry
Boya, Western Australia
Cronulla sand dunes
Moorooduc Quarry Flora and Fauna Reserve
Mount Gibraltar Trachyte Quarries Complex
Portland Cement Works Precinct
Prospect Hill (New South Wales)
Seaham Quarry
Statham’s Quarry


Canada

Butchart Gardens
Connolly’s quarry
Don Valley Brick Works
French Fort Cove
Hammerstone Project
Mary’s Point
Miron Quarry
Queenston
Walcott Quarry


Germany

Cotta Sandstone
Elbe Sandstone
Grillenburg Sandstone
Hohburg Hills
Königshain Hills
Kriemhildenstuhl
Mühlsteinbrüche
Posta Sandstone
Reinhardtsdorf Sandstone
Waldenecksee
Wunsiedel Marble


Italy

Carrara


Kosovo

Çikatovë e Vjeter
Korroticë e Epërme


Russia

Ruskeala

United Kingdom

Capernwray Dive Centre
Dinorwic quarry
Dorothea quarry
Eccleston Quarry
National Diving and Activity Centre
Slickstones Quarry, Cromhall
Stoney Cove

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