Large quantities of limestone and dolomite suitable for construction, agriculture, and industrial uses are available in Kentucky. Deposits of hard and durable stone are quarried and mined for construction. The stone is crushed to produce aggregate for concrete and asphalt used in the construction of highways, streets, and buildings. Much of the state’s stone being produced for construction also meets the chemical and physical specifications for aglime, which is used to adjust the pH of soils for agricultural crops and pastures. Deposits of chemically pure stone are used for the manufacture of lime and cement, and for industrial applications such as a sorbent for reducing sulfur oxide emissions from coal-burning power plants, rock dust for explosion abatement in underground coal mines, and as fillers. Dimension stone has been quarried from several of the limestone and dolomite units.
In 2008, the latest year for which industry statistics are available from the U.S. Geological Survey, production by the stone industry of Kentucky ranked 12th in the nation (U.S. Geological Survey, 2008). Ninety-five operations produced 51 million metric tons of stone valued at $411 million. At least 60 percent of the production was construction aggregate. Kentucky led the nation in the production of stone from underground mines in 2008 and it ranked third in lime production. A western Kentucky quarry was the largest producing operation in the United States for several years.
Map and Chart 203
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Dever, Garland R. Jr. and Weisenfluh, Gerald A., "Limetstone and Dolomite Resources of Kentucky" (2013). Kentucky Geological Survey Map and Chart. 203.