Limestone and Dolomite Resources of Kentucky
About this website

This website provides access to a variety of data associated with limestone aggregate sites across Kentucky. The data are presented in different documents and formats. Each site has been assigned a numeric site ID and related documents are named using this ID number along with other text to identify the document content.

This website does not contain information on limestone reserves, production, or the current status of limestone operations. For information about limestone production, see the U.S. Geological Survey’s Minerals Yearbook Volume II. For information about the current status of operations that provide materials to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, see the KYTC Aggregate Source Book.

Site History. Many of the sites on this map have been visited one or more times to collect information and samples. To the extent possible, these visits have been identified chronologically and are listed in the Site Event History table and given an event number.

Field Notes. Documentation related to site visits and subsequent office work have been scanned into an Adobe PDF document. These documents contain all available information from a variety of sources. Refer to the Site Event History table for more information about the visits. Documents include measured sections and ledge descriptions, sample lists and descriptions, cross sections and strip logs, quarry summaries, photographs, analytical reports, and other items. The documents are ordered chronologically, to the extent possible. Field note documents are named according to the site id (102_Notes_1.pdf).

Chemical Data. Tabular element oxide data are provided for sample suites collected at sites. In some cases, sites were sampled at different times as quarries enlarged. The sample events are listed in the Site Event History table by date. In some cases results from two or more sample events have been compiled into a single continuous section, but in others the relationship between the different sections are not know and are presented separately. Incremental sample suites are typically taken at one foot vertical intervals. Ledge samples represent hand samples taken from a specified interval and intended to be representative of that lithology or stratigraphic unit.

Chemical Graphs. In order to visualize vertical chemical variation at sites, incremental chemical results were prepared in graphical format. Each graph uses the same format, but the vertical scale is adjusted to fit the data to a single page, and the horizontal scale is adjusted for each graph element based on the data range for each set. Graph files are named by site ID and event number (e.g. 102_Graph_2.pdf).

Petrography. Over 600 samples were taken to prepare thin sections for petrographic analysis. About half of those have petrographic data sheets with constituent composition and porosity determinations. These documents are named by site ID and original sample number (e.g. 132_6-1_Petro.pdf).

Photomicrographs. A relatively small number of thin sections have photomicrographs available. These images are provided in Adobe PDF files named similarly to the petrography data sheets (e.g. 132_6-1_pmg.pdf).

Core Holdings. A number of cores that were originally sampled for chemical analysis are still available for inspection at the KGS Well Sample and Core Library. A link is provided to the call number at the library.

Publications. Some sample suites have data that has been included in one or more KGS publications. A link is provided to the publications catalog where the documents can be downloaded.

Sample Holdings. Residual materials from samples are available at the KGS Well Sample and Core Library for future research. The samples may be ground materials of different sizes or whole samples. A listing is provided for each site to facilitate inquiries about accessibility.

Limestone Sampling Programs:
KGS conducted several different limestone sampling programs. These are referenced in the "Program" column of the sample holdings table.

Chemistry. An ongoing program from 1949 to 1990 that obtained foot-by-foot incremental samples for chemical characterization of quarried carbonate stone in Kentucky.

AFBC. A project conducted in the 1980's to identify potential stratigraphic and lithologic units that could supply raw materials for acidized fluid bed combustion processes.

Porosity. A sampling project related to the AFBC project focused on obtaining samples for preparing thin sections to evaluate rock porosity.

Lithology. A sampling project to create a representative collection of carbonate lithologies for applied research.

Limestone Sampling Types:

Bulk. A large-volume sample taken either in-situ or from a stockpile used for large-scale experiments. Bulk samples were usually taken to represent a particular lithology from a single mine ledge.

Grab. One or more hand-sized samples taken from a unit intended to be representative of some property. Grab samples are generally representative of a particular lithology or a particular stratigraphic unit.

Increment. Samples taken sequentially at a site to assess vertical variability of carbonate units. Increment samples in this dataset are typically 1 to 2 foot spacing.

Ledge. A grab sample taken from a mine ledge intended to be representative of that mining unit.

Limestone Sampling Methods:

Core. In-situ samples obtained from a continuous rock core.

Face. In-situ samples obtained from the face of a quarry, mine, or outcrop.

Pile. Samples obtained from a stockpile of stone that can be associated with a unit of interest.

Other terms used on this website:

Bench. The horizontal surface in a quarry or mine at the base of a mineable ledge.

Core. A cylindrical sample of rock obtained by drilling below the earth’s surface with a diamond drill bit.

Dolomite. A carbonate rock of which more than 50 percent by weight is made up of the mineral dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2).

Ledge. A vertical face in a mine or quarry representing a mineable unit within the operation. Ledges are generally defined by carbonate lithology and or stratigraphy. Ledges are mined sequentially in a stepwise way resulting in benches at the base of each unit.

Limestone. A carbonate rock consisting mainly of the mineral calcite (CaCO3). Impurities can include quartz, dolomite, chert, and clay.

Mine. An extractive operation that is located principally beneath the land surface. Also known as an underground mine.

Outcrop. A natural or man-made exposure of rock accessible at the earth’s surface. Many outcrops in Kentucky are created along highways (roadcuts) to reduce grade.

Quarry. An extractive operation that is located principally on the land surface. Also referred to as a pit or surface mine.