Phosphate Drag Lines At Work
The Unites States Geological Survey (USGS) believes... "phosphate" draglines can be hundreds of feet in height and weigh hundreds of tons as well; (Fig. 1). A dragline's huge bucket holds up to (65) cubic yards of overburden, which will completely fill (10) standard dump trucks. The dragline removes up to (100) feet of earth known as "Overburden" to the phosphate strip mines industry. The first (30 to 40) feet of earth holds Florida's real treasure, aquifers.
The phosphate industries' term Overburden is commonly known to the lay person as lakes, ponds, trees, pastures, grass lands, small rivers, springs, aquifers.
The overburden is discarded, giving rise to phosphate spoil piles arranged at the side of what is called the phosphate mine pits (Fig. 1). The phosphate mine pit appears more kin to a lunar landscape opposed to the appearance of Florida's natural landscape.
Phosphate Mines Linked To Sinkholes?
The water in these aquifers is now free from containment, filling extraordinarily huge deep pits with clear clean fresh water. Most interestingly, nature now works against us in the form of sinkholes. The sinkholes develope over the emptied aquifer systems and water tables. The water drains from crushed aquifers into the phosphate mine pits. Some phosphate pits are a full square mile in land area, being as much as 100 feet deep.