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Order of coticule layers

danjared

Well-Known Member
This question is primarily for Bart, but I'm interested in whether anyone else might know too. In one of the threads on this site (can't remember which), Bart mentions that Maurice Celis says that, at the current level being mined, it looks as if some of the layers are merging into one another. I'm curious about the order the layers are found. Anyone know? I ask because sometimes I see stones that really do look like they're from two layers.
 

IsaacRN

Well-Known Member
This would be quite interesting to observe. I figure some type of pyramid chart would do wonders. I also would like to see in one place a measurement of defining characteristics of each layer. Huge undertaking, but I think it might be very beneficial.
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
I don't actually think it has much practical use, although it would certainly be interesting to know.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
In 1847, the well-known mining engineer Andre Dumont published a drawing of the Eastern wall of the Wallerant quarry. This was a young quarry, located at Ol' Preu and it is today known to us as the location where Ardennes Coticule currently quarries. Nowadays the distance from top to bottom of the quarry is approaching 40m, but back then it was a good 5m. Dumont made a sketch, measured the thickness of the layers and the distances between them.


1. Veine-aux-Poissons: thickness:3 cm /space in between 1-2: 74 cm
2. Petite-Veinette: thickness:0.7 cm à 3 cm /space in between 2-3: 3 cm
3. Filet: thickness: 0.7 cm /space in between 3-4: 9 cm
4. Grosse-Blanche: thickness:6 cm /space in between 4-5: 30 cm
5. Gros-Grès: thickness: 2.6 cm à 7.5 cm /space in between 5-6: 45 cm
6. Dressante: thickness: 2.6-7.4 cm /space in between 6-7: 45 cm
7. Jolie-Veinette: thickness:1.5 cm à 3 cm /space in between 7-8: 30 cm
8. Petite-Blanche: thickness: 0.7-2 cm /space in between 8-9: 30 cm
9. Les deux Grosses-Latneuses: 1.5 cm / 1.5 cm hybrid / 1.5 cm / space in between 9-10 : 150 cm
10. Nouvelle veine: thickness: 7.5 cm
11. La Grise
(12. La Verte)
(13. La Veine aux Clous)

As you can see, the Coticule band is like a gigantic multilayered lasagna, that has been pushed into a series of folds, by the forces of time, pressure and geological activity. You can see, for instance, how layers 10 and 11 are among the "youngest" layers of the quarry, forming the top of the deposit. Part of that top was eroded away eons ago. It isn't hard to imagine how layer 10 at the far left originally curved and connected with 10 at the middle of the drawing. We can see how it dived a few meters deeper, to turn up again and runs out again a bit further to the right. #10 is La Nouvelle Veine, and this explains why we don't see that many of them. The middle bend had already been fully extracted at this quarrying location, over an age ago. Only the #10 bend at the left runs deeper into the hill. Much deeper. And so do most of the other layers. Some of the layers known to us today, don't even show up in this sketch, because they are located further to the left, notably La Verte, and La Veine aux Clous. It is important to realize that nowadays, the quarry extents more than 3 times wider to the left of the drawing and almost 8 times deeper.

The middle curve of the layers #1 to #3 is completely mined at the current location. Will they meet another bend of it deeper and more to the left? Unlikely, but one never knows. #4, La Grosse Blanche shows up only on accasion when they are excavating at the front of the quarry (the area of our sketch). La Grosse Gres? I have no idea, perhaps it was later renamed La Grosse Jaune?. Where it really starts for Ardennes today, is with La Dressante (#6), next La Veinette (#7, formerly called Jolie-Veinette), La Petite Blanche (#8), Les Latneauses (#9), La Nouvelle Veine (#10), La Grise (#11), La Verte (#12) and La Veine aux Clous (#13). Those last 3 hadn't been extracted yet, when Dumont made his sketch in 1847.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
Now that is unbelievable, :thumbup:

You know call me slow, but I didnt realise the layers were more vertical that flat?
Also because I have only ever really seen old photo's of ancient manual excavations, I never assumed the mine was open cast?

Wonderful stuff indeed

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

vgeorge

Well-Known Member
This is absolutely fascinating, Bart. Thank you.

Would you consider keeping this information somewhere more easily accessed like the 'Heritage'?
 

danjared

Well-Known Member
Wow, that's exactly what I was looking for. So, I take it that the other veins (Petas, Dados, l'Allemande, etc) are in different outcrops of the massif? (Hrm, what's the word you used before?) Or are they there but just off the map (and possibly already exploited at this location)? I'd search more myself, but every time I do I get a bunch of French that I have no hope of understanding. My fiancee speaks French fluently, but she rolls her eyes whenever I talk about rocks for more than 15 seconds.

I'm curious about the ones no longer available here. "Petite-Veinette"--the stone that both Ralfy and Paul would love? :rolleyes: I kid.

More seriously, maybe this will help to identify and understand some of the new stones that are being mined, if it really is the case that some of the veins are merging. I wonder if the part now being mined was on a high spot on the ocean floor, where there was less sediment build-up between volcanic explosions.

It's funny that some people think that the best stones are "vintage" ones. In some ways, it seems that the most interesting stones are just being mined. They're at least the most visually stunning, in my opinion.
 

vgeorge

Well-Known Member
Bart,

Do you have the coordinates (address, latitude/longitude) of the Ol' Preu Quarry?

I was trying to take an aerial look via Google Maps - tried the workshop address:
Petit Sart 38C
B-4990 Lierneux
Belgium

But no quarry nearby. Tried Ol' Preu Quarry - still no dice.
 

vgeorge

Well-Known Member
BlueDun, cannot make out if it is Ol' Preu quarry that is on the side - but the street name is Thier del Preu.
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
The Ol'Preu quarry is the the most right white spot. The other white spot is storage area.

Ralfson, there were only 2 open quarries, and many subterranean mines. Ardennes owns a mine as well, located in Regné (more to the south of Tier del Preu.

To the East, you'll find Tier Du Mont, many abandoned mining pits over there. If you follow Tier Du Mont farther to the East, you'll find a Railway track, a bit more to the South, right before arriving at Salmchateau, the enterance of the Old Rock mine.
Sadly that's all to small to show up at Google maps.

Kind regards,
Bart.
 

Deckard

Well-Known Member
Very interesting stuff.
I'm intrigued to know how old the mine is.
When did they start mining there and was it always for the purpose of whetstones?
 

BlueDun

Well-Known Member
Dear Sir Bart, may I humbly object?
In the middle of the picture you see a rectangular spot with some patches of forrest to the north and to the west. If you zoom in to the intersection to the east you will see a pentagram. That's the WW2 monument where we parked.
If you Zoom in to the rectangular spot you'll see that it consists of two brighter areas to the left and right and a darker area in between.
When we walked from the monument towards the quarry ( the road marked Thier del Preu) we did pass the storage area first and the actual quarry came after that. Maybe I had too many Belgian brews down by that time but If I am correct then the quarry is the bright area to the LEFT (West)!

Respectfully :p
BlueDun
 

Bart

Well-Known Member
Indeed. Did I wrote "right"? I've a standing reputation of exchanging left and right.:blush: Do you remember our little tour in Brussels? :rolleyes:

My apologies, the quarry is the left bright spot.

Bart.
 
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