Quarry faces are slopes where the required mineral is in the
process of being worked, or is exposed but not yet extracted.
The term can also be applied to any exposed rock faces within
the quarry, including areas where permitted extraction is complete.
All quarry slopes have to be designed by the quarry operator,
in order to make sure they are safe. The larger and/or steeper
slopes within a quarry are generally required to have a detailed
'geotechnical assessment' in compliance with the Quarry Regulations
1999. This assessment will look in detail at all the factors
that affect the slope stability,
- The form of the final slopes, for example their angle
to vertical, height, etc.
- Structure of the rock behind the face, including whether
there are naturally occurring joints or cracks
- Strength of the rock
- Ground water conditions
- Risk of Rockfall
- Use of land above and below the slope
Although the appearance of the slope is important, both during
and after quarrying operations, the stability issues are also
important because they will have significant impacts on the
use of the land below and above the slope.
Sometimes these slopes comprise features of geological importance
and may comprise Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
or be designated as a Regionally Important Geological Site
quarry working faces.
quarry faces with a mixture of planting, natural regeneration
In these cases a section of the slope may have to be incorporated
as an exposure in the restoration of the quarry and safe access provided
to enable the feature to be studied.
Restoration of these features will often include attempts to
replicate or simulate natural land forms.