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DIVISION OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES

Westmoreland County, Virginia

There are six active mine permits in Westmoreland County, all of which are licensed to produce sand and gravel. In 2005, 209,161 tons of sand and gravel were produced in Westmoreland County. Based on the DGMR Publication 174, Digital Representation of the 1993 Geologic Map of Virginia, the sand and gravel is produced from the Bacons Castle Formation, Moorings unit, Shirley Formation, the Lynnhaven and Poquoson Members undifferentiated, and the Chesapeake Group formations. The geologic map (see pdf below) indicates where these formations are exposed and accessible. Information on these mining operations is available from the Virginia Division of Mineral Mining in Charlottesville, Virginia.  There are 40 identified historical sand and gravel pits that are currently inactive in Westmoreland County. There is one diatomaceous earth prospect located in the Calvert Formation, which is the lowest member of the Chesapeake Group. The results of an analysis of one sample collected from the diatom-bearing bed were published in Pharr, 1965. Uses of diatomite include filter aids, fillers, absorbents, insulations, and cement.

Twelve samples of clay materials were tested between 1957 and 1978, and 8 were found suitable as raw materials for the manufacture of mineral filler, brick, tile, and structural clay products (Sweet, 1988). Descriptive locations are included in the relevant references below, which can be purchased from the DMME Web Store.

Four gas wells were drilled in Westmoreland County between 1986 and 1992 by Texaco, Inc.  None of these wells produced hydrocarbons, and all four wells have been plugged and abandoned. Information about these wells is available from the Virginia Division of Gas and Oil in Abingdon, Virginia. In 1976, the U.S. Geological Survey drilled and conventionally cored a well to study the geological formations that were encountered from the surface to 1380 feet below the surface (or –1200 feet elevation). The well is located 2.2 miles west-southwest of Oak Grove, Virginia. Information on this well and subsequent studies of the core are included in the Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources Publication 20, as described in the list of references for Westmoreland County.

Westmoreland County Geologic Map
Westmoreland County Geologic Map unit descriptions
Westmoreland County Historical Mineral Resource Sites
Westmoreland County Historical Gas Well Sites
Westmoreland County Mineral Production, 1986-present
Westmoreland County Active Mines, 1990-present

Access DGMR's Collections including our Interactive Geologic Map, VGIC (publications, rock samples, geologic maps, coal quality, and orphaned mines) as well as our Webstore where publications can be purchased or downloaded for free.

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References

Clay
Johnson, Stanley S., and Tyrrell, Miles E., 1967, Analyses of clay and related materials eastern counties: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Mineral Resources Report 8, p. 210-218.

Sweet, Palmer C., 1988, Clay material testing program, 1957-1986: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 76, 46 pages and 1 sheet.

Sweet, Palmer C., 1982, Virginia clay material resources: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 36, p. 164-170.

Diatomaceous earth
Pharr, R. F., 1965, Diatomaceous sediments in Virginia: Virginia Minerals vol. 11, no. 3, p. 25-31.

General geology
Estabrook, James and Reinhardt, Juergen, 1980, Lithologic log of the core, in Geology of the Oak Grove core: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 20, Part 4, 88 pages.

Gibson, T. G., and others, 1980, Biostratigraphy of the Tertiary strata of the core, in Geology of the Oak Grove core: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 20, Part 2, 88 pages.

Milici, Robert C., Costain, John K., Coruh, Cahit, and Pappano, Phillip A., 1995, Structural section across the Atlantic coastal plain, Virginia and southeasternmost Maryland: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 140, 2 sheets.

Mixon, R. B., Berquist, C. R., Jr., Newell, W. L., Johnson, G. H., Powars, D. S., Schindler, J. S., and Rader, E. K., 1989, Geologic map and generalized cross sections of the Coastal Plain and adjacent parts of the Piedmont, Virginia: U. S. Geological Survey Map I-2033, 2 sheets.

Reinhardt, Juergen, Christopher, R. A. and Owens, J. P., 1980, Lower Cretaceous stratigraphy of the core, in Geology of the Oak Grove core: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 20, Part 3, 88 pages.

Reinhardt, Juergen, Newell, W. L. and Mixon, R. B., 1980, Tertiary lithostratigraphy of the core, in Geology of the Oak Grove core: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 20, Part 1, 88 pages.

Ruhle, James L., 1962, Guidebook to the Coastal Plain of Virginia north of the James River:  Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Information Circular 6, 46 pages.

Virginia Division of Mineral Resources, 2003, Digital representation of the 1993 geologic map of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 174, compact disc.

Water quality
Bird, S. O., 1985, Eden in Peril: The troubled waters of the Chesapeake Bay: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 56, 27 pages.