Rock Excavation

Rock excavation, or digging a hole in pure (or mostly) rock, in layman's terms, has been around for quite a while. Soil excavation predates it, but since the invention and widespread use of dynamite in the 19th century, rock excavation has been a loud voice in the world of construction.

Rock excavation is primarily used in making foundations for structures that have to be very strong. Good examples of this are foundations for skyscrapers, dams, and even some houses. However, rock excavation can also involve simply removing unwanted rock from an area. It also encompasses removing of any mineral deposits present on an excavation site.

So, you might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with me? Plenty! Every time you drive through a tunnel, or use the subway, you're entrusting your life to the results of rock excavation. The same can be said for miners, who live, work, and spend a great portion of their lives in shafts and tunnels which they themselves are sometimes responsible for excavating. Rock excavation has even extended to leveling and shaping the most formidable of mountain ranges in search of resources, whether they be gold or simply a faster route to the mall. In fact, the human drive to expand and consume is one of the primary reasons rock excavation (and excavation in all its forms) exists. The Trans-Continental Railroad was built primarily to facilitate the easy movement of people and goods from one edge of the country to the other - and you may rest assured that, since it had to pass through the mountains multiple times, rock excavation played a large part in its construction.

The point of such things isn't to give you a history lesson, but to show you that rock excavation (indeed, all excavation) - digging a really big hole - is as much a part of human infrastructural development as the building of skyscrapers or highway networks. Actually, rock excavation has its place in history, too. The Great Pyramids and the extinction of the dinosaurs are direct results of rock excavation…. so think twice the next time you dig a rock out of the ground - you could be altering history!

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