overburden

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o·ver·bur·den • v. / ˌōvərˈbərdn/ [tr.] (often be overburdened) load (someone) with too many things to carry: they were overburdened with luggage. ∎  give (someone) more work or pressure than they can deal with: the courts became overburdened with large numbers of relatively trivial offenses | [as adj.] (overburdened) overburdened teachers. • n. / ˈōvərˌbərdn/ rock or soil overlying a mineral deposit, archaeological site, or other underground feature. ∎  an excessive burden: an overburden of costs. DERIVATIVES: o·ver·bur·den·some / -səm/ adj.

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Overburden

Refers to the rock and soil above a desired economic resource, such as coal or an ore body. It is normally associated with surface mining , in contrast to underground mining where tailings are a more common byproduct. The depth of overburden is a critical economic factor when assessing the feasibility of mining. Unless the topsoil is stored for later reclamation , overburden removal usually destroys this crucial resource, greatly magnifying the task of natural or cultural revegetation. In North America, overburden removal requires blasting through hard caprock, which leave landscapes resembling fields of glacial debris.

See also Mine spoil waste

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overburden
1. Any loose material which overlies bedrock.

2. In a sedimentary deposit, the upper strata which cover, compress, and consolidate those beneath.

3. Any barren material, consolidated or loose, which overlies an ore deposit. The depth and type of overburden may control whether an ore deposit is worked by underground or open-cast methods. The proportion of overburden thickness to mineral deposit is called the overburden ratio.

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overburden
1. Any loose material which overlies bedrock.

2. In a sedimentary deposit, the upper strata which cover, compress, and consolidate those beneath.

3. Any barren material, consolidated or loose, that overlies an ore deposit. The depth and type of overburden may control whether an ore deposit is worked by underground or open-cast methods. The proportion of overburden thickness to mineral deposit is called the overburden ratio.