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Red iron-ore beds of Silurian age in northeastern Alabama, northwestern Georgia, and eastern Tennessee

Miscellaneous Field Studies Map 175

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Abstract

Mining and smelting of iron ore in Alabama, northwestern Georgia, and eastern Tennessee date almost to Revolutionary War days, bus substantial production in the Southeast was not attained until after 1850. Numerous furnaces were erected int the region, especially in and near Birmingham, Ala., which is still the principal iron and steel-making center of the area. Locally mined iron ores formed the principal feed of the furnaces, and much of the ore was mined from red beds of Silurian age. These red beds are an abundant resource of iron ore, and they account for a large part of the total production in the Southeastern United States. Exhaustion of near-surface ores, which was easily mined and the best grade, combined with improved transportation and economies of large-scale operations elsewhere, forced most of the furnaces to shut down (Edpt. of the Interior, 1959, production statistics and tables 4-9). 

Geological studies have determined the lithology and approximate extent of the red iron ores of Silurian age in the Southeast. Detailed investigations have been made by private companies and government agencies. Most of this work has been in the Birmingham, Ala., district, and the remainder of the region has relatively little study in recent years. 

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Red iron-ore beds of Silurian age in northeastern Alabama, northwestern Georgia, and eastern Tennessee
Series title:
Miscellaneous Field Studies Map
Series number:
175
Year Published:
1962
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Gological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Description:
2 plates: 34.66 x 40.40 and 49.26 x 36.45 inches
Country:
United States
State:
Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee
Scale:
0
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N