Sunday, January 6, 2008


In the phosphate mining business, the fifteen feet or so of soil that lies atop the phosphate deposits is scraped away. This Florida land is known as "overburden." Here are some photos of a field trip taken by some folks to the mining areas that most people never see.

The phosphate miners are required to "reclaim" a certain percentage of this devastated land. I've seen some of those relaimed parcels, (now turned into so-called parks) and they don't look much like the original land.

The photos show the bucket used to scrape up the phosphate, and the dragline that operates that bucket, and the great pits left behind. That big mountain at the top is a gyp stack. It plays an important role in Hell's Bay, the novel.

By the way, most of this phosphate is made into fertilizer and shipped to our friends in China.

The world is flat. Except where it's cratered.

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