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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Birmingham in Jefferson County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Birmingham District Minerals

 
 
Birmingham District Minerals Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 17, 2013
1. Birmingham District Minerals Marker
Inscription. The availability of seemingly limitless mineral resources was the key to the success of the Birmingham District, an area defined by geologic deposits that span five counties (Jefferson, Shelby, Tuscaloosa, Walker and Bibb). Some of the minerals essential to the iron industry and to the creation of Vulcan lie directly beneath you in the heart of Red Mountain.

Where Did They Come From?
These important minerals were deposited hundreds of millions of years ago and then pushed up into ridge formations by continental collision.

limestone
Mineral sediments deposited in a shallow inland sea 505-438 million years ago eventually became limestone, which is used to separate pure iron from impurities in the iron ore.

iron ore
Iron-fixing bacteria swimming in the inland sea 435-396 millions year ago laid down enormous amounts of iron ore that formed a rich seam. Iron ore is the main ingredient in cast iron and steel.

coal
Swamps developed when the primordial sea started to dry up 320-286 million years ago. The plants and animals in the swamps became coal when their decaying remains were compressed under great weight. The coal was originally one large deposit, but it slowly broke up into three major fields: the Cahaba, the Coosa, and the richest – the Warrior.
Birmingham District Minerals Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 17, 2013
2. Birmingham District Minerals Marker

 
Location. 33° 29.501′ N, 86° 47.749′ W. Marker is in Birmingham, Alabama, in Jefferson County. Marker can be reached from Valley View Drive west of Richard Arrington Jr Boulevard South. Click for map. Located in front of the Vulcan Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham AL 35209, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Building The Park (here, next to this marker); The Works Progress Administration (a few steps from this marker); South (a few steps from this marker); The Lone Pine Mine (within shouting distance of this marker); Vulcan Statue (within shouting distance of this marker); Industry (within shouting distance of this marker); A New City (within shouting distance of this marker); The Cascade (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Birmingham.
 
Also see . . .  Vulcan Park and Museum. (Submitted on October 6, 2013.)
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
You’re Standing on it image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 17, 2013
3. You’re Standing on it
Red Mountain was named for its red, iron-rich soil. A giant iron outcropping once covered the crest of the mountain. Today, a 35-foot vein of iron ore known as the “Big Seam” still runs through Red Mountain – directly below your feet.

Sandstone 50 ft
Iron ore 35 ft
Sandstone 100ft
Limestone
Birmingham District Minerals Marker image. Click for full size.
By Sandra Hughes, September 17, 2013
4. Birmingham District Minerals Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 278 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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