Lime Crest Quarry (Lime Crest-Southdown Quarry; Limecrest Quarry), Franklin Marble, Sparta Township, Sussex Co., New Jersey, USA
|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||41° 3' 20'' North , 74° 40' 59'' West|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||41.05556,-74.68333|
|Köppen climate type:||Dfb : Warm-summer humid continental climate|
The spelling "Lime Crest" is that used by the historical records and the current (2016) operators, although at least one sign is known with no space between words. A marble/lime quarry worked for road construction and new home building, etc. Located in a disjunct block of the Precambrian Franklin Marble. The outcrop area is pictured on USGS map GQ-1707. It is lens shaped with dimensions of approximately 1.35 mile long, 0.22 miles wide and an estimated depth, in the area of the quarry, from the surface (which was originally a raised ridge [crest], to an underlying thrust fault of approximately 750 feet. The quarry excavation is approximately 3000 X 1500 X 300 feet.
Started about 1895. Operated in 1906 by Thomas Alva Edison to provide lime for his iron mining business and, shortly thereafter, his Portland cement business. Later owned for many years by the Limestone Products Corp. using the Lime Crest trade name. Several short-term owners have also operated this property. Currently operated by the Braens Corporation.
The marble (limestone) portion of the quarry was closed by increasing production costs, including pumping water up from an increasingly deep pit. Folklore contends that a recent operator, Oldcastle, a huge, multinational construction materials company based in Ireland, bought the Lime Crest quarry in order to remove its production from the local construction market and anticipating increased cost of crush rock products. They removed a competitor to other Oldcastle operations that are large, lower cost and produce similar products but are more distant from the Northeastern US market. In short, Lime Crest fell victim to the trend of concentrating production in fewer, but larger operations that make a standardized product line. The quarry was allowed to flood to a prescribed level as road aggregate quarrying in the overlying microcline gneiss continues to produce construction aggregate .
The marble exposed in the Lime Crest Quarry is a southern extension of the Franklin marble of the main outcrop belt. It contains the same assemblage(s) of skarn minerals and also epigenetic mineral assemblages in veins, and pegmatites. Some skarn bodies containing aluminium-rich assemblages with corundum or spinel, may represent a single stratigraphic horizon (Cummings, 2016). The epigenetic assemblages are thought to be Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) lead-zinc and ferroaxinite-bearing Alpine cleft. In more recent years the quarrying operation encountered large masses of very coarse white graphic granite, which was host to the Alpine cleft assemblages. Also encountered late in the operation was a large cavernous opening, partially filled with a mud, and lined with secondary calcite crystals that fluoresced an unusual (for the location) greenish white with strong phosphorescence (Chet Lemanski field notes).
Locality update: 2013 - the quarry has been dewatered and is now being operated by the Braen organization. It is producing marble for use in the manufacture of landscaping blocks and agricultural lime. Recent mineralization include masses of purple to colorless fluorite in the marble.
46 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.
This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.
Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org
1000 - 1600 Ma
Age: Mesoproterozoic (1000 - 1600 Ma)
Stratigraphic Name: Franklin Marble
Description: White- to light-gray-weathering, white, grayish-white, or, less commonly pinkish-orange, coarse- to locally fine-crystalline calcite marble with accessory amounts of graphite, phlogopite, chondrodite, clinopyroxene, and serpentine. Contains pods and layers of clinopyroxene-garnet skarn, hornblende skarn, and clinopyroxene-rich rock. Thin layers of metaquartzite occur locally. Intruded by the Mount Eve Granite in the Pochuck Mountain area. Franklin Marble is host to the Franklin and Sterling Hill zinc ore bodies; exploited for talc and asbestiform minerals near Easton, Pennsylvania. Subdivided into an upper marble, "Wildcat marble," and a lower marble, "Franklin marble," by New Jersey Zinc Co. geologists (Hague and others, 1956).
Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052.