Appendix:Dictionary of Mining, Mineral, and Related Terms/Q/1

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The composition quadrilateral for the Ca-Mg-Fe pyroxenes (enstatite-ferrosilite-diopside-hedenbergite).

quadrantal bearing

A horizontal angle or bearing less than 90 degrees , measured to north, south, east, or west from a survey line.

quadrant cutter

A machine that will make a shear cut as well as a horizontal cut. The central column is wedged tightly between roof and floor and operates similarly to a radial percussive coal cutter.

quadrant search

Similar to octant search, but using four sectors instead of eight sectors. Applies to any interpolation method where a limited number of sample data points are used to estimate intermediate values.


A four-sided plane figure of any shape, having an area equal to the product of the diagonals multiplied by half the sine of the angle between them.

quadrille twinning

See: crossed twinning.


a. Having a valence of 4.

b. Having four valences; e.g., chlorine, which has a valence of 1, 3, 5, and 7.

quadruple block

A pair of blocks, each having four sheaves, reeved with rope or cable and used to increase the lifting capacity of a drill-hoisting mechanism; a four-sheave block and tackle.


A soft marsh or bog that gives under pressure. CF: quaking bog.

quake sheet

A well-defined bed resembling a slump sheet but produced by seismic shock from an earthquake and resulting in load casting without horizontal slip.

quaking bog

A peat bog that is either floating or is growing over water-saturated ground, so that it shakes or trembles when walked on. Quagmire is sometimes used as a synonym.

qualitative analysis

In chemistry, the process of determining which elements are present.


a. Refers to the nature, and not the amount, of material. In the case of a coal seam, its quality is closely linked with its rank and its chemical composition. In the case of metals, average unit values are determined by systematic sampling and therefore represent a known quantity. See also: ventilation standards.

b. Native values of a gem irrespective of color and cut. c. The ratio by weight of vapor to liquid plus vapor in a mixture, as in steam.

quality control

a. Systematic setting, check, and operation designed to maintain steady working conditions in continuous process such as mineral concentration; to forestall trouble; to check condition of ore, pulp, or products at important transfer points.

b. Graphic method of exposing abnormalities in sets of figures produced by measurement of repetitive operations or as variances from operating norms. c. The maintaining of air within desired limits of purity.


Once a dust sample has been collected, it must be evaluated. Of principal concern is quantitation--determining how much dust or how many particles. Certain methods of quantitation are favored for the various sampling methods. The number basis is preferable for evaluating a pulmonary hazard, while the weight basis is preferred for toxic, radioactive, or explosive hazards. Number quantitation is usually employed for impinger, konimeter, molecular filter, and thermal precipitator samples. Weight quantitation is used for filter paper and electrostatic samples.


In testing ore, how much of each metal is present.

quantitative analysis

In chemistry, the process of determining the quantity of each element present. Also called elementary analysis. Both volumetric and gravimetric methods are included.

quantitative survey

See: ventilation survey.


Deals with the amount, and not the nature, of a substance. In the case of a coal seam, quantity refers to its workable thickness and acreage. In the case of ore, the quantity determines its commercial importance. Unit ore values without the quantity factor have only a qualitative significance.

quantity control

The control of air movement, its direction, and its magnitude.

quantity-distance table

A table listing minimum recommended distances from explosive material stores of various weights to a specific location.


Dipping outward in all directions from a central point, as a dome in stratified rocks. CF: centroclinal; periclinal.

quaquaversal fold

See: dome.

quarey lode

See: quarry lode.


A portmanteau word from quartz, feldspar, and feldspathoids. CF: feloids.


A large brick or tile; esp., a curved firebrick used to support melting pots for zinc and retort covers.


See: quarryman.


An obsolete term for a quarry.


a. A stone quarry.

b. Materials from a quarry.


A worker in a stone quarry.


a. An open or surface mineral working, usually for the extraction of building stone, as slate, limestone, etc. It is distinguished from a mine because a quarry usually is open at the top and front, and, in ordinary use of the term, by the character of the material extracted. See also: opencast.

b. Day work pit. Also called opencast; quarpit. c. An underground excavation formed in the roof, or fault, for the purpose of obtaining material for pack walls.

quarry body

A dump body with sloped sides.

quarry drainage

Arranging the quarry layout so that pools of water do not collect in the working area. One-half percent grade away from the face will generally keep the floor free of mud and water.

quarry drill

A blasthole drill.

quarry face

The freshly split face of ashlar, squared off for the joints only, as it comes from the quarry, and used esp. for massive work. Distinguished from rock face.

quarry-faced masonry

Masonry in which the face of the stone is left unfinished just as it comes from the quarry.

quarry floor

The lowest level on which stone is loaded.


a. The surface exploitation of stone or mineral deposits from the Earth's crust.

b. Removal of rock that has value because of its physical characteristics. c. One of the effects of glaciation whereby blocks of stone, bounded mainly by joint planes, are lifted from the bedrock and carried away by ice. Also called plucking.

quarrying machine

Any machine used to drill holes or cut tunnels in native rock; a gang drill, or tunneling machine, but most commonly a small form of locomotive, bearing a rock-drilling mechanism, and operating on a track laid temporarily along or opposite the ledge to be cut.

quarry lode

A vein in a heading that is jointed and blocky, like granite in a quarry, or a heading in granite.

quarry machine

See: quarrying machine.


a. A person employed at the face of a quarry, stripping, drilling, excavating, and loading rock or economic product.

b. One who operates a jackhammer to drill holes in quarry stone, and drives wedges into the holes to break or split off slabs or blocks of stone. Also called hammerman; plug-and-feather driller; rockman; rock splitter. c. In crushed rock quarries, a laborer who performs any one or combination of such duties as: loading rock into boxes to be hoisted out of quarry pit; assisting in moving power shovel from one loading position to another; dumping rock from cars into crusher or storage bins; feeding rock into a crusher; tending belt conveyors that transport crushed rock from crusher to storage bins; loading crushed rock from storage bins into trucks or railroad cars. d. In building stone quarries, a laborer who performs any one or combination of such duties as: cleaning dirt and mud from surface and sides of stone deposits; chipping irregularities from surface of granite blocks; breaking large pieces of stone into smaller sizes suitable for building purposes with a sledge hammer; attaching hoisting cable hooks or slings to blocks of stone to be hoisted from quarry; guiding and steadying blocks of stone as they are loaded at the quarry surface on trucks or railraod cars by a derrick.

quarry powder

Ammonium nitrate dynamites intended to replace the more costly gelatin dynamites used in quarrying, where blasts of several tons of explosives are used. Cartridges up to 8 in (20 cm) in diameter by 21 in (53 cm) in length, can be enclosed in metal cans to protect against water damage.


Overburden. CF: ridding.

quarry sap

a. The moisture contained in newly quarried stone.

b. See: quarry water.

quarry waste

Material discarded after crushing, as being too fine, irregular, or flaky for constructional work.

quarry water

a. Water that fills the pore spaces of a rock in a quarry. See also: ground water.

b. Subsurface water retained in freshly quarried rock. Syn: quarry sap.


The separation of gold from silver by dissolving out the latter with nitric acid. It requires not less than three-fourths of silver in the alloy, whence the name, which is also applied to the alloying of gold with silver, if necessary, to prepare it for this method of parting. See: parting.


a. The act or process of dividing sludge, core, and other pulverized or granular samples into four equal parts. See also: quartering.

b. Syn. for quadrant as applied to a drill-bit crown.


a. The reduction in quantity of a large sample of material by dividing a heap into four approx. equal parts by diameters at right angles, removing two diagonally opposite quarters and mixing the two remaining quarters intimately together so as to obtain a truly representative half of the original mass. The process is repeated until a sample is obtained of the requisite size. Syn: coning; coning and quartering.

b. To split a piece of core longitudinally into four equal parts.

quartering in

Lanc. A plan of building or putting together tubbing plates from the top downward, the rings and segments being bolted together as the work of excavation proceeds.

quartering way

a. A quarry term to designate a direction in which a rock cleaves with moderate facility; grain. See also: roughway. CF: hard way.

b. The direction of the natural joints in a quarry rock. CF: rift. c. Grain, second way, bate, hem, sheeting plane.

quarter line

Western United States. The survey line by which a section of government land is divided into quarter sections.

quarterly survey

An underground survey required by law to be undertaken at least once every three months for the purpose of bringing the working plans and other plans up to date.

quarter octagonal

A square shaft with corners cut back.

quarter-point veins

Small veins having an intermediate bearing between strike and cross veins.

quarter post

A post marking a corner of a quarter section of the U.S. Public Land Survey system. It is located midway between section corners.

quarter section

A fourth of a normal section of the U.S. Public Land Survey system, representing a piece of land normally 1/2 mile (0.8 km) square and containing 160 acres (64 ha) nearly as possible. It is usually identified as the northeast, northwest, southeast, or southwest quarter of a particular section.


a. A trigonal mineral, SiO (sub 2) ; polymorphous with tridymite, cristobalite, coesite, stishovite, and keatite. Amethyst is a variety of the well-known amethystine color. Aventurine is a quartz spangled with scales of mica, hemitite, or other minerals. False topaz or citrine is a yellow quartz. Rock crystal is a watery clear variety. Rose quartz is a pink variety. Rutilated quartz contains needles of rutile. Smoky quartz is a brownish variety, sometimes called cairngorm. Tigereye is crocidolite (an asbestoslike mineral) replaced by quartz and iron oxide and having a chatoyant effect. The name of the mineral is prefixed to the names of many rocks that contain it, as quartz porphyry, quartz diorite. See also: alpha quartz; beta quartz; high quartz; low quartz.

b. Pac. Any hard, gold or silver ore, as distinguished from gravel or earth. Hence, quartz mining, as distinguished from hydraulic mining, etc. c. A general term for a variety of cryptocrystalline varieties of SiO (sub 2) ; e.g., agate, chalcedony.

quartz andesite

See: dacite.

quartz battery

A stamp, or series of stamps, for crushing quartz ore.

quartz boil

An outcrop of a quartz vein.

quartz claim

In the United States, a mining claim containing ore in veins or lodes, as contrasted with placer claims carrying mineral, usually gold, in alluvium.

quartz conglomerate

A rock made of pebbles of quartz with sand.

quartz diorite

A group of plutonic rocks having the composition of diorite but with an appreciable amount of quartz, i.e., between 5% and 20% of the light-colored constituents; also, any rock in that group; the approximate intrusive equivalent of dacite.

quartz felsite

See: quartz porphyry.

quartz glass

Glass made by fusing quartz.

quartz gold

Gold that is not rounded and waterworn, but irregular and frequently twisted in form, usually very bright, and always of fine quality.


See: quartziferous.


Quartz-bearing as applied to a rock not defined by the presence of quartz, but containing minor amounts of it; e.g., limestone. Syn: quartzic. See also: quartzose.

quartz index

a. A derived quantity (qz) in the Niggli system of rock classification, which may be either positive or negative, and is as indicator of a rock's degree of silica saturation.

b. A term used to indicate the mineralogic maturity of a sandstone by measuring the percentage of detrital quartz. It is expressed as the ratio of quartz and chert to the combined percentage of sodic and potassic feldspar, rock fragments, and clay matrix. The index is used as a basis for evaluating the degree of weathering of the source rock and the degree to which the sediment has been transported. Values for sandstones range between 3 and 19.


a. A granoblastic metamorphic rock consisting mainly of quartz and formed by recrystallization of sandstone or chert by either regional or thermal metamorphism; metaquartzite. CF: orthoquartzite.

b. A very hard but unmetamorphosed sandstone, consisting chiefly of quartz grains that are so completely cemented with secondary silica that the rock breaks across or through the grains rather than around them; an orthoquartzite. c. Stone composed of silica grains so firmly cemented by silica that fracture occurs through the grains rather than around them. d. As used in a general sense by drillers, a very hard, dense sandstone. e. A granulose metamorphic rock consisting essentially of quartz. f. Sandstone cemented by silica that has grown in optical continuity around each fragment. Syn: ganister.


Of, pertaining to, or consisting of quartzite.

quartz keratophyre

Altered sodic diabase (trachyte) with accessory quartz.

quartz latite

The extrusive or hypabyssal equivalent of a quartz monzonite. The principal minerals are quartz, sanidine, biotite, sodic plagioclase, and hornblende, commonly as phenocrysts in a groundmass of potash feldspar and quartz (or tridymite, cristobalite), or glass in flows. Accessory minerals are magnetite, apatite, and zircon.

quartz lead

A lode or vein of ore with quartz gangue.

quartz liquefier

In metallurgy, an apparatus for extracting gold from its ore. By the action of an alkali and high-pressure steam, gold-bearing quartz is converted into a soluble silicate from which gold may be separated by washing.

quartz mill

A machine or establishment for pulverizing quartz ore, in order that the gold or silver it contains may be separated by chemical means; a stamp mill.

quartz mine

a. A mine in which the deposits of ore are found in veins or fissures in the rocks forming the earth's crust. Usually applied to lode gold mines, but not to placers.

b. A miner's term for a mine in which the valuable constituent, e.g. gold, is found in siliceous veins rather than in placers. It is so named because quartz is the chief accessory mineral.

quartz monzonite

A medium- to coarse-grained plutonic rock containing major plagioclase, orthoclase, and quartz, with minor biotite, hornblende, and accessory apatite, zircon, and opaque oxides. Syn: adamellite.


A crystal having the form of two six-sided pyramids base to base.

quartz ore

A rock containing a large quantity of quartz.


a. Of, pertaining to, or consisting of quartz.

b. Containing quartz as a principal constituent; esp. applied to sediments and sedimentary rocks (e.g., sands and sandstones) consisting chiefly of quartz. CF: quartziferous. Syn: quartzous; quartzy.


See: quartzose.

quartz porphyry

A field term for a medium-grained porphyritic igneous rock of felsic but unspecified composition occurring normally as minor stock or dike intrusions, and carrying prominent phenocrysts of quartz. It is a common altered companion to porphyry copper deposits. Syn: quartz felsite.

quartz reef

A lode or vein of quartz. See also: reef.

quartz sinter

Siliceous sinter.

quartz syenite

A potash or soda syenite with quartz as an accessory, hence on the borderline between syenite and granite.

quartz trachyte

A fine-grained igneous rock consisting mostly of alkali feldspar, with normative quartz between 5% and 20%; the volcanic equivalent of quartz syenite. It normally shows trachytic texture.

quartz wedge

a. An optical accessory with varying retardation used in polarized-light microscopy to determine birefringence and optic sign. CF: Berek compensator.

b. In polarized-light microscopy, an accessory plate that gives variable compensation for birefringence. CF: accessory plate; gypsum plate.


See: quartzose.


The second period of the Cenozoic era, following the Tertiary; also, the corresponding system of rocks. It began 2 to 3 million years ago and extends to the present. It consists of two grossly unequal epochs; the Pleistocene, up to about 10,000 years ago, and the Holocene since that time. The Quaternary was originally designated an era rather than a period, with the epochs considered to be periods, and it is still sometimes used as such in the geologic literature. The Quaternary may also be incorporated into the Neogene, when the Neogene is designated as a period of the Tertiary era.

quaternary alloy

An alloy containing four principal elements.


See: quene.


Aqueous extract of a bark of quebracho tree; contains up to 65% tannin. Used in froth-flotation as depressant for oxidized minerals.


Slate measuring 36 in by 24 in (91.44 cm by 60.96 cm).


A fissure, joint, or small cavity in a rock or quartz vein. Also spelled quere, queere, and qweear (U.K.).


Corn. When the lode or rock on which the miner is driving partakes of the character of quarry stone, namely, in detached lumps by natural divisions, it is called queery ground, and is frequently worked with crowbars and levers instead of being blasted or gadded. A "queer of ground" is a detached rock. Also called quarry lode. See also: queer.


a. To cool suddenly (as heated steel) by immersion, esp. in water or oil.

b. To produce a crust or a succession of crusts on molten metal, each crust being removed as it is formed.


Generally means rapidly cooling metals and alloys, or any substance to below the critical range by immersing it in oil or water to harden it. Also applied to cooling in salt and molten-metal baths or by means of an air blast, and to the rapid cooling of other alloys after solution treatment.

quenching oils

Oils used in heat treating. Fish oils are often used. Minerals, fish, vegetable, and animal oils are often compounded and sold under trade names.

quenching tub

A tub of water in which to cool, harden, or temper iron or steel.


Crevice in lode or vein. Also spelled queane.


A monoclinic mineral, PbMnO (sub 2) (OH); occurs in pitch-black crystals with perfect cleavage; at Laangban, Sweden.

Querwellen wave

See: Love wave.

questal bentonite

A colloidal bond which, when added to molding sands in amounts up to 3%, increases porosity and strength (green and dry), and reduces the amount of water needed.


a. Said of a sediment that, when mixed with water, becomes extremely soft and incoherent and is capable of flowing easily under load or by force of gravity; e.g. quick clay or quicksand.

b. Said of blasting powder that burns or goes off very rapidly. c. See: quicksilver. d. Said of an economically valuable or productive mineral deposit, in contrast to a dead ground or area. An ore is said to be quickening as its mineral content increases. Syn: alive. Ant: dead.


Descriptive of an ore as its mineral content increases with distance.

quicklime sizes

The different sizes depending upon the type of limestone, kind of kiln used, or treatment subsequent to calcining. The sizes commonly recognized are as follows: (1) large lump--8 in (203 mm) and smaller; (2) pebble or crushed--2-1/2 in (64 mm) and smaller; (3) ground, screened, or granular--1/4 in (6.4 mm) and smaller; and (4) pulverized--substantially all passing a No. 20, 850 mu m, sieve.


The property of an explosive by virtue of which it exerts a sharp blow or shattering effect on the material with which it is in contact. The quickest explosive of the dynamite class is the 60% straight dynamite. Quick explosives are the ones particularly desired for mudcapping. For maximum effect for this purpose, they should be of high density and sensitiveness. See also: quick.


A mass or bed of fine sand, that consists of smooth rounded grains with little mutual adherence and that is usually saturated with water flowing upward through the voids, forming a semiliquid, highly mobile mass that yields easily to pressure. See also: running ground. Syn: running sand.


A common name for mercury. Syn: native mercury.

quicksilver cradle

A wooden box placed in a sloping position, and fixed upon rockers, in which gold-bearing gravel is washed, the gold being caught by mercury in the lower part of the cradle.

quicksilver rock

An altered rock consisting mainly of dark opal and chalcedony, commonly associated with ore in California mercury deposits in serpentine.

quick test

A shear test of a cohesive soil without allowing the sample to drain. See also: drained shear test.

Quigley gun

An air gun which mixes dry, granular, refractory materials with water.

quill shaft

A light drive shaft inside a heavier one, and turning independently of it.


Light carmine-red particles found in a limestone near Quincy, France; color apparently organic; a doubtful mineral.


a. Having a valence of 5.

b. Having five valences. Tungsten has five valences which are 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.


a. A release of a claim; a deed of release; specif., a legal instrument by which some right, title, interest, or claim by one person in or to an estate held by himself or another is released to another, and which is sometimes used as a simple but effective conveyance for making a grant of lands whether by way of release or as an original conveyance.

b. In the United States, a document in which a mining company sells its surface rights but retains its mineral rights.


a. The keystone or a voussoir of an arch.

b. A wedge to support or steady a stone. c. A large square ashlar or stone at the angle of a wall to limit the rubble and make the corner true and strong; an exterior masonry corner. d. One of the four facets on the crown, pavilion, or base of a gem.

Q wave

See: Love wave.