Types of Rocks In Alabama: A Guide To The 7 Most Common You’ll Spot

 Are you looking for rocks in Alabama?

Perhaps you are looking for a precious gemstone, but you’re not sure which rock to pick?

Don’t sweat it; we have put together this guide for people like you.

In this article, you learn all about different types of rock that you can find in Alabama.

Types of Rocks In Alabama (A Guide)

Alabama is one of the best states to spot precious rocks. 

It has an astounding amount of resources, including deposits of minerals, rocks, and gemstones.

You can also find a stunning diversity of fossils in this state. 

It is no surprise that Alabama ranks among 20 states endowed with rich resources.

There are over 190 mineral species that you can find, and most of these have boosted the economy and created thousands of jobs.

Which places to look? 

There are many places to look, but Coosa County should be on top of your list.

In this place, which is in the east-central part of Alabama, you are likely to find a variety of gemstones.

From actinolite-tremolite, beryl, tourmaline, muscovite, aquamarine, emeralds, and more.

Here are some of the rocks that you will spot in Alabama: 

Limestone 

You are likely to find Limestone, which is a sedimentary rock.

The limestone of Alabama originates from shells and bones.

It boasts multiple chemical and physical properties; hence you can use it for various purposes. 

Previously, limestone was used for construction and for producing iron only.

Today, you can use limestone for various things, including manufacturing cement, glass, metallurgical flux, and more

Spotting it is pretty easy, and you won’t miss it.

Limestone will attract you with its light colors like white, tan, or gray.

Where to find it

You are likely to find limestone in the Coastal Plain section of west-central Alabama, along the Tombigbee River.

Agate Quartz

There is also quartz occurring in Alabama as well. 

Quartz is a precious mineral made of sand, gravel, sandstone, and several types of metamorphic and igneous rocks.

It is available in various colors and sizes. 

While most of them are clear and colorless, you will find brown, yellow, red, white, pink, and purple quartz.

You can use quartz to produce sandpaper, saws, clay refractories, glass, ceramics, and manufacturing various construction materials.

Where to find it

There are deposits of quartz in the Coastal Plain section in an area, and they extend from Dallas County through Montgomery County and right into Russell County.

You can spot quartz in river Alluvium and Terrace floodplain, Coosa, and Tallapoosa rivers bordering Montgomery, Autauga, Lowndes, and other counties such as Elmore, and Macon Counties.

Copper

There is also copper that you can find in Alabama.

It occurs as chalcopyrite and is not difficult to explore.

This soft, malleable, and ductile resource has a pinkish-orange color.

You can use copper in electrical equipment such as wiring and motors.

Where to find it

You can find copper in Clay and Cleburne Counties.

Sedimentary rocks

Alabama is also home to sedimentary rocks.

These types of stone are formed by the accumulation of mineral or organic particles at the Earth’s surface.

We call them sedimentary because they are sedimentation for processes that cause rocks to settle in place. 

Sedimentary rocks have distinctive layering that makes them quite unique, and they come in different colors or sizes. 

Where to find it

You can find sedimentary rocks in one of the following places: Northern Alabama, Jefferson County, Southwestern Alabama, Green County, Tuscaloosa County, Jefferson County, and Jackson County.

Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks

Expect to spot igneous and metamorphic rocks in Alabama as well.

If you are wondering what metamorphism means, it simply implies a transformation process of stones.

Several factors drive the metamorphism of rocks.

For instance, when an igneous body gets into an unsuspecting host rock, it then makes it heat up considerably.

Essentially, a stone will melt when the temperatures, pressures, or water content are sufficient to bring the rock to the melting level.

You can mine a variety of metallic and nonmetallic minerals from Alabama’s igneous and metamorphic rocks. 

From gold, lead, zinc, mica, talc, asbestos, and kaolin. In Piedmont Upland, marble and granite have also been found, including rocks such as star blue quartz garnet, beryl, smoky quartz, tourmaline, and kyanite.

Where to find it

You can find these rocks in one of these two central districts of Alabama: the Northern and Southern Piedmont Upland.

Interestingly, the level of temperature increases across the Piedmont Upland from low-grade in the northwest to high-grade in the southeast.

Graphite

If you are into graphite rocks, then look no further.

Graphite is the most common form of native pure carbon in Alabama.

Graphite is mostly used in manufacturing electrical products and high-temperature crucibles for the metals’ industry.

You can also use it as a dry lubricant and mix it with clay to produce pencils. 

Where to find it

You will find plenty of graphite in Clay, Coosa, and southeastern Chilton Counties.

Graphite-rich rocks that you will find within these counties are some of the largest graphite deposits in the United States.

Clays

There is an abundant amount of clay in Alabama, and this fine mineral is found in almost every county in Alabama. 

Types of clay you will spot include bentonite, fireclay, ordinary clay, shale, and kaolin.

When you pulverize and mix it with water, you can mold it into many things, from Pottery items bricks, tiles, clay pipes, cups, and more. 

Where to find it

You can find clay in all the counties of Alabama.

Last Thoughts 

There is a wealth of mineral and rock deposits that you can find in Alabama.

But first, you need to familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the state.

Know what you can mine, and you can’t mine.

Remember, whether you want to pan for gold and gems at the Alabama Gold Camp or memento stones, you can find them in Alabama. 

types of rocks in alabama