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Glossary -- Mine Openings: Adit vs. Shaft

Entrances into mines generally run horizontally or vertically, but some just follow a vein or deposit running neither exactly horizontally nor vertically. Nonetheless, openings that generally run horizontally are referred to as "adits," while those that generally run vertically are referred to as "shafts." In my own mind, if I can walk in, I call it an adit, otherwise I call it a shaft. Of course, mines are never safe to enter -- so don't. Click the links below for more photos. Remember: Stay Out. Stay Alive!

Link to BLM Abandoned Mine Lands website
Mine Adit
Adit: A horizontal mine opening
Mine Shaft
Shaft: A vertical mine opening
Mine
An adit with timbers
Mine
Timbers are intended to hold up the ceiling
Mine
Timbers holding up loose rocks
Mine
Timber holding up a loose rock - this can't be safe!
Mine
A bench? No - this roof collapsed despite the timbers!
Mine
Looking inside a collapsed adit - timbers didn't help here
Mine
Cribbing holding timbers in place
Mine
Cribbing holding timbers in place
Mine
Mine opening (adit) and mine tailings
Mine
Mine opening (adit) and mine tailings
Mine
Large-scale mine collapse
Mines
Watch for loose and unstable dirt around the collar
Mines
This loose dirt is extremely dangerous
Mines
Holy crap! -- too close!!! (Mojave National Preserve)
Mines
Unmarked and uncovered -- too close to the highway
Mines
Unmarked and uncovered -- too close to the highway

Happy hiking! All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 130606

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