NT0973 : Greendykes bing, West Lothian

taken 1 year ago, near to Burnside, West Lothian, Great Britain

Greendykes bing, West Lothian
Greendykes bing, West Lothian
The remains of the 19thC oil shale mining industry in West Lothian, between East Mains Industrial Estate and Winchburgh.
Oil shale bings :: NT0575
The shale oil bings of central Scotland are noted for their size and colour. The reason for the size is due to two principal factors.
The first is the volume of rock which had to be extracted to produce a given amount of oil. Typically shales contain about 12 to 25% volatile content, so between 75% and 88% is waste.
The second is that the extraction process lends itself to being concentrated in large scale works, rather than being carried out at individual mines, so a single bing represents the output of several mines. The nature of the substance meant that little waste would be tipped at the pit head. The oil, principally ending up as paraffin or similar products, is extracted by heating the shale at high temperatures to drive out the volatile hydrocarbons. The high temperatures give the residue its red colour, in the same way that bricks are typically red after firing. The waste is now virtually inert, which has the result that vegetation finds it hard to gain a foothold.
It is noticeable that older bings where the extraction process was perhaps less efficient tend to have more growth.
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NT0973, 57 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 12 July, 2017   (more nearby)
Friday, 14 July, 2017
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Village, Rural settlement  Quarrying, Mining 
Place (from Tags)
West Lothian 
Primary Subject of Photo
Industrial Site 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 091 733 [100m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.6469N 3:27.4185W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 106 716
View Direction
Northwest (about 315 degrees)
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Other Tags
Oil Shale Bing  Winchburgh  Aerial Photograph  Firth of Forth 

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Image Type (about): aerial  cross grid 
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