November 21, 2016

Monday Geology Picture: The Big Hole, Kimberley, South Africa

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

The Big Hole, Kimberley.

The Big Hole, Kimberley.

This week’s “Monday Geology Picture” is a shot of the Big Hole in Kimberley, South Africa. This hole, now filled partly with water, is the remains of an early diamond mine in a kimberlite¬†(a rock type named after the town of Kimberley) pipe. The pipe was mined from 1871 to 1914 and today can be safely visited and observed (from a walkway) as part of a visit to The Big Hole Museum. The hole really is big: it’s 214 meters deep and has a perimeter of 1.6 kilometers. I took the above picture when I visited Kimberley earlier this year. If you ever find yourself in the Kimberley area, I highly recommend a visit to the The Big Hole Museum! In addition to the hole, there is a very nice display on diamond and kimberlite geology. You can even see some real diamonds! Around the museum there are also some historical buildings from early mining days with various old items on display.

Here’s another view of the Big Hole, with some buildings in the background for some sense of scale:

The Big Hole, Kimberley - with some buildings for scale.

The Big Hole, Kimberley – with some buildings for scale.

And here are a couple of views of the Big Hole that I took from the airplane when I was flying into Kimberley:

The Big Hole viewed from an airplane - Picture #1.

The Big Hole viewed from an airplane – Picture #1.

The Big Hole viewed from an airplane - Picture #2.

The Big Hole viewed from an airplane – Picture #2.