AskDefine | Define adit

Dictionary Definition

adit n : a nearly horizontal passage from the surface into a mine

User Contributed Dictionary



From aditus ‘entrance, access’, from ad + itus.




  1. A horizontal or nearly horizontal passage from the surface into a mine as contrasted to a shaft which is a vertical entry passage. An adit may be used for ventilation, haulage, drainage, or other purposes.


Extensive Definition

An adit is a type of entrance to an underground mine which is horizontal or nearly horizontal. Adits are usually built into the side of a hill or mountain, and often occur when a measure of coal or an ore body is located inside the mountain but above the adjacent valley floor or coastal plain. The use of adits is generally called drift mining.
Adits have many advantages over conventional shaft mining with vertical access shafts. Less energy is required to transport miners, horses and heavy equipment into and out of the mine. It is also much easier to transport coal or ore out of the mine. Horizontal travel by means of narrow gauge tramway or cable car is also much safer and can move more people and coal than vertical elevators. In some situations, mines with adits can be drained of water by gravity alone or power-assisted gravity. Further examples of adits include:
  • Blue Hawk Mine near Kelowna, BC, Canada
  • The Snowy Hydro scheme in the Australian Snowy Mountains created during its construction.These adits are very large and used to access the central point from which the hydro tunnels were constructed.
adit in German: Stollen (Bergbau)
adit in Norwegian: Stoll
adit in Polish: Sztolnia
adit in Romanian: Galerie minieră
adit in Russian: Штольня
adit in Simple English: Adit
adit in Swedish: Stoll
adit in Ukrainian: Штольня

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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