Earth’s Most Abundant Bedrock
Basalt and granite are both igneous rocks, meaning that they cooled from a magma. But the similarities start to diverge there. Granite forms from the slow crystallization of magma below Earth’s surface whereas basalt forms as lava oozes toward the Earth’s surface at a volcano or mid-oceanic ridge.
Basalt underlies more of Earth’s surface than any other rock type. Most ocean basins are underlain by basalt and it is the chief volcanic rock in many mid-oceanic islands including Iceland and the islands of Hawaii.
Basalt is usually grey to black, but can weather to brown or rust due to oxidation. Although characterized as “dark”, basaltic rocks can actually exhibit a wide range of shading due to regional geochemical processes. The Basalt of Iceland does not look the same as what appears in the Columbia River Basin in the Northwest.
Basalt has a long history in construction and architecture, appearing as stadium seating or street pavers throughout the Roman Empire.
Today, basalt is commonly used as crushed aggregate in construction projects. Crushed basalt is used for road base, concrete aggregate, asphalt pavement aggregate, railroad ballast, filter stone in drain fields. But, basalt is also cut into dimension stone. In thin slabs it is used for building veneers, flooring, etc. and in its large columnar chunks it is used to create large durable stone objects, monuments, and even art.
Basalt isn’t unique to the earth. Basalt is an intergalactic rock with samples found on the Earth’s moon, Mars, Venus and on several asteroids. HDG Building Materials, at least so far, sources it’s basalt from the earth. Basalt stone from HDG is available in several colors. Choose from among over a dozen finishes for your stone project. HDG can have them applied economically at the factory and shipped to your job site ready to install.