Basalt is a volcanic rock that is the most common. It is a fine-grained substance with varying shades of color from grey to black. Basalt is an intergalactic rock as well with samples found on Earth’s moon, Mars, Venus and on several asteroids. Most of the ocean’s floor is composed of basalt rock.
In ancient Rome basalt was put to many uses including street pavers. It was used extensively throughout the Roman Empire in a variety of construction purposes such as stadium seating. Many examples left from this era of time can be identified as the dark-colored stone found in historic ruins.
Today basalt rock is put to a variety of uses, most commonly as an aggregate. Crushed basalt is added to many construction jobs including asphalt paving, mixed with concrete, and as a rock filtering agent in many drain fields. It can also be cut into dimensional form and used as tiling for floors, producing veneers. Artists also use basalt as a building material for creating monuments and other objects.
Working on the Railroad
Basalt is used liberally as the primary crushed stone for railroad ballast. This is the stone product found as a bedrock for railroad tracks providing drainage and support.
Gardeners and landscapers sometimes use basalt to deter weed growth in plant and flower beds.