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What are the uses of basalt rock?

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Quick Answer

Basalt is most commonly used during construction projects. It can be used as aggregate in asphalt and concrete pavements. It is also used as a road base, railroad ballast and cobblestone pavement. Basalt may be cut into thin slabs and used as monuments, building veneers or floor tiles.

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Full Answer

Dark in color, basalt rock is an igneous rock, which are (rocks produced under intense heat. Its dark color is partly as result of the minerals olivine and aspyroxene. Basalt rock forms when hot lava gets to the Earth's surface. This may be either via a mid-ocean ridge or a volcano. When expelled, hot lava reaches temperatures of up to 1250 degrees Fahrenheit and flows like a thick liquid. However, when the lava cools down, it forms a hard solid rock. The word "basalt" is derived from the Latin word "basalts," which loosely translates to "very hard stone." Depending on the thickness and the location, lava flow may take days or months to completely cool. Basalt rock is Earth's most abundant bedrock, forming a large percentage of the ocean floor and the Earth's crust. The moon, like the Earth, also has a high abundance of basalt rock in its underlying curst.

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