What is Basalt Stone? Properties and Structure
Basalt is a type of volcanic rock formed as a result of molten lava coming out of the cracks of the earth’s crust and gradually cooling. Basalt rocks are gray or black in color, homogeneous, and their density is higher and heavier than other volcanic rocks.
Properties of Basalt Stone
The iron and magnesium ratios in the content of basalt stones are very high compared to other volcanic rock types, and the silica content is lower. Generally, the minerals in its structure are feldspar, pyroxene, olivine, magnesium and iron oxides. Basalt rocks formed by the slow cooling of lavas have a crystalline structure. Fast cooling ones are glassy. Lava leaks along and on the ocean floor create basalt islands and basalt shores that cover large areas. For example, the Island of Iceland and the Hawaiian Islands are made entirely of basalt formed by the cooling of lava. Since the silica content of the basalt rocks formed on the ocean coasts of Japan and the USA is higher, the rocks formed are rhyolite rocks resembling granite.
In the past, there are huge basalt springs formed by the spreading of molten lava flows over very wide areas. The largest of them are in the northwestern parts of the USA, in India and Brazil, there are huge basalt plateaus covering thousands of km in size.
Molten lava containing basalt minerals is very fluid and spreads over vast areas and cools slowly. The lava flow, which begins to solidify during the slow cooling, shrinks and cracks, forming polygonal columns. The most striking of these formations are found in Fingal Cave on Staffa Island in Scotland, Giants Road in Antrim region of Northern Ireland, Devil’s Piles near Yosemite National Park in California and Palisades on Hudson River in USA.
Basalt Usage Areas:
• It is used as natural appearance ornamental stones in landscaping.
• Asphalt road and cobblestone are used in road construction.
• It is used in the construction of concrete, walling, floor covering, facade covering, insulation in the construction industry.
• Rock wool obtained from basalt is used in thermal insulation, places requiring resistance to high temperatures, etc. is used.
Basalt has many other uses, and its areas of use are expanding day by day.