1 Geological formation
1.1 Modern production
2 Etymology 3 Types 4 Relationship to plant life 5 See also 6 References 7 External links
Large gravel deposits are a common geological feature, being formed as
a result of the weathering and erosion of rocks. The action of rivers
and waves tends to pile up gravel in large accumulations. This can
sometimes result in gravel becoming compacted and concreted into the
sedimentary rock called conglomerate. Where natural gravel deposits
are insufficient for human purposes, gravel is often produced by
quarrying and crushing hard-wearing rocks, such as sandstone,
limestone, or basalt. Quarries where gravel is extracted are known as
gravel pits. Southern England possesses particularly large
concentrations of them due to the widespread deposition of gravel in
the region during the Ice Ages.
As of 2006, the United States is the world's leading producer and
consumer of gravel.
The word gravel comes from the Breton language. In Breton, "grav"
means coast. Adding the "-el" suffix in Breton denotes the component
parts of something larger. Thus "gravel" means the small stones which
make up such a beach on the coast. Many dictionaries ignore the Breton
Types of gravel include:
Bank gravel: naturally deposited gravel intermixed with sand or clay
found in and next to rivers and streams. Also known as "bank run" or
Bench gravel: a bed of gravel located on the side of a valley above
the present stream bottom, indicating the former location of the
stream bed when it was at a higher level.
Creek rock or river rock: this is generally rounded, semi-polished
stones, potentially of a wide range of types, that are dredged or
scooped from stream beds. It is also often used as concrete aggregate
and less often as a paving surface.
Crushed stone: rock crushed and graded by screens and then mixed to a
blend of stones and fines. It is widely used as a surfacing for roads
and driveways, sometimes with tar applied over it.
Relationship to plant life In locales where gravelly soil is predominant, plant life is generally more sparse. This outcome derives from the inferior ability of gravels to retain moisture, as well as the corresponding paucity of mineral nutrients, since finer soils that contain such minerals are present in smaller amounts. See also
Construction aggregate Pebble Rock
^ "1 KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY" (PDF). 1
KWAME NKRUMAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.
^ Mineral Commodity Summaries 2006 2009
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