How Lava Rocks are Harvested

Lava rocks are rocks that occur as a result of a volcano, so they are volcanic rocks. These rocks generally serve many purposes and can be harvested or mined from volcanic regions worldwide. Here, we look at how they are harvested, where they can be found, and the use of these lava rocks.

In the United States, Lava rocks are harvested from places such as Hawaii, Utah, California, Colorado, New Mexico, etc. These rocks are ancient, and some result from a volcanic eruption that happened 20,000 years ago or even later than that. Although referred to as lava rocks, they are not technically lava. What is referred to as lava is the molten rock that comes out of an active volcano? Once it is exposed to the atmosphere, it cools off and hardens to become an igneous rock. 

Harvesting Lava Rocks

The areas where the lava rocks form are usually called the scoria cone or cinder cone. It is easy to harvest the stones from this area. This is so because the rock is porous. All you have to do is push it off the hill. Since the stones come in various sizes, miners and quarries usually sort out the rocks into different sizes. Perhaps the difficult part is finding the right amount of these rocks to mine. Generally, finding a volcanic area with stones that can still be harvested means the rocks are relatively young at around ten to a hundred thousand years. Older volcanic regions are unlikely to have rocks that can be gathered because lava rocks weather into goo and clay over time. The Big Island is one of the best places to find lava rocks because it is an active volcanic region.

The harvesting process is similar to what obtains for other rocks except that it is usually easier. You can harvest volcanic rocks faster than you will do with the usual heavier and harder stones. 

Types of Lava Rocks

There are different types of lava rocks, and they are generally classified based on their texture and chemical composition. What determines the texture, appearance, and chemical composition of each lava rock is usually the lava of each volcano and how quickly it hardens. Common types of lava rocks include basalt, pumice, obsidian, pitchstone, etc. 

Use of Lava Rocks

These rocks can be used for various purposes because of their characteristics. Generally, they serve as a barrier against insects and weeds. They are also porous, and this means water can pass through them comfortably. Another feature is their lightweight, which makes them easy to use on any construction. You can use lava rocks for any kind of landscaping job that you may have in mind. These include using them as pavers, rock walls, terraces, retaining walls, etc. Although these rocks have limited color, the brownish or rust color is one that works with any kind of landscape and will fit with other colors perfectly.


Lava rocks are a multipurpose rock, and if you are considering erecting any stone structure, don’t let the high price of this material stop you from using it. Visit rock wall builders Oahu for the best masonry services!

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