Where Does River Rock Come From? (EXPLAINED)

River rocks are a variety of rocks that are shaped by moving water.

Where does river rock come from?

These rocks come from rivers, streams and are found on the beach.

They come in varying sizes and colors.

Depending on the geography of the river they come from, these rocks could be sedimentary or formed from living organisms and earlier rocks. 

River rocks are sometimes igneous rocks formed from lava from volcanoes or in the earth’s core. 

River rocks are metamorphic rocks changed by temperature and pressure in the earth.

This causes a physical or chemical change.

Types of River Rocks

These are some of the types of river rocks found in rivers and streams that rock collectors look for.

Some river rocks are sedimentary, while others are not.

Many river rocks are used by companies for landscaping, construction, and manufacturing.

Granite river rocks were formed in the earth as the lava cooled and formed rocks.

They often have a grainy appearance or bands due to the minerals that make up granite.

Many granite rocks are made of quartz and feldspar and come in a variety of colors.

The colors are black, grey, white, green, purple, and dark brown.

These rocks are often used in construction and landscaping.

Schist river rocks are often rectangular in size and several different shades of gray.

It has medium to coarse grains and is formed from heat and pressure in the earth.

It is often used in landscaping and adds a natural look to the environment.

It is formed by shale and mudstone and has feldspar and quartz within it.

This rock has a striped appearance due to other minerals in it.

Basalt river rocks are formed when the lava cools above the surface of the earth after a volcanic eruption.

It has a finer grain and ranges in color from dark green to gray.

They are used in spas for massages that use stones because they retain heat, as a filler for flower arrangements, and in building stone fountains.

Some basalt rocks contain gemstones in their composition of zircon, garnets, and corundum.

Limestone rocks form in rivers, lakes, and on land. It is made of about 50% calcium carbonate from marine animals that lived years ago.

It often has calcite deposits that are many different colors.

These rocks can be white, gray, yellow, purple, blue, orange, black, or brown.

Limestone is crushed and used in gardens and landscaping.

The rocks are shaped into tiles used on walls, floors, gardens, pools, and road surfaces.

Shale is a fine-grained rock formed from mud made up of silt, minerals, and clay.

It is made of several layers and can break into thin pieces.

It is found in rivers with slower-moving water in the delta of the river.

The delta is the mouth or basin of the river where the water runs or empties its water into a lake, reservoir, or ocean.

It is used in the ceramic industry to make pottery, bricks, and tiles.

Crushing shale and heating it with limestone makes cement.

This rock is used in the oil and gas industry to extract oil and gas from the ground in a process called fracking.

Feldspar minerals are found in rocks in river beds in sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks.

It has silica, potassium, sodium, and calcium.

This rock is an ingredient used in the manufacturing of glass and its production.

It is used in making ceramics and improves the strength and durability of the ceramic piece.

Feldspar is also used in making tableware and helps with fusing the product and preventing defects.

Quartz is found in rivers and when it erodes, the grains are found as sand in the river beds and on beaches.

It is very resistant to weathering and is formed by oxygen and silicon. 

It has a very hard texture and comes in many types and colors.

Quartz is used in making watches, clocks, radios, pressure gauges, and wave stabilizers.

It is processed into small stones for landscaping in gardens and made into the sand to add to the soil to help plants grow.

Landscaping With River Rocks

River rocks you buy for landscaping are processed in a tumbler with a powder that polishes them until they get a glossy finish.

This process may bring out colors and designs in the rocks.

Some stones are mined from quarries, polished on one side, and cut to resemble river rocks, and some are found in rivers and collected for landscaping and further processed.

River rocks are sold to consumers in varying sizes.

They are used to build fountains and water features in gardens and dry river beds.

This is used to divert water from the property and prevent erosion.

Often, different-sized rocks are used to accomplish this.

They are used to creating borders and edges in gardens.

In low areas, they can be an attractive covering for the ground or path.

Smaller river rocks are easier to walk on than larger ones.

River rocks can be used to create a pond or creek with water in gardens.

A river rock driveway will not crack or sink and allow water to be absorbed below the ground.

It is easy to install and is unique and different.

River rock landscaping can be used for properties that have drainage problems and need to have water diverted elsewhere. 

They help in erosion control on hills and in gardens.

The Benefits Of Landscaping With River Rocks

River rocks can help limit soil erosion from wind and rain on your property.

They are permeable and let rain seep into the ground.

When you live in very dry areas, they are used for xeriscaping, a process that eliminates the need for irrigation. 

Your garden uses drought-tolerant plants and river rocks.

They can be used around herbs, vegetables, and flowers and act like mulch-preventing weeds.

They may eliminate the need to use pesticides. It is a naturally attractive material for gardens and paths.

Collecting River Rocks For A Hobby

You might want to try collecting river rocks from a stream or river near your home.

If you have a stream in the backyard, this is a good place to begin.

You will have to learn about the different types of river rocks and bring some equipment to use.

The rocks can be used for gardens, borders, and paths.

Many beginners use a geologist’s hammer to break large rocks from river beds and cliffs.

They use a magnifying lens to look at the rocks more closely.

Most rock collecting can be accomplished with a hammer and lenses. 

Plastic bags and containers to put the rocks are needed to store them. 

River rocks can be an interesting hobby to try for rock collecting and have many practical uses in landscaping and industry.

You can purchase them for gardening and home use at garden centers and landscaping supply businesses.

Where does river rock come from?

The answer is most often rivers, streams and brooks.