Decomposed granite

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Targasonne granite decomposing into DG ("granite pourri," rotten granite, and "arène granitique," granitic sand), at at the "Chaos" (moraine of the same name, near Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via in the southern French département (county) of Pyrénées-Orientales.[citation needed]

Decomposed granite, also known as DG, is classification of rock that is derived from granite via its weathering to the point that the parent material readily fractures into smaller pieces of weaker rock.[not verified in body] Further weathering yields material that easily crumbles into a mixtures of gravel-sized particles, that in turn may break down to produce a mixture of clay and silica sand or silt particles.[not verified in body] Different specific granite types have differing propensities to weather,[not verified in body] and so differing likelihoods of producing DG. It has practical uses that include its incorporation into paving and driveway materials, residential gardening materials in arid environments, as well as various types of walkways and heavy-use paths in parks.[not verified in body] Different colors of DG are available, deriving from the natural range of granite colors from different quarry sources, and admixture of other natural and synthetic materials can extend the range of DG properties.[not verified in body]

Definition and composition[edit]

Decomposed granite is rock of granitic origin that has weathered to the point that it readily fractures into smaller pieces of weak rock.[citation needed] Further weathering produces rock that easily crumbles into mixtures of gravel-sized particles, sand, and silt-sized particles with some clay.[citation needed] Eventually, the gravel may break down to produce a mixture of silica sand, silt particles, and clay.[citation needed] Different specific granite types have differing propensities to weather, and so differing likelihoods of producing decomposed granite.[citation needed]

The parent granite material is a common type of igneous rock that is granular, with its grains large enough to be distinguished with the unaided eye (i.e., it is phaneritic in texture);[citation needed] it is composed of plagioclase feldspar, orthoclase feldspar, quartz, mica, and possibly other minerals.[citation needed] The chemical transformation of feldspar, one of the primary constituents of granite, into the clay mineral kaolin is one of the important weathering processes.[1] The presence of clay allows water to seep in and further weaken the rock allowing it to fracture or crumble into smaller particles,[1] where, ultimately, the grains of silica produced from the granite are relatively resistant to weathering, and may remain almost unaltered.[1]


Decomposed granite path

Decomposed granite, as a crushed stone form, is used as a pavement building material.[citation needed] It is used on driveways, garden walkways, bocce courts and pétanque terrains, and urban, regional, and national park walkways and heavy-use paths.[citation needed] DG can be installed and compacted to meet handicapped accessibility specifications and criteria, such as the ADA standards in the U.S.[citation needed] Different colors are available based on the various natural ranges available from different quarry sources,[citation needed] and polymeric stabilizers and other additives can be included to change the properties of the natural material.[citation needed] Decomposed granite is also sometimes used as a component of soil mixtures for cultivating bonsai.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mitchell, J.K., and Soga, K. (2005) Fundamentals of soil behavior, Third edition, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., ISBN 9780471463023, pages 200-204.
  2. ^ Clark, Randy. "Guidelines For Creating Bonsai Soil" (PDF). Bonsai Learning Center. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Bush, Joshua. "Potting Soils for a Bonsai". Retrieved 17 July 2016.