What Is Bedrock?

By Justin Sexton

What Is Bedrock?

You might have notice us mention in our videos that when are repairing a foundation, our piers our are installed to bedrock...but what does that mean exactly?

Soil is made up of different layers, called Horizons. Each layer has its own set of characteristics. Bedrock is at the bottom of 4 Horizons.

Bedrock is a deposit of solid rock that is typically buried beneath soil and other broken or unconsolidated material (regolith). Bedrock is made up of igneous, sedimentary, or metamorphic rock, and it often serves as the parent material (the source of rock and mineral fragments) for regolith and soil. Bedrock is also a source of nitrogen in earth's nitrogen cycle. A bedrock deposit that occurs at earth’s surface is called an outcrop.

A soil profile is a vertical cross section of the soil. When exposed, various soil horizons, or layers of soil, become apparent. Each horizon of soil may be different from the other horizons in physical or chemical ways. The differences are developed from the interaction of such soil-forming factors as parent material, slope, native vegetation, weathering, and climate.

The very top layer of soil is called “Humus” (O Horizon). It’s composed of living and decomposed materials like leaves, plants and bugs. This layer is usually pretty thin and dark.

The (A) Horizon is called “Topsoil” and it’s located just below the O Horizon. This layer is made up of minerals and decomposed organic matter. This is the layer that many plants roots grow in.

The (B) Horizon is what’s known as “Subsoil” and it’s located just below the A Horizon. This layer has clay and mineral deposits and less organic materials than the layers above it. It’s also lighter in color

The (C) Horizon is the layer that's called “Regolith” and it’s located just below the B Horizon. This layer is made up of slightly unbroken rock and and just a little bit of organic material. Plant roots are not found in this layer.

The (D) Horizon is “Bedrock”.

As you can see, the soil layers gain in stability as you go down. Bedrock can be between 7 feet down to 150 feet.

You can CLICK HERE to read more about how our Push Piers are driven down to bedrock!

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