A laboratory study demonstrates that high volume, 45% by mass replacement of portland cement (OPC) with 30% finely-ground basaltic ash from Saudi Arabia (NP) and 15% limestone powder (LS) produces concrete with good workability, high 28-day compressive strength (39 MPa), excellent one year strength (57 MPa), and very high resistance to chloride penetration. Conventional OPC is produced by intergrinding 95% portland clinker and 5% gypsum, and its clinker factor (CF) thus equals 0.95. With 30% NP and 15% LS portland clinker replacement, the CF of the blended ternary PC equals 0.52 so that 48% CO2 emissions could be avoided, while enhancing strength development and durability in the resulting self-compacting concrete (SCC). Petrographic and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigations of the crushed NP and finely-ground NP in the concretes provide new insights into the heterogeneous fine-scale cementitious hydration products associated with basaltic ash-portland cement reactions. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.