mortar, concrete & portland cement

What's the difference in the three ? When/why would you use one and not the other...?
I am going to create a little drainage area around my downspouts with river rock type pebbles and one of the above cements as a base to carry the water away and on to an underground drain pipe grid.
Which of the three 'cements' would be best and why ? there will be little stress on these "spillway" type slopes leading to the in-ground drains
Thanks, Tim
p.s. Live in Phoenix...no freeze thaw here in winter
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Tim wrote:

Mortar mix is a combination of ingredients that is best for setting stone and brick.
Concrete is what happens when you use a mixture of sand, aggregate and portland cement in the proper ratios and add water (in the proper ratio).
Portland cement is a component of both of the above. Concrete has aggregate in it, and mortar mix does not. When it is not yet set, it is not yet concrete. IOW, you call it concrete when it has cured and is hard. Until then, we just call it "the mix".
For your application, I would use a concrete mix. If I understand you correctly, you are going to place an exposed aggregate spillway. So your aggregate must be washed river rock.
Here is everything you wanted to know about concrete:
http://www.cement.org/basics/concretebasics_concretebasics.asp
http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete-facts.html
--
Robert Allison
Rimshot, Inc.
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