Thursday, 23 April 2015

What Exactly is Sand?

Sand can be composed of many minerals, but quartz is the most common. Many industries and homeowners use sand to accomplish a variety of tasks.

Sand is generally defined as being coarser than silt and finer than gravel. Silt is the sediment found in certain bodies of water and is often smooth to the touch. When dry, it may resemble flour and it is slippery when found wet. Gravel is composed of many small pebbles and rocks. Sand on the other hand lies between these two extremes. It can be coarse or fine depending on preference or location. The material naturally occurs all over the world, though it is closely associated with desserts and beaches.

The exact composition of naturally occurring sands will vary from location to location. Generally, quartz will make up the bulk of sand’s minerals. Quartz is found in most rocks and is extremely weather resistant. This allows it to survive the extreme conditions of dunes, bedrocks and beaches more successfully than other minerals. Beaches and dunes tend to have the highest quartz concentrations while the bedrock will usually have more variety and a high percentage of angular grains. However, particles tend to be anywhere from 0.0625 millimeters to 2.05 millimeters in diameter.

When people think of a pristine beach, they probably see nearly white beaches and aquamarine waters. That particular type of sand has high concentrations of limestone, which gives it that chalky look. Conversely, the white sands of New Mexico have gypsum instead, though they are also famous for a stark white hue. The pink sands found in the tropics have small pieces of coral and shell fragments, which why they give off that soft cherry color. Magnetite sands are dark or almost black, while green beaches derive from a chlorite-glauconitic based composition.

Sand has many uses around the world. Industrialized nations use various types of the material for agriculture and building materials. Certain crops such as peaches, peanuts and watermelons do very well in sandy soils. Dairy farmers also enjoy the optimal drainage benefits of sand-based earth. Additionally, construction firms use large volumes of sand for concrete, mortar and brick. Each of these products has a heavy sand composition. In fact, it is a critical ingredient for these common building materials. Glass is also made almost entirely out of heated grains.

Many homes use sand for landscaping or gardening purposes. Sand gardens can be beautiful and tranquil additions to a backyard. Sand-based soil can do well in some home gardens, though many parents use the relatively soft material to fill sandboxes or designated children’s areas. Homeowners may use the material to clean or polish the house via sandblasting. To learn more about sand in Gilroy, please visit this website.

No comments:

Post a Comment