What is sand made of?

Sand is a collection of many small particles that occur through natural processes. The sand is found mainly in the deserts, on the beaches and along the banks of the river. Sand in different areas varies in consistency, composition and color. Some of the familiar colors of the sand are white, pink, green and black. The sand in most internal sites such as deserts and river beds is composed mainly of silica. This type of sand appears as a hard, non-decomposing material known as quartz. The sand in tropical beaches is made up of calcium carbonate which gives it a white appearance. Some sandy beaches may have black sand particles that form from volcanic basalt.

Types of sand

quartz

Quartz is one of the most commonly found minerals on the earth’s surface and is the main component in most types of sand. The mineral is formed by the combination of silicon and oxygen to form silicon dioxide. Quartz is mainly presented as a transparent or translucent material. The substance is hard, insoluble in water and does not decompose. Quartz also comes in a variety of colors like blue, pink, white, green, brown, purple and red. Part of the quartz is classified as a semi-precious material used in the manufacture of jewelry.

Calcium carbonate

Calcium carbonate is a common mineral used in the formation of sand. Sand whose main constituent is calcium carbonate is found mainly in regions where the coral reef is in abundance. These areas include tropical islands in the Caribbean. Calcium carbonate sand is the second most common sand in the world. The sand is formed over a period of over 500 million years from natural material such as molluscs and coral reefs. Calcium carbonate is white and comes in the form of aragonite, limestone, calcite and dolomite. The substance decomposes when exposed to certain heat conditions.

Volcanic basalt

Volcanic basalt is a black substance that is often found among sand particles. The sand formed by volcanic basalt consists mainly of minerals such as magnetite, chlorite and gypsum. This sand is black even though it sometimes reacts with substances present in the environment and can change color over time. The shape and structure of the volcanic basalt are determined by the way the material exploded both in the open air and below the surface of the water.

Olivine sand

Olivine sand has a high mineral olivine content. This sand is formed through the chemical combination of magnesium, iron and silicon. Olivine sand has mostly a green appearance and is a high density substance. The olivine sand is subject to atmospheric agents especially if exposed to water. In some cases, olivine sand particles are used in jewelry making. Sand is also used in saunas in Finland due to its high density and ability to withstand heat.

Uses of sand

Sand is one of the many natural resources in the world. Sand has many different uses throughout the world. The most common use of sand is in the construction sector, where it is an important component in the production of concrete. Sand is often used in the aquarium industry as an economic base for the aquarium. In the world of sports, some sports activities such as beach volleyball require sand.

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