Published on Oct 14, 2018

Sand White Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC

Sand is a granular material consisting of finely ground rock and mineral particles. It is defined by size, being smaller than gravel, and coarser than dust. Sand can also belong to a structural class of soil or soil type; that is, a soil containing more than 85 percent sand-sized particles by mass.

The composition of sand varies with local rock sources and conditions, but the most common composition of sand in the continental environment and non-tropical coastal zones is silica (silicon dioxide or SiO2), usually in the form of quartz. The second most common type of sand is calcium carbonate, for example, aragonite, created mainly over the last half a billion years by various species of life, such as corals and shellfish. For example, this is the basic form of sand, evident in areas where reefs have dominated the ecosystem for millions of years, for example, in the Caribbean.

Sand is a non-renewable resource for human timescales, and sand suitable for the production of concrete is in great demand.


The study of individual grains can reveal many historical information about the origin and type of grain transport. Quartz sand, which has recently been dried from quartz crystals, granite or gneiss quartz crystals, will be angular. It is called grus in geology or sharp sand in the construction trade, where it is preferable for concrete and in horticulture, where it is used as a change in the soil to weaken clay soils.

People who collect sand as a hobby are known as arenophiles. Organisms that thrive in sandy environments are psammophiles.

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