What is sand made of?

We all love the beach, but do we know how it's formed?

How is sand made?

I love the beach, and I'm sure most people do. Boogie boarding, laying out, watching sunrises and sunsets are many of the fun things to do! I also really love walking on the beach, partly because it's awesome to look at everything and partly because it's really fun to walk on sand. It's so different than any other surface, and leaves me to wonder how it's made.

By definition, sand is "a loose granular substance, typically pale yellowish brown, resulting from erosion of siliceous and other rocks and forming a major constituent of beaches, riverbeds, the seabed, and deserts." According to livescience.com, sand can be white, black, green or pink depending on what materials were eroded to create it!

Sand is created by materials such as rocks eroding from different environmental processes. Anything from rain to wind to different temperatures can cause erosion. Also, some materials are more easily eroded than others. Quartz tends to be the most common element eroded to make sand.

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Activities - Try It Out

Here's some fun ideas for seeing how sand is really made:

1. Get a soft mineral that would erode fairly easily. You might be able to find something suitable in your back yard (I know in Georgia we have plenty of clay that would do the trick). Once you've got minerals or rocks you like, try different erosion techniques on them. Sit some under running water, some in front of a fan, and some even out in the sun. Make sure they are in containers so when they erode, you can see exactly how much and how fast your "sand" is created.

2. If you just want some sand, here is a quick recipe to make in your back yard from HowStuffWorks:

4 cups dried coffee grounds

2 cups cornmeal

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

Dry the coffee grounds and stir all ingredients together!

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