Summer Fun

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Did you know?

For many people, the summer would not be complete without a trip to the beach. Spending lazy days on the beach and watching the seagulls dodge the surf is a popular warm-weather pastime. When faced with miles of sandy shorelines, have you ever wondered about the sand beneath your feet? Sand naturally occurs when rocks and mineral particles are divided until they become fine and granular. The size and texture of sand can vary and gives geologists an idea as to how the sand originated. Sand components vary based on geographic location and local rock sources. However, silica (silicon dioxide), calcium carbonate and aragonite are the primary components of the widest array of sand. Aragonite, which is granular bits of sea life, including shellfish and coral, is the primary form of sand in many tropical areas where reefs have dominated the ecosystem for billions of years. Sand also can differ in color. Beaches with pink sand, for example, are found in very few locations, usually in the Caribbean. The sand is the result of foraminifera, which are tiny sea creatures with red shells. As the shells break down into smaller pieces through time, they mix with other sands and form the pink hue seen today.

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