Johnsson, Mark J. Department of Geology, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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- Geologic significance
- Economic importance and uses
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Unconsolidated granular material consisting of mineral, rock, or biological fragments between 63 micrometers and 2 millimeters in diameter. Finer material is referred to as silt and clay; coarser material is known as gravel. Sand is usually produced primarily by the chemical or mechanical breakdown of older source rocks, but may also be formed by the direct chemical precipitation of mineral grains or by biological processes. Accumulations of sand result from hydrodynamic sorting of sediment during transport and deposition (Fig. 1). See also: Clay minerals; Gravel; Mineral; Rock; Sedimentary rocks
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