EARTH SCIENCES: SEDIMENTARY ROCKS LABORATORY I
PROBLEM: How can you describe grains of sand?
Science - Sand, Swift
GH microscope or Hand
1. BEACH SAND - SOUTH CAROLINA
Sand is weathered material, or sediment. It represents the stage between
weathering of solid rock and the cementation and formation of a new
sedimentary rock. Sand contains much information. The composition of sand
tells where it came from. For example, sand from volcanoes is very different
than sand from granite. The sorting, roundness, and grain size of sand all
change as it is transported; the grains get small and rounder, and are more
uniform in size.
A. This sand was collected near Charleston Beach, South Carolina. What type
of weathering do you think created this sand?
B. Using the texture charts, what are the size, sorting and roundness of
C. Describe the different types of sand in this sample.
2. BEACH SAND, RODEO BEACH, CALIFORNIA
This sand is from the opposite side of the United States. It has a very
different source area than the sand in Question 1.
A. Using the texture charts, what are the size, sorting and roundness of
B. Describe the different types of sand in this sample.
C. Compare this sand to the sample in question 1. How is it similar or
different? What does this mean about the source area and history of two sand
3. EEL RIVER, NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Northern California has more rain then southern California. The Eel River
transports sediment eroded from the mountainous area nearby.
1. Describe the different rocks you see.
2. How is this different than Rodeo Beach?
4. PALM SPRINGS, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DESERT
This area is a high desert located between mountain ranges in the Colorado
Desert. This geography gives Palm Springs its famed warm, dry climate. Known
for 354 days of sunshine and less than 6 inches of rain annually, summer
temperatures reach well into the 100's.
Describe the texture of the sand?
What environment was this created in?
5. PONZA, ITALY
Situated in the Mediterranean Sea, this small volcanic island has remnants
of volcanic explosions. You may also find small pieces of pottery that may be
as old as Roman times.
Describe the sand?
How can you identify the volcanic component?
6. MASSAWA, ERITREA
Southern part of the Red Sea on the African side. While camels roam the
desert, a rich marine life offshore is revealed by this sand.
Describe the sand?
How many organisms can you identify?