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Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.

Ocean Beach Sand, Stonefield State Park, Oregon, USA

This sand is rich in opaque magnetite, isotropic (same shade as the background) garnets, color-banded olivines, high order white zircons, and other heavy minerals. Most of them are well rounded.

Transmitted Off Crossed Circular Polarized Light


Significance in the Environment:

This is an example of a dense sand where wave and current action has removed most of the lighter minerals, such as quartz and feldspars, from the beach. Stonefield Beach is about 20 miles north of Florence, Oregon. (Click here for more images of Ocean Sands) (Click here for more images of Sand in general)

Characteristic Features:

Associated Particles:


Greenberg, Gary, A GRAIN OF SAND: NATURE'S SECRET WONDER, Voyageur Press, 2008.

Welland, Michael, SAND: THE NEVER ENDING STORY, University of California Press, 2009.
(Good Information on the microscopy of sand, Great site for more information on microscopy in general)
(Good Information on Sand with links to more information on sand),com_mediadb/task,play/idstr,Open-feeds_fsc_exploring_sedimentary_processes_fsc02_02_m4v/vv,-2/Itemid,97
(Brief, very informative video on what can be learned from the shape of a sand grain.)