From the beach to the moon--explore the incredible hidden world of sand, seen through a microscope.
To the naked eye, the tiny particles that make up sand are less than inspiring. Under the microscope, however, it's a completely different story. Looking at sand under extreme magnification, we quickly find ourselves immersed in a new world of brilliant colors, organic shapes, and the stunning patterns of nature.
Every grain of sand is a snapshot in time: Each grain originated somewhere and is headed somewhere else. Biogenic sands often contain fragments of the hard tissues from marine organisms such as shells, corals, sponges, sea urchins, forams, and bryozoans. When these organisms die, the hard tissues that are left behind erode into some of the most spectacular grains of sand imaginable. In this book, deep-focus microscope photography, x-ray images, and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy reveal their secrets.
The Secrets of Sand is a virtual tour of sands from across North America. It shows their origins, the environmental forces that have acted upon them, and their journey from bedrock or invertebrate shell to the fine particles that, in countless billions, form our familiar beaches and dunes. It then moves on to an exploration of lunar sand, which has been formed under such alien conditions that it has no terrestrial counterpart. The Secrets of Sand is an amazing voyage of discovery in the ancient past--and the dynamic present--of the earth and our nearest neighbor.