If the sun heats soil to 83 degrees, how much hotter does sand get when heated at the same temperature?



  1. 0 Votes

    That depends on the composition of the soil (Is it wet or dry?), the soil’s initial temperature, and how long the sun was heating the soil for it to get that way. If we use the specific heat of “Earth, Dry” from this chart, which is 0.3 and the specific heat of “sand, dry” from the chart, which is 0.19 and assume that the soil started at 0 degrees, then the sand should come to about 131 degrees… assuming that you are using the same mass of sand and placing it in the same location.

    There are other factors to take into account such as albedo, meaning that if your sand is lighter in color than the soil, it will reflect a lot more light instead of absorbing it as heat. If there is a significant difference between the albedo of your sand and the albedo of your soil, the sand may actually be cooler than the soil. So, this is definitely a multi-faceted question and I would need a lot more information before I can give you an accurate calculation. Here are a few resources that you can use to play with your numbers.

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