Sand is essentially eroded rock, and is primarily made up of quartz. It depends on what the rock types are in the location of the sand, though, that determine what the sand is made up of. For example, there are beaches composed of coral sand or olivine sand. Since quartz is a very resistant rock, and makes up a large percentage of the earth’s crust, most sand is therefore quartz.
Sand is the product of erosion of certain rocks, particularly quartz. Quartz is such a hard material that it does not completely disintegrate and become part of the soil, but rather wears into tiny, hard grains. On the beach, sand may also be composed of shells and coral broken down by the waves: these are composed of calcium carbonate, like limestone. Arkose sand is made of weathered granite and contains the mineral feldspar, while the white sands of New Mexico contain primarily gypsum: the exact content of the sand depends on the rocks and minerals nearby.
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