What are the physical properties of sand?
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Q:

What are the physical properties of sand?

A:

Quick Answer

Sand is primarily composed of finely granulated silica and, depending on its location, can include various rock, coral, shell or lava fragments. It is lightweight and easily transported by wind and water. Its composition directly affects its color, resulting in black, white, pink and green coloring.

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Full Answer

Wind and water are the primary agents responsible for creating sand. Because it is easily transferred by nature, sand can be found far from its point of creation. When sand is subjected to strong wind, it can build up in large amounts resulting in sand dunes. Sand dunes are seen throughout the desert and on many beaches around the world.

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  • Q:

    What is the density of sand?

    A:

    The density of loose sand is 90 pounds per cubic foot. The density of sand depends on how wet it is; completely dry sand is 80 pounds per cubic foot, damp sand is 100 pounds per cubic foot, wet sand is 120 pounds per cubic foot, and wet packed sand is 130 pounds per cubic foot.

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    What is topsoil made of?

    A:

    Topsoil is composed of soil containing a high amount of organic material that is rich in nutrients. Most topsoil contains various amounts of clay, sand and silt. Topsoil comes from the topmost layer of the Earth's surface.

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  • Q:

    Why does sand cool down faster than water?

    A:

    Sand cools down faster than water because it has a lower specific heat capacity than water. That is, it takes more energy to raise the temperature of water than to raise the temperature of sand by the same amount, given equal masses of each substance. Sand has a specific heat capacity of about 0.290 J/g°C, while water has a specific heat capacity of 4.18 J/g°C.

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  • Q:

    Why does sand absorb water?

    A:

    Sand absorbs water because sand particles have pores in them that, when dry, are filled with air. When the sand particles are wet, the air in the spores is replaced with water.

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