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How is sand formed around Lake Michigan? Is it the same as the sand in beaches(ocean)? Could it be manmade?
from Roberto of Colegio San Jorge in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Age 12

Sand consists of rocks, crystals, and sea shells that are worn down by time, and each beach can have its own kind of sand. The tan-colored beaches around the Great Lakes area are made up mostly of grains of quartz, the black sand beaches of Hawaii are made up of rocks that have eroded from volcanoes, and the white sand on tropical beaches includes finely ground sea shells.

Sand is deposited on beaches when the waves from the ocean or lake move it up to the shoreline. However, sand can be brought in from elsewhere to create a larger beach or a barrier. So although the sand itself is not artificial, the means of getting it to the beach could be!

Thank you for your question!


Answered on August 1, 2000

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