The University of Georgia Department of Geology Sand Collection

    Steve Holland and I have been collecting sand samples from around the world for use in teaching and research at UGA. The collection presently contains 234 samples. Our goals are to have (1) a representative sampling a shoreline sands from active and passive continental margins, island arcs and ocean islands, (2) sands from major rivers, (3) dune sands, and (4) other interesting and educational sands. The collection aspires to be global, but we also have a thorough sampling of sands from the Blue Ridge, Piedmont, Coastal Plain, and Shoreline regions of the southeastern U.S..

     The principal purpose of the collection is to have samples for use in classes and for class projects. A secondary purpose is to have samples to provide a contextual reference set for thesis research. For example, an interesting thesis project might examine variation in shoreline sands on both the Pacific and Gulf-Carribean sides of Mexico and Central America, to see if compositions of sands on the eastern (passive) margin approach those of the western (active) margin as the land mass narrows from northern Mexico to Panama. The present collection has no sands from those regions but could provide contextual samples against which to compare samples collected specifically for that project.

    We would be grateful for samples from around the world to fill in gaps in our collection. As the accompanying map shows, we have very few samples from South America, none from the coasts of Africa except in Morocco and Tunisia, none from India, and very few from island arcs and ocean islands anywhere in the world. We would welcome samples from any coasts outside the continental US.

    If you'll be travelling and are willing to collect a sample for us, or if you're willing to send us a sample from where you live or work, we usually aspire to have a volume between a cup and a pint, or between 250 and 500 ml (the more the merrier, but we understand limitations imposed by the weight of luggage and/or the cost of postage). We can reimburse you for the cost of postage, but please contact us first. Railsback's email address is The mailing address is Bruce Railsback, Department of Geology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, 30602-2501 U.S.A.

To The International Sand Collector's Society (URL 1).
To The International Sand Collector's Society (URL 2).

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