Sand: A Journey Through Science and the Imagination

Hardback
This book is all about sand - sand in individual grains, each one a little different; sand in piles; sand in shoals and dunes; the science of sand but also, shot through the book, sand and imagination - the art and the music of sand. Did you know that the Sand Mountain in Nevada emits a low C, while dunes in Chile sound an F, and those in Morocco a G#? For all its ubiquity, sand is an extraordinary substance. For scientists, it is important in many ways: it represents the crushed remains of past rock, and builds up into layers in lake and ocean beds, layers of sandstone from which we can extract the history of deep time; its erosion creates complex landscapes of mounds and dunes which move in characteristic ways; its grains are remarkable individually and in their behaviour together as a granular material. And to travellers, poets and artists, the deserts it forms are full of grandeur and pathos. Michael Welland is a geologist who has a passion for sand. He shows that truly, one can see a world, both in space and time, in a grain of sand.