Beach Sand Color – How Does Sand Get Its Color

In areas where the ocean is shallow or calm, it creates an environment perfect for fine sands to gather. The water comes in the form of waves and runs backward. The result is a flat strip of wet sand behind the incoming waves and progressively moving up onto the land.

Sand Color is a result of the composition of the grains of sand that are present on the beach. In most beaches, quartz is the main mineral component of sand, but where iron and manganese are present in coastal waters, it is complex with oxygen during formation to create rusty-colored compounds in the sand.

Sand is usually tiny pieces of crushed-up rock and stone, made by the erosion of rocks as they are tumbled along the shoreline. Most of the time, sand is made up of a small range of colors that all blend together. Beach sands range from pale cream to golden to caramel. 

The color of beach sand is determined by three things: what type of rock formation the sand is derived from, how long it has been on the beach, and where exactly you are on the beach.

What are the Colors of Beach Sand 

There are different colors of sand beach depending on the area and some natural factors. Here is the detail of the different colors of beach sands and their formation.

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White Beach Sand:

The most typical colors of beach sand are white. It’s the color of quartz, which is one of the main minerals in sand. Quartz is a pure form of silicon dioxide so when it comes into contact with water and air, it becomes clear and smooth like glass. This is why the sand on a beach is so bright and smooth. 

Black or Gray Coloured Beach Sand

The black or greyish color of beach sand is due to the presence of manganese, which when combined with oxygen turns into a metal called manganese dioxide. This element has been found to be present in the chemical composition of waters that run along the shores of beaches. In most cases, when we see black beach sand it is usually due to manganese oxide. Manganese in general has a very high concentration on northeastern coasts because it is what creates the rustic orange color when mixed with water and oxygen.

Red, Yellow, or Brown Beach Sand

These are the three most vibrant types of beach sand and they usually contain some sediments that come from rocks like lime-stone and iron oxide. When these are put underwater for a long period of time, they turn into rusty red sediment that winds up in the sand that makes up the beaches.

Green and Blue  

These colors are not very common, but they sometimes do occur. Usually, this is because of a type of algae that can be found in most oceans. The blue color is caused by an alga called “cyanobacteria” while the green comes from what can be called “diatoms”, which are not as common.

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Pink or Purple  

These two colors usually have the same cause, which is a type of microscopic algae that grows in and around water. Usually, this alga is a plant-like organism that floats in the water and produces pigments called carotenoids. These carotenoids give it pink or purple colors which then show up as tiny specks in the sand.

Why is there sand on the Beach?

The sand that is on the beach goes through many stages before it finally ends up where it is today. The grains of sand start out as rocks and stones.

These are located in different areas around the earth, but most of them come from sources such as volcanic ash caves and mountainsides. They usually get washed into large piles called deposits, where their journey begins.

The rocks and stones are then separated from one another by the water, which causes them to be carried in all sorts of different directions. The weathering and erosion processes can also take place at this stage. This is how most sand is formed.

Final Thoughts:

As mentioned above in this article, there are different colors of sands on the beach in the whole world. The change in color of the sand is due to its chemical composition and also some natural elements that make the sand in different attractive colors.