War sand is sand contaminated by remains of projectiles used in war. This kind of sand has been found in Normandy, since the invasion of Normandy, among other places.[1] In 1988, the sand on Omaha Beach was discovered to contain man-made metal and glass particles deriving from shrapnel; 4% of the sand in the sample was composed of shrapnel particles ranging in size between 0.06 millimetres (0.0024 in) and 1 mm (0.039 in).[2] Researchers also discovered trace amounts of iron and glass beads in the sand, originating from the intense heat unleashed by munitions explosions in the air and sand.[2][3]

Composition identification edit

In 2013, Dr. Earle McBride, a researcher studying sandstone diagenesis and the textual and compositional maturation of sand during transportation,[4] mixed samples collected from Omaha Beach in 1988 with a blue epoxy, creating an "artificial sandstone", before slicing it into thin sections.[3] Utilising an optical microscope and an external light source, shiny, opaque grains could be identified. Although wave action had elicited rounding on the edges of some coarser grains, the shard-like angularity and corrosion of both coarse and fine grains suggested these grains were man-made.[3][2] It is believed that the roughness of said grains was imparted by microporous surfaces produced during production and corrosion products post-explosion.[2]

This inspection, alongside tests revealing that the grains were magnetic, led McBride to conclude these grains were pieces of shrapnel.[3][2]

References edit

  1. ^ "Microscopic Images of the Sands of Normandy Show Presence of War Sand". SciTech Daily. 13 August 2012. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e McBride, Earle F.; Picard, M. Dane (September 2011). "Shrapnel in Omaha Beach sand". The Sedimentary Record. 9 (3): 4–8. doi:10.2110/sedred.2011.3.4.
  3. ^ a b c d "The Geological Fingerprint of War". Texas Geosciences. March 16, 2012. Archived from the original on 6 June 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Researcher Profile: Earle F McBride". Texas Geosciences. n.d. Archived from the original on 2 May 2020. Retrieved 25 May 2020.