Over the past six months, tourists and locals have been shocked to see Byron's famous Main Beach literally disappearing. Satellite imagery and local knowledge has revealed what's going on.
A sand mine in Nepal. Growing urbanization and its need for concrete is fuelling a global sand crisis.
As sand markets boom, entrepreneurs, organized crime and others are cashing in — leaving widespread environmental damage in their wake.
A crowded Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Sandy beaches are densely populated and occupy more than one third of the global coastline.
This started as a mountain range.
Sand may seem abundant when your toes are buried in it, but it's becoming scarce along many coastlines around the world.
A rock surface containing a circular pattern with a central depression. The scale bar = 10 cm.
Images modified from: Helm, C.W.; Cawthra, H.C.; De Vynck, J.C.; Helm, C.J.; Rust, R.; Stear. W. Patterns in the Sand: A Pleistocene hominin signature along the South African coastline? Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association (2019)
Given that we know humans moved across these landscapes, we wondered whether there might also be evidence of other forms of human activity on these surfaces of sand.
Green sea turtle.
Little chunks of plastic are now scattered throughout the oceans and pollute most beaches around the world, including the nesting sites of threatened and endangered sea turtles.
Researchers studied reef sands at Heron Island, Hawaii, Bermuda and Tetiaroa. In this photo, white areas show the predominance of sand on reefs.
Southern Cross University
Ocean acidification poses an increasing threat to the sediments that form the framework of coral reefs - within around 30 years, these carbonate sands may no longer be able to form.
The winner! Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Esperance WA.
Lucky Bay on WA's south coast has been scientifically declared to have the whitest sand in Australia. But if you think your local beach can take the title, we want to hear from you.
Sand for use in hydraulic fracturing operations at a processing plant in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin in 2011.
AP Photo/Steve Karnowski)
Overuse of sand for construction and industry is harming the environment and fueling violence around the world. Scientists explain why we need international rules to regulate sand mining and use.
Now you can do it too.
There is a direct correlation between the age of the builder, spade size and the speed at which boredom sets in.
Very powerful, try to avoid.
Lightning strikes are powerful – but we haven't had solid estimates of their energy until now. Researchers turned to the hollow stone tubes they create by vaporizing sand for more precise calculations.