Lithic sand

Lithic sand is predominantly composed of small fragments of rocks. Such sands and sandstones are said to be lithic. Lithic sand is unusually immature sand type. It means that the source rocks must be not very far and the weathering agents have not yet had time to break these rocks down to their constituents (individual mineral grains).

Lithic sand from the West Beach, Whidbey Island, Washington, USA.

There are very many rock types and consequently almost an endless array of possibilities to categorize lithic sands into different types. Rock fragments that often occur in sand are amphibolite, sandstone, quartzite, chert, schist, phyllite, granite, and basalt. Most lithic sands are dark in color.

Sand formation in progress. Pebbles and granules of basalt near the southern tip of La Palma slowly transforming into black sand.


Lithic fragments of mica schist in the sand. Width of view 20 mm.

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