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What is the scientific name for sand?

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Quick Answer

There is no single scientific name for sand. The name depends upon what kind of minerals make up the grains of sand in a specific area.

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Full Answer

The most common minerals that make up sand are silicon dioxide and calcium carbonate. Silicon dioxide is mostly formed from quartz particles, which are abundant in land masses and are generally brought to the sea shore by rivers. In tropical places, silicon dioxide is more rare, and the sand there is mostly composed of calcium carbonate that is the result of decomposed living organisms. Tropical islands also may have black sand that comes from eroded volcanic glass.

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