Michael Welland Sand

ISBN 13: 9780199588183

Sand

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9780199588183: Sand

From individual grains to desert dunes, from the bottom of the sea to the landscapes of Mars, and from billions of years in the past to the future, this is the extraordinary story of one of nature's humblest, most powerful, and most ubiquitous materials. Told by a geologist with a novelist's sense of language and narrative, Sand examines the science—sand forensics, the physics of granular materials, sedimentology, paleontology and archaeology, planetary exploration—and at the same time explores the rich human context of sand. Interwoven with tales of artists, mathematicians, explorers, and even a vampire, the story of sand is an epic of environmental construction and destruction, an adventure in staggering scales of time and distance, yet a tale that encompasses the ordinary and everyday. Sand, in fact, is all around us—it has made possible our computers, buildings and windows, toothpaste, cosmetics, and paper, and it has played dramatic roles in human history, commerce, and imagination. In this luminous, kinetic, revelatory account, we do indeed find the world in a grain of sand.

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From the Inside Flap:

"I have learned more about, and become more fascinated with sand from reading this book than I have from studying beaches for thirty-five years! An amazing story."—Reinhard E. Flick, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

"A masterful, entertaining and accessible treatise on the complex world of common sand."—Bruce M. Pavlik, author of The California Deserts

"To do justice to this formidable and glorious subject, you need not only to be in love with it, but also to possess tremendous breadth of knowledge, have the eyes of a poet, scientist and geographer, and be intrepid enough to have seen the deserts of the world at first hand. Fortunately, Michael Welland fits the bill. It is hard to see how this paean to the wonders and mysteries of sand could be bettered."—Philip Ball, author of Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another and Life's Matrix: A Biography of Water

"A fascinating and colorfully written book filled with insights and wit about the magical material called sand."—Stephen P. Leatherman (aka Dr Beach), author of America's Best Beaches

"Sand has given rise to commentary, both poetic and scientific, from the earliest human times. Michael Welland ably winnows this literature, making the subject of sand his base station for a journey around the whole earth system. An impressive achievement."—Andrew Alden, author/editor of About.com's Guide to Geology

"Michael Welland offers a popular, imaginative, and scientific evocation of sand as the creator of the world we experience and seek to understand. Sand is a timely meditation on things both large and small that simultaneously opens the door to the oldest geology and our most recent history."—Joseph Amato, author of Dust: A History of the Small and the Invisible

About the Author:

Michael Welland is a geologist who has worked around the world in the energy industry. He is a fellow of the Geological Societies of America and London and the Royal Society for the Arts and Commerce.

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Welland, Michael
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