"Holding up one grain of sand to the night sky effectively blocks the view of 10,000 stars." Roy Ellison Busch, 2/4/2013. A quote from my philosophic son.
I last updated portions of this section of the website on September 10, 2013. As time permits I will be adding more captioned photos and references, my spreadsheet of sand collection locale and data, reduced versions of my sand sample labels, and Google Earth KMZ files for specific regions.
BGC Principal Bob Busch has been collecting beach sand since 1977 when he first taught Beaches of Northern California and then Beaches of the Pacific Northwest at Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. This section of the BGC website will list the samples in the REB collection. Some are available for purchase or trade.
Bob has personally collected most of the California coast and the Pacific Northwest coast. Friends, clients, past students, employees, and even causal acquaintenances have brought him dozens of other samples from around the world. The REB collection includes samples from the Galapagos, French Riveria, Greece, Spain, British Isles, Scotland, Bay of Fundi, Alaska, Florida, California, the Pacific Northwest, Mexico, the perimeter of Australia, Dubai, various Caribbean Islands, Fiji, Palau, the Philippines...the list goes on and on. Enjoy the information and photographs. Soon you will be able to enter a sample's GPS co-ordinates or location into Google Earth and fly over the beach. Have fun!
My sincere thanks to all of the students, friends, family, clients, and causal acquaintences who have brought me so many wonderful samples over the years, despite the harrowing experience of getting through Customs. Collectors of merit deserving special thanks include Beau and Martha Whitney (Perth, Australia), Jack and Wynona Nash (Eureka, CA), Jay Peltz (Garberville, CA), Barry Busch (Topeka, KS), Bobby Putnam (?, a student in 1977), Henry Holloman (Blue Lake, CA), and most recently, Nikolai Turetsky (Hawaii).
A beach micro-primer: 1) A beach can not contain large grains or rocks on it if only small grains are available from the source area(s). 2) Small (low-engergy) waves can not move large grains or rocks. 3) The grain-size(s) on the surface of a beach can change seasonally in response to changing wave energy. This means that digging down into a beach surface might reveal layers of different sizes of sand (or sand and gravel if a gravel source exists). 4) Some minerals (such as quartz, garnet, and corundum) are resistant to weathering so are common if appropriate source terranes exist. 5) Other minerals (such as mica), although common in a source, may be quickly destroyed by waves. 6) A biologic grain that is the same size as a rock or mineral grain almost always will weigh less and therefore will wash into the troughs on a ripple-marked beach surface. The heavier grains will make up the crests. 7) Light mineral grains almost always weigh less than dark mineral grains of the same size, which are often iron-rich. 8) In tropical regions, biologic growth often produces bioclastic debris faster than erosion on land supplies clastic debris.