Sand is everywhere. Sand is not a fast-growing resource; it is formed by erosion of rocks. It takes thousands and more years, until a rock by the force of wind and water is ground to sand. Sand is used, for example, for concrete, semiconductors, solar cells, LEDs, or glass, from the bottle to the precision lens. Meanwhile, we consume more sand than new one is produced and, therefore, this indispensable resource might get scarce.
To meet the demand, sand is conveyed from the seabeds of an increasing number of coastal and marine areas with fatal consequences for the sensitive marine ecology. The animals disappear, the water gets muddy and kills all life. And along the beaches erosion is eating itself deeper and deeper into the country. In Europe there are strict protection regulations, in many other areas of the world, however, as much sand as possible is legally or illegally extracted; unique landscapes are destroyed.
To bring this to attention and to make us aware of the great importance of sand, an expert panel chaired by the German Professional Association of Geoscientists (BDG; Berufsverbands Deutscher Geowissenschaftler) has appointed sand to the rock of the year 2016.
- German Professional Association of Geoscientists (BDG; Berufsverbands Deutscher Geowissenschaftler), Bonn, Germany