We encounter sand, both professionally and personally, in a wide variety of contexts, some helpful, some frustrating. Common to all are the unique and often bizarre behaviours of sand as the quintessential granular material. Some of the more extraordinary results of research physics today continue to reveal how little we actually know about this seemingly mundane material and granular behaviour is the topic of fundamental work in research laboratories around the world. Much of the physics of granular materials links directly to geological phenomena - grain transport by fluids, jammed materials and fault seals - and raises the question of the benefit to earth scientists developing a familiarity with some of the revelations of this apparently esoteric area of scientific research.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90135©2011 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Milan, Italy, 23-26 October 2011.