Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by janrinok on Friday November 07 2014, @11:54AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the life-is-a-beach dept.

John R. Gillis writes in the NYT that to those of us who visit beaches only in summer, beaches seem as permanent a part of our natural heritage as the Rocky Mountains but shore dwellers know that beaches are the most transitory of landscapes, and sand beaches the most vulnerable of all. Today, 75 to 90 percent of the world’s natural sand beaches are disappearing, due partly to rising sea levels and increased storm action, but also to massive erosion caused by the human development of shores. The extent of this global crisis is obscured because so-called beach nourishment projects attempt to hold sand in place(PDF) and repair the damage by the time summer people return, creating the illusion of an eternal shore. But the market for mined sand in the US has become a billion-dollar annual business, growing at 10 percent a year since 2008. Interior mining operations use huge machines working in open pits to dig down under the earth’s surface to get sand left behind by ancient glaciers.

One might think that desert sand would be a ready substitute, but its grains are finer and smoother; they don’t adhere to rougher sand grains, and tend to blow away. As a result, the desert state of Saudi Arabia brings sand for sandblasting all the way from Australia. Huge sand mining operations are emerging worldwide, many of them illegal, happening out of sight and out of mind, as far as the developed world is concerned. "We need to stop taking sand for granted and think of it as an endangered natural resource," concludes Gillis. "Beach replenishment — the mining and trucking and dredging of sand to meet tourist expectations — must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with environmental considerations taking top priority. Only this will ensure that the story of the earth will still have subsequent chapters told in grains of sand."

Related Stories

Sand Absorbs High-Speed Ballistic Impact Better Than Steel 26 comments

A study led by Assistant Professor Darren Chian Siau Chen from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Engineering has found that when a projectile is fired at a sand block at high speed, it absorbs more than 85 per cent of the energy exerted against it. This ability to resist the impact increases with the speed of the projectile, even at high velocities.

While sand has been used traditionally for military fortification, very little is known about the unique energy absorption capability of the material. In a recent study, a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Faculty of Engineering found that sand can absorb more than 85 per cent of the energy exerted against it, and its ability to resist the impact increases with the speed of the projectile, even at high velocities. In contrast, steel plates have poorer energy absorption capacity against high speed projectiles. This novel finding suggests that sand can potentially be used as a cheaper, lighter and more environmentally friendly alternative to enhance protection of critical infrastructure as well as armour systems.

[Editor's note: We've previously discussed an impending shortage of sand..]


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @01:08PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @01:08PM (#113789)

    Has soylent jumped the hugh pickens? I already didn't care about this story yesterday, when it was on slashdot.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Lagg on Friday November 07 2014, @01:48PM

      by Lagg (105) on Friday November 07 2014, @01:48PM (#113793) Homepage Journal

      brokenrecord -v

      Though I personally get pretty annoyed with Hugh's cross posting bullshit, as far as I know none of the editors actually read slashdot anymore (kind of the point of soylent you know?) and so if they see a submission that looks acceptable they're going to accept it. Please feel free to bother Hugh about it though. He knows exactly what kind of problems he causes.

      --
      http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
      • (Score: 2) by sudo rm -rf on Friday November 07 2014, @02:55PM

        by sudo rm -rf (2357) on Friday November 07 2014, @02:55PM (#113819) Journal

        He knows exactly what kind of problems he causes

        Can you clarify this for me? I don't see a problem in cross posting. I for one have to be extremely bored to even take a glance at the green site, so I didn't notice this story was already over there. I suppose this goes for some other soylentils as well.

        • (Score: 2) by Lagg on Friday November 07 2014, @05:16PM

          by Lagg (105) on Friday November 07 2014, @05:16PM (#113872) Homepage Journal

          There's nothing wrong with it in itself, problem is that Hugh never notes that he is cross posting and as such makes it look like people are merely copying stuff off of slashdot leading to comments like the one I was replying to.

          --
          http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by urza9814 on Friday November 07 2014, @07:50PM

            by urza9814 (3954) on Friday November 07 2014, @07:50PM (#113921) Journal

            The people posting those comments are the problem, nobody else. Crossposting stuff is kinda the entire point of both this site and Slashdot.

            I don't understand how anyone here has time to read both this site and Slashdot anyway...I spend a good 4-6 hours per day reading here and today is the first time in weeks that I haven't been several days behind! And I've still got a half dozen articles left and my shift ends in ten minutes, so I'll have quite a backlog when I get in Monday morning :)

      • (Score: 2) by martyb on Friday November 07 2014, @03:07PM

        by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 07 2014, @03:07PM (#113827) Journal

        Though I personally get pretty annoyed with Hugh's cross posting bullshit, as far as I know none of the editors actually read slashdot anymore (kind of the point of soylent you know?) and so if they see a submission that looks acceptable they're going to accept it.

        Thank-you for posting this; your assessment is spot-on.

        I am an editor on this site, but speaking only for myself, I have visited slashdot only a couple times since SN went live, and then only to see if a problem we were encountering also occurred over there (as we are based on a freely-available but old version of the code for their site).

        A well-written, grammatically-correct, typo-free story submission gets my attention. When I see a biased submission (for example when I see "M$" or "republicrat" in the submission) I suspect there just might be some slant to the story, so I know I have some work ahead of me based on our Story Style [sylnt.us] and Story Editing [sylnt.us] guidelines.

        But, if you see something you think is newsworthy for this site, please submit it. Perfect grammar and spelling is not a requirement; include links to the material and enough information so that we can get a good idea of what is being submitted, and we can take it from there. As I write this, there are only 9 stories in the submission queue, which makes it a challenge to provide a good cross-section of interesting and timely stories for the site.

        For story ideas, please peruse our log [sylnt.us] of our #rss-bot channel on IRC [soylentnews.org].

        And to keep this somewhat on topic, have you ever heard the expression "Go pound sand"? For the curious, here's a nice description of its origin and meaning [chicagotribune.com].

        --
        Wit is intellect, dancing.
        • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday November 07 2014, @05:35PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Friday November 07 2014, @05:35PM (#113880)

          > When I see a biased submission (for example when I see "M$" or "republicrat" in the submission)

          I would like to point out that the density of what we'll call "_gewg_ stories" is giving this place a certain slant which could turn off some visitors.
          They are individually interesting, and you sure won't see me posting the opposite world view, but the tech-to-rant ratio has to remain above a certain level lest the whole place become an anti-Liberal (in the European sense) echo chamber, by driving the rest of the crowd away.
          [don't reply that I don't submit much, the stuff I have time to read that's not regularly posted here (Ars, Reg) tends to not be in English]

          • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday November 07 2014, @10:02PM

            by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday November 07 2014, @10:02PM (#113942) Homepage

            " I would like to point out that the density of what we'll call "_gewg_ stories" is giving this place a certain slant which could turn off some visitors. "

            First of all -- People who hang out here have no standing on which to bitch if they are not submitting stories of their own.

            Second of all -- A posted story with which you disagree provides a good opportunity for you to attack it. You can be a dick like me and attack it with slurs if being modded down makes you laugh, or you can attack it with facts and reason and well-structured argumentation if you want to win big.

            Third of all -- Gewg is a populist concerned about the overreach of authority, and I believe most here share those concerns. Where I don't agree with Gewg is his misguided libtard bullshit like giving amnesty to all illegals and letting them rape our pure White women while jailing all White men.

            Soylent News is like settlers building a society, and you can't be a pussy when you're building a society. The villiage elders do a great job of being fair and impartial but you as a citizen of this society have to argue your case and solve your problems yourself, you cannot go running and whining to the elders everytime somebody calls you a poo-poo head or has beliefs different from yours.

            If you want a circle-jerk you can go back to Slashdot an get modded up for sharks-with-lasers jokes and making fun of Windows users.

            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday November 07 2014, @11:47PM

              by bob_super (1357) on Friday November 07 2014, @11:47PM (#113957)

              > Soylent News is like settlers building a society

              I obviously live in the village, so I care when I see that the main entrance is being crowded by giant billboards with one-sided off-putting commentary. I agree with almost every billboard, but there's a trend that sends a not-so-subliminal message to visitors as to who's welcome. The people moderately in disagreement will turn away, and only the most opinionated will contribute, dragging the discussion straight into the dirt.
              I want the constructive people that I don't agree with to come in, so i may have an epic-but-instructive argument with them.

              But _I_ don't get to choose who's talking about what, nor do I get to censor what I don't like or complain that someone bruised my feelings online. I'm only pointing out a worrisome perception.

              I thank Gewg for his unmatched dedication to the regular submission of interesting articles, but I wish the editors would be a bit more careful with the accompanying statements... If we want to get new people to come in, we need to limit flamebait on the front page. That's what the comments are for, as you might know, dear Ethanol.

              /offtopic

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08 2014, @09:57AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 08 2014, @09:57AM (#114004)

                flamebait is a fuel that feeds the comment fire

                without it, many articles would be smoldering graveyards

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @03:52PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @03:52PM (#113844)

        brokenrecord -v

        Wait, you want the broken record to be more verbose?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @04:47PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @04:47PM (#113863)

          No he wanted the version number!

        • (Score: 4, Funny) by Lagg on Friday November 07 2014, @05:18PM

          by Lagg (105) on Friday November 07 2014, @05:18PM (#113873) Homepage Journal

          That seems to be the pattern every time I have to explain this to people. Next time it's going to be brokenrecord -vv

          --
          http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿
      • (Score: 2) by tathra on Friday November 07 2014, @04:29PM

        by tathra (3367) on Friday November 07 2014, @04:29PM (#113858)

        we're not a sister site of slashdot. we're not their partner or anything. we're competition. why the hell should we not accept articles that run there, especially when we have a dire need for article submissions? and if our members want to submit articles to both sites, why is that a problem? "waaaaaah, i already read this article!", really? then what about everyone else who doesn't go there, i guess we just don't need to see these articles? in fact, lets just not post any articles at all since slashdot will eventually run them all anyway!

        • (Score: 2) by hubie on Friday November 07 2014, @05:02PM

          by hubie (1068) on Friday November 07 2014, @05:02PM (#113868) Journal

          I agree. I don't bother checking Slashdot or any other site when I put in submissions. I will sometimes go for days at a time without checking this site, so I will so a search here to see if it has been posted yet, but I really don't care what other sites are posting, particularly if I don't go to those sites.

          As for Pickens postings, I don't care that they are cross-posted, and the stuff he posts generally seems to be appropriate for this site.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @07:19PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @07:19PM (#113915)

          the problem isn't that it was posted to slashdot, per se. The problem is that it's a shitty story. (Although slashdot is known for shitty stories, so go figure).

      • (Score: 2) by meisterister on Friday November 07 2014, @08:34PM

        by meisterister (949) on Friday November 07 2014, @08:34PM (#113931) Journal

        This provides us with the opportunity to consider the quality of discussion here relative to the other site. I'm going to don my UI monstrosity armour and check it out.

        --
        (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
    • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @01:59PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @01:59PM (#113795)

      Well, there are none of APK's => HOSTS file posts here or his subsequent stalking and harassment whenever someone calls him out for his shitware, or that bennet something-or-other feller who uses slashdot as his personal shitblog, or theodp's constant code.org shitposts, so there's that...

      • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @03:54PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @03:54PM (#113845)

        Well, there are none of APK's => HOSTS file posts here

        Probably SN set up a hosts file to block apk. ;-)

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by urza9814 on Friday November 07 2014, @08:02PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Friday November 07 2014, @08:02PM (#113925) Journal

      Nobody cares. I'd bet most people here aren't reading Slashdot anymore. I'm not. I don't have time to wade through that trash heap. So this story was news to me, and I enjoyed reading it. If you want to take that away you can go ahead and fuck off.

    • (Score: 2) by cykros on Tuesday November 11 2014, @03:15AM

      by cykros (989) on Tuesday November 11 2014, @03:15AM (#114712)

      If you're coming here for the articles, you're doing it wrong. That's clearly what Playboy is for.

      Feel free to complain once the comments here are mirrors of those on Slashdot. Until then, I doubt you'll find any fucks given.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @02:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @02:09PM (#113801)

    Pickens can go pound some more of it for us.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Friday November 07 2014, @02:48PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 07 2014, @02:48PM (#113816) Journal

    Is this to be believed? A friend of mine served with the Peace Corps in Mauritania in the 90's. His job was to plant hardy shrubs to stop desertification, because the town he was in was in danger of being swallowed by sand dunes. It was hopeless, because the villagers would graze to death 70% of the shrubs he planted every day by the next morning. Surely places like that would be very happy to sell those sand dunes to others, and it seems very hard to believe that they'd ever run out of the stuff.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 3, Funny) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday November 07 2014, @02:56PM

      by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday November 07 2014, @02:56PM (#113820) Journal

      We are all guilty of posting without reading the article from time to time. But it would appear you haven't even read the summary:

      One might think that desert sand would be a ready substitute, but its grains are finer and smoother; they don’t adhere to rougher sand grains, and tend to blow away.

      What's next, people sharing their opinions before even reading the title?

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by Gaaark on Friday November 07 2014, @03:43PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Friday November 07 2014, @03:43PM (#113841) Journal

        I think kittens SHOULD be used for juggling.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @07:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @07:25PM (#113916)

          Wrong moderation! This is not off topic but a perfectly valid and teary-eyedly funny reply to GP!

          Well done Sir!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @04:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 07 2014, @04:04PM (#113850)

        What's next, people sharing their opinions before even reading the title?

        Wait, you want to impose conditions on the people posting here? Yeah sure, you may say it's just reading the title. Surely reading the title is not that hard, is it?

        But you are on a very slippery slope here. Look, today it's reading the title, tomorrow it's reading the summary, and at some time you must prove that you've read the complete bible before you are allowed to post. Then you'll have to prove that you've attended church, and ultimately it will end up that you only can post your opinion if the pope blessed it.

        So you see, it may look like a harmless condition, but it is really the beginning of oppression of opinions! Therefore fight this oppression! Post without reading even the title! Maybe don't even read the comments you reply to! It's the only way to protect freedom of speech!!!!1111eleven

      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday November 07 2014, @06:38PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday November 07 2014, @06:38PM (#113910) Journal

        What are you talking about? I have plenty of stamps.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Joe Desertrat on Saturday November 08 2014, @06:01PM

      by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Saturday November 08 2014, @06:01PM (#114078)

      Sand doesn't disappear, it just moves. For instance, Sandy Hook on the northern New Jersey shore continually has sand moving from the beaches along its length towards the point. This has caused the lower part of the peninsula to become extremely narrow with only a few yards between the ocean and the estuary inside it, while the lighthouse, which was built at the point, is now I think nearly a mile from the current point. There is a constant battle to keep the shipping channel off the point clear and to keep the ocean from breaking through and creating a new inlet, not to mention inundating towns like Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach which are part of the same peninsula. Some of the sand dredged from the point is dumped back along the beaches but it just starts moving north again. Sea walls and jetties are built and maintained at great expense to attempt to slow the process, but as long as there are waves, tides and storms it is an inexorable process.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bradley13 on Friday November 07 2014, @03:34PM

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 07 2014, @03:34PM (#113838) Homepage Journal

    Fascinating: On the other site, I posted a reply, but it has totally and utterly disappeared. I figured it might get marked "troll", but it actually seems to have been deleted entirely. Yet another reason to stick with Soylent.

    Anyhow, the informative bit: The biggest usage of sand is for making concrete [coastalcare.org], where you want sharp sand. Incredible masses of concrete (billions of tons) are poured every year, and the sand for that concrete is dredged from the ocean floor. This affects sandy beaches, because the sand that might refresh them in major storms is missing.

    The trollish bit: The references to rising sea level are just stupid. If rising sea level destroyed beaches, there would be none left - sea level has risen more than 100 meters since the last ice age. What rising sea level does is change beaches. Sea level is rising at the rate of 0mm to 3mm per year [noaa.gov], and has been doing so for millenia [wikipedia.org]. No one promised us an unchanging earth, and people with seaside property are fools to think otherwise.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by fishybell on Friday November 07 2014, @05:02PM

      by fishybell (3156) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 07 2014, @05:02PM (#113867)

      Thank you for being a beacon of reason.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Squidious on Friday November 07 2014, @05:07PM

      by Squidious (4327) on Friday November 07 2014, @05:07PM (#113870)

      The entire ocean floor is covered with sediment of various types, but it is generally the same stuff that is pushed up by nature (or man) to form beaches. And some of it is renewable, i.e. discarded shells from dead creatures that get ground up in the surf over time. This article smells of ignorance or BS, I can't tell which. The only "danger" I see is having to spend more money to pump the sand from farther out in some instances to keep your pristine white beaches or to use for industry. And if some of that sand has more biologic content then we might have to put of with some smell for a while until the sun bakes it out. If and when the oceans rise they will chew up and wash away any man made structures, just wait and you will get your lovely white beach back eventually.

      --
      The terrorists have won, game, set, match. They've scared the people into electing authoritarian regimes.
      • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday November 07 2014, @06:07PM

        by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday November 07 2014, @06:07PM (#113898) Journal

        If and when the oceans rise they will chew up and wash away any man made structures

        And unfathomable ancient horrors shall surface and reclaim this world from the puny, mewling monkeys that laughingly claim dominion over it, and with them shall come their terrible Gods, ancient and inscrutable monsters of decay and madness and terror, and those lamentable few who are not drowned or burned or sacrificed shall be driven mad and beg for death to release them from the insufferable agonies of their pitiless new overlords, and the endless reign of insanity shall begin.

        But at least we'll still have sand.

        • (Score: 1) by Squidious on Friday November 07 2014, @07:03PM

          by Squidious (4327) on Friday November 07 2014, @07:03PM (#113913)

          Beautiful! And hopefully I will have my Sun Sword constructed by then :-) http://youtu.be/LhAobPugvsk [youtu.be]

          --
          The terrorists have won, game, set, match. They've scared the people into electing authoritarian regimes.
        • (Score: 2) by pnkwarhall on Saturday November 08 2014, @12:06AM

          by pnkwarhall (4558) on Saturday November 08 2014, @12:06AM (#113960)

          I wanted to know if this was a Lovecraft quote or just a good parody, so I (Google) searched

          "And unfathomable ancient horrors shall surface and reclaim this world from the puny"

          ...and the top result was NOT a quoted string match, it was matched based on word-usage statistics!
          http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/H._P._Lovecraft [wikiquote.org]

          I mod your comment +1 "lovingly crafted".

          --
          Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday November 07 2014, @06:30PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Friday November 07 2014, @06:30PM (#113907) Journal

      Fascinating: On the other site, I posted a reply, but it has totally and utterly disappeared. I figured it might get marked "troll", but it actually seems to have been deleted entirely. Yet another reason to stick with Soylent.

      In line with the principle that you should never attribute to malice what can be adequately be explained by stupidity, I'd say your comment probably just got lost due to a bug in Slashdot's current code. Especially if the content was the same as the content here, I really don't see why they should delete it.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Friday November 07 2014, @07:04PM

        by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday November 07 2014, @07:04PM (#113914) Homepage Journal

        You're likely right - I have no reason to suppose it was malice...

        --
        Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Saturday November 08 2014, @02:22AM

      by Reziac (2489) on Saturday November 08 2014, @02:22AM (#113969) Homepage

      How does it compare to the amount of sand used for making glass?

      As to sources, across the U.S. west of the Mississippi, I've never seen sand come from anywhere but local gravel pits. It just doesn't have enough value to truck mass quantities all over hell, especially since it's so heavy it needs extra-duty equipment that sucks fuel at gallons-per-mile rates.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by darkfeline on Friday November 07 2014, @11:10PM

    by darkfeline (1030) on Friday November 07 2014, @11:10PM (#113949) Homepage

    I'm taking a Geology course so this kind of topic is fresh on my mind.

    1. Sand is a natural resource, just like oil. Sand is created at a certain rate and eroded at a certain rate. If erosion exceeds production, sand is lost.
    2. Sand on the beach depends on a fragile equilibrium between waves removing sand from the coast and then returning it. Human construction and fortification tends to screw this up.
    3. Beaches want to change. Humans who have developed multi-billion beach homes and resorts fight to keep it constant using various ham-handed methods. These methods are expensive and backfire.

    Basically, this problem comes from short-sightedness, greed, and a lack of knowledge or willful denial of said knowledge.

    --
    Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!