If you dig down into a dune, you find bands of different coloured sands. Wind and waves separate sand grains into these bands. The black magnetite and red garnet grains are heavier than the pale quartz grains, so it takes a stronger wind to carry them.

Gentle winds carry quartz grains up onto the dune. Stronger winds carry both light and heavy grains, but when the winds diminish the heavy grains drop out first and make a dark band.

Very strong winds mix all the sand grains so there are no bands of colour. The slope of the band tells us the prevailing wind direction.

If you dig down into a dune, you find bands of different coloured sands. Wind and waves separate sand grains into these bands. The black magnetite and red garnet grains are heavier than the pale quartz grains, so it takes a stronger wind to carry them.

Gentle winds carry quartz grains up onto the dune. Stronger winds carry both light and heavy grains, but when the winds diminish the heavy grains drop out first and make a dark band.

Very strong winds mix all the sand grains so there are no bands of colour. The slope of the band tells us the prevailing wind direction.


© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.

Sand Bands

If you dig down into a dune, you find bands of different coloured sands.

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Dune Slice

Gentle winds carry quartz grains up onto the dune. Stronger winds carry both light and heavy grains, but when the winds diminish the hevy grains drop out first and make a dark band. Very strong winds mix all the sand grains so there are no bands of colour. The slope of the bands tells us the prevailing wind direction.

Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History

© Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History 2001 All Rights Reserved.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Describe the composition of sand on Sable Island.
  • Describe the effect of wind on the landscape of Sable Island.

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