Geologic Assessments and Characterization of Marine Sand Resources—Gulf of Mexico Region

by S. Jeffress Williams, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, United States,
Helana A. Cichon, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastlines of the Gulf of Mexico

Abstract: The U.S. Geological Survey conducts geologic surveys and research in marine areas of the United States and its territories and possessions. An objective in some of the investigations is locating and evaluating marine sand and gravel resources and interpretation of the origins of the sand body deposits. Results from such studies over the past 30 years show that many extremely large deposits are located close to expanding metropolitan areas, which have a need for aggregate materials for construction, and near-developed coastal areas, where beach replenishment may be used to mitigate coastal erosion. The Gulf of Mexico continental shelf from the Florida Peninsula to the Mexico border is an enormous area, but little attention has been directed on sand and gravel resources. Based on limited surveys, the total sand and gravel resources for the entire Gulf of Mexico is estimated to be 269 billion cubic meters. However, the sand tends to be fine-grained and is often mixed with mud; gravel deposits, except for shell, are mostly nonexistent.

Subject Headings: Sandy soils | Sand (hydraulic) | Soil properties | Soil surveys | Gravels | Developing countries | Geology | Soil mixing | Geological surveys | Sand (material) | North America | Mexico | Gulf of Mexico | United States | Florida

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