Each visit to the beach is unique. No two beaches are exactly alike, and at any given beach, every day is different. But despite their dynamic forms, beaches tend to share a common anatomy that is predictable based on location and season.You may have noticed that our southeastern beaches have a lot of sand. Most of this sand is quartz, once part of the Appalachian Mountains. Shell bits make up much of the rest of our beach sands, in addition to variable amounts of feldspar and heavy sediments like metal oxides. Sand character varies between beaches, seasons, and the
parts of a beach’s anatomy. Finer and lighter grains are found on beaches with the lowest wave energy, during calm summer months, and in dunes. Coarser grains are found on steep, rough beaches, during winter, and on the lower beach.