The delta, with muddy rivulets crisscrossing it, stretches to the glacier more than five miles away. Bendixen has made some hypothetical calculations.
Are we running out of sand?
If just 15 percent of the sediment pouring into this fjord every year could be extracted, that amount of sand — 33 million tons — is twice the annual demand of San Diego County in California, one of the most populous in the United States. Sermilik Fjord is only one of a number of places in Greenland with large amounts of sand.
And the sand will keep coming as the world keeps warming and the ice sheet keeps melting. It was Dr. She had come across a trove of aerial photos of the island, taken by the American military during World War II.
Comparing them with more recent satellite images, it was obvious that deltas like the one in Sermilik Fjord were growing as the planet warmed and more meltwater came out of the ice sheet. Worldwide, the demand for sand and gravel is relentless and increasing. Mining, usually from open pits or by dredging, is unregulated in many areas and often illegal.
A United Nations report this year noted that extraction of sand around the world is exceeding the rates by which it is replenished. Sand removal along rivers and coastal regions often leads to greater erosion and harm to ecosystems, the report said. In addition to better regulations, the report called for reducing the demand for sand and gravel through improved designs that cut the amount of concrete in buildings and infrastructure.
Lighter designs would also help address a climate change problem: Manufacturing of cement, the reactive ingredient in concrete, is responsible for about 5 percent of global emissions of carbon dioxide. But even Nuuk has its sights on expansion.
Exploitation of global sand supply becoming a crisis
There are plans to build thousands of homes and apartments to accommodate a population that is forecast to reach 30, by This year he stockpiled extra sand, anticipating the start of the runway project. He currently has about 15, cubic yards, a small gray mountain next to the plant.
It comes from a nearby fjord, sucked from the bottom by a dredge. Mike Hoegh, who owns a marine salvage business, extracts sand for use in Nuuk and other communities along the coast with his foot dredging ship, the Masik Sioraq. What Dr.
Bendixen and others envision would be on a much larger scale, extracting sand from fjords like Sermilik and loading large bulk carriers for shipment elsewhere. Ports and loading facilities would have to be built. Bendixen said there could be environmental effects, which she and her colleagues will investigate as part of their study.
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For his dredging business, Mr. Hoegh chooses areas where he knows the sand is good and there is little of the silt that was prevalent in the middle of the Sermilik Fjord. Nature tends to self-sort sediment: As a stream of meltwater enters the fjord and slows down, the largest and heaviest material — gravel — drops out first, followed by sand and finally silt.
So one of the challenges of making large-scale sand extraction work would be to figure out a way to get to the sand and avoid the fine silt, which would not be useful for concrete. On this, their first foray in pursuit of sand samples to analyze, Dr. Bendixen and her colleagues encountered some difficulties. Even after motoring the dinghy farther into the murky water, all they were able to sample was silt. At one point Dr. Bendixen stepped out of the dinghy to tug it along. But now, we may be able to escape this horror.
Become An Ambassador – Sand Cloud
Works like a charm. Daytripping Mom explains on her blog that the trick works because baby powder quickly removes moisture from the skin, allowing the sand to stop sticking and come right off. And bonus: according to internet legend talcum powder also deters ants.
Now all we need is a way to stop our ice cream from melting all over our hands and our beach trips will be perfect. MORE: Whiten your trainers with this cleaning hack using a razor and nail polish remover. MORE: Mum says this 17p coke cleaning hack completely removes greasy stains from clothes.