Virgin Islands sand resource study

Open-File Report 78-919




The depletion of sand resources in the Virgin Islands has necessitated the search for more economical supplies. The dynamic processes which produce sand in the nearshore environments are very slow, and removal of this material would cause a depletion of beaches upon which the island economy is predicated. A search for offshore sources was begun in September 1977. This program was set up for three levels of activity. The first was a broad survey of the intershelf area; the second was a detailed investigation of target areas; the third phase, a study of the sediment dynamics, is presently underway. As a result of the first survey, seven target areas were found. Three of these were examined in detail during the second phase, which showed that two areas contain significant deposits of sand. The 'double' deposit on the southwestern coast of St. Thomas contains an estimated 30x10 6 cubic meters of fine sand (0.3-0.5 mm). In the central area, a deposit near Buck Island contains an estimated 12x10 6 cubic meters of material. The sand in the second area is slightly coarser. The textural signature of these deposits is very close to that of the sand found on the beaches, which has been used in the past for construction. Studies are continuing to determine the sediment rates and budget of the shelf region.

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Virgin Islands sand resource study
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
iii, 50 leaves :ill. (3 fold), maps (3 fold.) ;28 cm.; (55 p. - PGS)