Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Modeling surficial sand and gravel deposits

January 1, 1994

Mineral-deposit models are an integral part of quantitative mineral-resource assessment. As the focus of mineral-deposit modeling has moved from metals to industrial minerals, procedure has been modified and may be sufficient to model surficial sand and gravel deposits. Sand and gravel models are needed to assess resource-supply analyses for planning future development and renewal of infrastructure. Successful modeling of sand and gravel deposits must address (1) deposit volumes and geometries, (2) sizes of fragments within the deposits, (3) physical characteristics of the material, and (4) chemical composition and chemical reactivity of the material. Several models of sand and gravel volumes and geometries have been prepared and suggest the following: Sand and gravel deposits in alluvial fans have a median volume of 35 million m3. Deposits in all other geologic settings have a median volume of 5.4 million m3, a median area of 120 ha, and a median thickness of 4 m. The area of a sand and gravel deposit can be predicted from volume using a regression model (log [area (ha)] =1.47+0.79 log [volume (million m3)]). In similar fashion, the volume of a sand and gravel deposit can be predicted from area using the regression (log [volume (million m3)]=-1.45+1.07 log [area (ha)]). Classifying deposits by fragment size can be done using models of the percentage of sand, gravel, and silt within deposits. A classification scheme based on fragment size is sufficiently general to be applied anywhere. ?? 1994 Oxford University Press.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1994
Title Modeling surficial sand and gravel deposits
DOI 10.1007/BF02259048
Authors J. D. Bliss, N. J. Page
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Nonrenewable Resources
Index ID 70017604
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse