Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

As D-Day anniversary approaches, new geological insights

Date:
May 24, 2012
Source:
University of Texas at Austin
Summary:
Two geology professors have discovered tiny bits of shrapnel and other microscopic remnants of the D-Day invasion in samples of sand collected on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. The scientists were surprised that these tiny traces survived for decades despite the scouring action of sand and waves, and the rusting action of seawater.

Scanning electron microscope image of shrapnel grains and an iron bead, remnants of the D-Day invasion.
Credit: Earle McBride/Dane Picard

Two geology professors have discovered tiny bits of shrapnel and other microscopic remnants of the D-Day invasion in samples of sand collected on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. The scientists were surprised that these tiny traces survived for decades despite the scouring action of sand and waves, and the rusting action of seawater.

Now, 68 years after the last gunshots and bomb blasts, with few living witnesses remaining and the beaches long ago picked clean of visible human-made remnants, the sand itself bears witness to that epic battle. Their results were published last September in the journal The Sedimentary Record.

Earle McBride, emeritus professor at The University of Texas at Austin's Jackson School of Geosciences and co-author of the paper, is available for interviews about this chance discovery.

In the early hours of June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops poured from planes and ships onto the heavily fortified shores of Normandy, France. Omaha Beach was one of five Allied landing points along a 50-mile (80-kilometer) stretch of coastline. The battles were bloody and brutal, but by day's end, the Allies had established a beachhead. It proved to be the turning point of the World War II.

The researchers reported that 4 percent of the sand they collected is made up of bits of shrapnel ranging in size from very fine to course (0.06 to 1 millimeter). They also found trace amounts of spherical iron beads and glass beads. Using a scanning electron microscope, they were able to study the shape, texture, and size of all three explosively-produced structure types in greater detail.

McBride's co-author is Dane Picard, emeritus professor at the University of Utah.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas at Austin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Earle F. Mc Bride, M. Dane Picard. Shrapnel in Omaha Beach Sand. The Sedimentary Record, September 2011 DOI: 10.2110/sedred.2011.3.4

Cite This Page:

University of Texas at Austin. "As D-Day anniversary approaches, new geological insights." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 May 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524215125.htm>.
University of Texas at Austin. (2012, May 24). As D-Day anniversary approaches, new geological insights. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524215125.htm
University of Texas at Austin. "As D-Day anniversary approaches, new geological insights." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120524215125.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Where Did The World Trade Center Shipwreck Come From?

Where Did The World Trade Center Shipwreck Come From?

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Scientists say a ship remnant discovered underneath Ground Zero dates back to the 18th century. Why it sank is still uncertain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
London's Famed 'Gherkin' Goes on Sale for 650 Mln

London's Famed 'Gherkin' Goes on Sale for 650 Mln

AFP (July 29, 2014) London's "Gherkin" office tower, one of the landmarks on the British capital's skyline, went on sale for about 650 million ($1.1 billion, 820 million euros) on Tuesday after being placed into receivership. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins