Student Research Projects

SEM-EDS Analysis of Jaco and Manuel Antonio Sand Particles

Student Lindsey Inzna, ‘14
Department Biology
Course BIO 489: Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)


The purpose of this research was to compare and analyze the elemental composition of the sand samples from the Costa Rican beaches of Jaco and Manuel Antonio. The sand particles were observed based on the textural and elemental compositions. The elements detected within the samples included oxygen, carbon, iron, calcium, silicon, traces of titanium, aluminum, magnesium, and silver. The analysis of the sand particles illustrated the characteristic elements of sand. However, the silver particles were only found in the Jaco sand sample in extremely small quantities. The elemental composition of the sand particles were uniform throughout both the Jaco and Manuel Antonio samples, and the trace amount of silver on the Jaco particles is thought to be native silver.