The combined use of size analysis and electron microscopy has indicated the presence of beach sands within the Lower Carboniferous Fell Sandstone of southeast Scotland and northern England.

Environmental interpretations are based on a comparison of the statistical parameters summarizing the size distributions of the Fell Sandstone specimens with similar data from modern sediments. The spread of standard-deviation values (sorting coefficients) indicates the presence of littoral, alluvial, and possibly offshore marine environments within the Fell Sandstone. These environments are further defined by plotting standard deviation against skewness on a scatter diagram.

Electron micrographs (E.M.G.'s) of the quartz grain surface textures of selected Fell Sandstone specimens corroborate the interpretations based on the size analysis.

E.M.G.'s of the Fell Sandstone beach specimens show all the diagnostic surface features developed on modern quartz beach sand grains.