Would a nuclear explosion in a desert really create a sea of glass?
The heat from a nuclear air burst will melt sand into glass. It is dubbed trinitite because it was first seen at that test site. The problem with making a large area of glass is that old devil the law of inverse squares. For any radiating energy, be it sound, heat, light, gamma rays the intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance. That is to say that at distance X the burst has twice the energy required to melt sand then at twice that distance it will have 1/4 as much energy or half the energy required to melt sand.
I don’t know where people get the whole “sea of glass” idea from, but here’s a site with pics of the trinity site, including a couple of pics of the trinitite formed there: http://www.zianet.com/msaxton/NM/trinity/
It clearly does not form a smooth “sea of glass.”