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Thread: Gold migration in submerged soils

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  1. #1

    Nov 2012
    160
    144 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Gold migration in submerged soils

    What I have is a steep sided gulch with a pretty straight run, hard rock mines up above, that makes a bend just above where two ridges come together and the stream has eroded a gap between them. I believe there is a bedrock dam in place across the stream between the ridges that backs up groundwater in a depression on the bend. I would think that any gold coming down the gulch would end up in the hole above the bedrock dam and not be able to climb out. Now my problem is that when I dig down I hit water. The water table fluctuates a lot. In wet years it is at the surface but goes down in dry years. we have had a couple years of drought and last summer was able to dig down about 5 and a half feet before hitting water. AS I got about three feet down all the gravel was stained red from iron and I hit the tops of some very large boulders. I ran the gravel in a sluice and didn't find any gold. What I am wondering is would gold in a stagnant pool of soil work it's way to bedrock? Also would the large boulders be on bedrock or suspended? If the drought continues and I am able to get deeper would there be gold below. Since I have not found any gold suspended in the soil I wonder if I'm beating a dead horse or there are riches below. I am in gold country so the chance is there . Any ideas?
    placertogo and russau like this.

  2. #2
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and /home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    1,975
    2855 times
    Prospecting
    One thing you did not tell us is if you have found gold in that gulch upstream from the area you describe. If you have not then you may be beating a dead horse. I would first determine if there is any gold in the gulch by sampling up and down stream before I did any major digging.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by arizau; Feb 22, 2018 at 06:54 PM.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  3. #3
    us
    Aug 2004
    Olympia WA
    Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab SD 2200d, 2.5", 3", 4"and several Keene 5" production dredges, Knelson Centrifuge, Gold screw automatic panner
    835
    1815 times
    Prospecting
    Small dredge or power sluice with a hydroforce nozzle will clean out the hole if the water is too high.
    If there is boulders and larger rocks in the hole then the water is not always stagnant. It take a lot of moving water to move a boulder. Keep in mind that the high water events that formed the creek may have been hundreds or thousands of years ago.
    Last edited by Bonaro; Feb 22, 2018 at 08:29 PM.
    russau likes this.

  4. #4

    Nov 2012
    160
    144 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    There has been placer mining in the gulch in the past, mainly the 1800s and 1930s. As of now it either private ground or staked so sampling is out. I guess my main question is if flood gold hits a low pressure area will the gold slowly work its way to bedrock over a long time or will it stay suspended if the soil is laying in water.

  5. #5

    Sep 2012
    Oregon
    188
    169 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    I think that if there were artesian water willing up from under that spot, the gold would quickly work its way to bedrock, or the spring opening. Even so, I'd think that you'd be finding some gold. Are you finding black sand?

  6. #6
    us
    Aug 2004
    Olympia WA
    Minelab Xterra 70, Minelab SD 2200d, 2.5", 3", 4"and several Keene 5" production dredges, Knelson Centrifuge, Gold screw automatic panner
    835
    1815 times
    Prospecting
    Gold is heavier than anything else of similar size and it will work its way down.
    russau likes this.

  7. #7
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    5,329
    11607 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    without water is "sinks" very... very ..very slowly
    Aufisher likes this.

  8. #8

    Nov 2012
    160
    144 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    If the drought continues I will dig deeper and see what I can find. The boulders are a problem but if I can't go around them I will break them up. The fact that the gravel is a bright red from iron makes me think that it has been sitting in water for a long time. Hopefully I will get to a layer of concentrated gold. If so I could then bring in an excavator but for now I am just prospecting and dreaming.

  9. #9
    gb
    Jan 2018
    Scotland
    Garret
    28
    21 times
    Prospecting
    Water is mechanisim that allows gold to be transported within an alluvium, sediment or stream, there may be other considerably smaller factors such as earthquakes but these are comparatively rare as a transport mechanism
    delnorter likes this.

  10. #10
    us
    Apr 2015
    Oshkosh, WI
    943
    1347 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    An earthquake will tend to liquefy the ground, which in turn, would cause gold to drop to a catching structure (bedrock, hardpack, clay layer) rather quickly.

 

 

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