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Thread: Nor-Cal placer question

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  1. #1

    May 2017
    Napa, California
    8
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Nor-Cal placer question

    Did the rain that we received this year produce enough flow to move the placer in the rivers such as the Bear or American?

    Iím from the bay so never get a chance to see the water move.

    Thanks!!!!

  2. #2
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
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    moved over burden out of the way in some spots... added more in others. Water is still high right now nothing is moving though .

    It's land slides and really major floods ripping out the rivers guts that move stuff. Even last year wasn't quite that big.
    et1955 and Smithsgold like this.

  3. #3

    Feb 2014
    818
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    It was not, nor was last year, a gold moving season. It may have moved some flood gold and added a little gold in isolated areas due to land slides etc. but not enough to shake things up. You really need 500 year or greater floods. 2006 was almost a gold moving season in some areas. A gold moving season or event may only occur a couple of times a century at best

    ratled
    Never confuse motion with progress


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  4. #4
    us
    Jeff

    Oct 2005
    Northern California
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    What you need to do is find an open area to prospect and take pictures of the river and each season return and take new pictures to see how the area you are working has changed. Take pictures at High water and low water things change on the river a lot but most are just small changes.
    Hope this helps,

    Jeff
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  5. #5
    us
    Jun 2013
    El Dorado County
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    last year was the most rain california has seen in 100 years, impressive but not enough. as mentioned above it would take a 500-1000 year storm to do anything. The one they had in 1860? I forget the exact year but downtown sacramento was under water. That storm probably did a lot especially given the time period with so much more gold to move. More important for us modern day miners is drought! which allows us to get closer to the center of the rivers where most of the remaining gold is gonna be. I know drought is bad but.... im kinda looking forward to the next one!
    Last edited by mytimetoshine; Apr 15, 2018 at 10:49 PM.
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  6. #6

    Feb 2014
    818
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    It really comes down to what you consider Nor Cal. To me that means the Feather, Shasta, Trinity and Klamath as your major gold bearing waterways and their tributaries. Dec 2005/ Jan 2006 hammered parts of the Klamath just upstream of the Trinity confluence but it thinned out at the confluence and parts of the Shasta at Dunsmuir were almost a gold moving event then too. To be a gold moving event we are talking about the biggest of the big boulders moving. These break up parts the bedrock and re-stratify the stream bed.

    Not all parts of the river gravels may be put into play on every gold moving event. For the Klamath and the Trinity the last time was the 1997 flood. There is a very distinct flood layer that can pay well even though the bedrock has been "mined out" in some places beneath it. This is a melted chocolate color flood layer and sometimes has a purple tint to it. Pay attention to the colors of flood layers so when you talk to others you know what to look for. Not every flood layer is a pay layer.

    Most seasons, even the heaviest season, are NOT gold moving as there is a lot of water over the whole season. What really moves gold is is the isolated storm events, a lot of water plus a butt load more in a short period of time is what it takes to move gold. For the areas that I mine in Nor Cal most gold moving events occurred during low water seasons or even droughts. These typically occur when there are fewer storms for the season but the storms were greater in intensity. Most of these occurred from a 1-2 punch. An arctic snow storm would occur followed by a Pineapple Express. When this occurs the water level is lower than normal at that time due to the low water season, the arctic storm would be colder than normal that would lay down a nice base of snow that wouldn't melt as fast due to the arctic effect. The Pineapple Express, which tends to be wetter, runs in with warmer air and water which melts all that snow that was just laid down. You wind up with basically 2 storms worth of water instantly going downstream. I have a major bridge that was washed downstream over a mile on one of my claims from such an event. Turned it into a ball of discarded erector set pieces like it was nothing! If the flood can do that then moving even the biggest of nuggets don't stand a chance. That said, it didn't break up all of the stream bed as there is still virgin pack under that flood layer in many places!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The power of this is extraordinary to say the least. Typically winter storms may get to 20-30 times summer flows but won't move gold. On some of my claims we typically see a 40-50+ x summer flows once a winter but that still won't move the gold. You really need 100+ x the summer flows to have an impact. There are always exceptions to this so you must dig through the history books to get the info. Talk to as many of the old timers still left for a wealth of info to learn the color of the flood layers worth checking out.

    Modern dammed rivers rarely, if ever, have gold moving events anymore unless the dam itself lets go. Even when they do a “super flush” from the dam to help out poor Sammy the Salmon for spawning these only break up the overburden.

    Sorry about the long response – you asked what time it is and I built you a watch instead – but it is nice to be chatting about mining again!

    ratled
    Last edited by ratled; Apr 15, 2018 at 11:55 PM.
    et1955, calnatv, wildminer and 6 others like this.
    Never confuse motion with progress


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  7. #7
    us
    Mar 2011
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    A several years ago while dredging I hit a decent pocket under the 97 flood layer. I was down several feet in the gravel and hit a layer of leaves, pine cones etc. just above bed rock.Thinking I punched into a bad spot, I cleared it out and it looked like I was staring into a jewelry case. Pickers strewn every where
    wildminer, arizau, ratled and 6 others like this.

  8. #8
    bug
    bug is offline

    Jun 2008
    Nor Cal
    147
    180 times
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    last year cleared out a lot of creeks and kicked up some good nuggets but this year was a bust except for the one flash flood storm, which only lasted about half a day.
    Minimal gravel was moved around from what I've seen in so far. I agree we need a sustained 500 year plus flood to really move the boulders around and rip into the clay layers.
    Last edited by bug; Apr 16, 2018 at 01:07 PM.

  9. #9
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bug View Post
    last year cleared out a lot of creeks and kicked up some good nuggets but this year was a bust except for the one flash flood storm, which only lasted about half a day.
    Minimal gravel was moved around from what I've seen in so far. I agree we need a sustained 500 year plus flood to really move the boulders around and rip into the clay layers.
    yes. creeks are different. Just like their gold it varies from creek to creek as well. Cloudbursts, tributaries type of material to be moved, local terrain. For my creek slate has fallen off the edges some and tailings and some of my hand stacks moved. I wish it would blow out. Not that lucky yet.

    What has happened with the gravels and stream bed staying wet so long last year and again this year. Is the growth of grass and all the small perennials other plants vines, poison oak are all going full jungle mode.
    ratled and et1955 like this.

  10. #10
    us
    Sep 2013
    Motherlode, CA
    Gold Bug Pro
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    Can't speak for the Bear, but this weekend I hosted 20 of our members at one of our claims that we visited back in February. Man, what a difference. One specific area at the upstream part of the claim we worked extensively two years ago. We followed the bedrock into down into the bank. Standing next to the bank, we were about 4 feet deep. After the storms a few weeks ago, this area was completely filled back in and then some. I have never seen a creek change so drastically. Areas that were 6-12 inches water depth are now 3 feet to bedrock. Areas that were 2-4 feet deep to bedrock are now 6-12 inches deep backfilled with new gravels. This place should be great in late summer/early fall for crevasing. I didn't work either of these locations as I had to finish working a hole I started back in February.

    In summary, the March storms made some drastic changes to the creeks and streams around Tuolumne County.
    Aufisher and 63bkpkr like this.

  11. #11

    Apr 2016
    186
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    We need some floods again like that of 95-97
    et1955 likes this.

  12. #12
    us
    Dec 2013
    N. California
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrandedSailor View Post
    Did the rain that we received this year produce enough flow to move the placer in the rivers such as the Bear or American?

    I’m from the bay so never get a chance to see the water move.

    Thanks!!!!
    Here is a Dreamflow link. Every river and large creek in Ca. Check the flow before you go. Dreamflows Report
    Aufisher and Goldwasher like this.

  13. #13
    us
    Brian

    Mar 2014
    Central Oregon Coast
    Whites GMT Garret fully underwater
    831
    1863 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by StrandedSailor View Post
    Did the rain that we received this year produce enough flow to move the placer in the rivers such as the Bear or American?

    I’m from the bay so never get a chance to see the water move.

    Thanks!!!!
    There are two movement issues you want to focus your attention to. The movement of placer gold is no doubt requiring extensive flood characteristics.....as once the gold is set to bedrock it is pretty well fixed. Of course the aggregates above bedrock can carry gold and it moves often and is most generally referred to as flood gold. Slides can introduce gold as well as erosion of stream/riverbanks. What one might want to focus on is the movement removal of overburden exposing bedrock (or making the overburden not as thick). Finding areas that have been stripped of overburden gravels leaving extensive bedrock exposed can be very rewarding. The gold did not move, but rather the overburden did leaving the gold easily accessible.

    Bejay

  14. #14
    us
    Northern California

    Aug 2007
    Southern California
    XLT, GMT, 6000D Coinmaster
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    Well, here are graphic displays of 2017 NFAR flow compared to 2018 NFAR flow to date:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    2017 had a lot of water running down the NFAR till late in the summer where as 2018 so far has low water flowing but it's late April and more snow/rain could fall in May. The question of how much water does it take to move "stuff" also depends on where you are along any given creek/river and how much Au has dropped off any given mountain side due to what amount of earth movement. And of course, Au is where you find it! Good luck to all this season........................63bkpkr
    goldenmojo likes this.
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