The Depth Debate
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  1. #1
    us
    Oct 2005
    Northern, Michigan
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    The Depth Debate

    In my opinion, this really is a GREAT subject and it never really seems to get it's just attention. To this day I've not found any conclusive scientific study data in regard to this issue.

    To be frank (I'm really Badger), I think the depth of any lost object is determined by many known and unknown LOCAL factors. That is, I no longer believe it's so much about DOES an item sink or rise--but rather it's all about WHY are lost objects found at a certain depth at a certain location?

    The WHY is really the important thing because this WHY tells me how to hunt for the other potential finds in that area.

    Examples:

    One major WHY is landfill and another could be low ground that catches the run-off from higher ground. Yet another could be a sandy area subject to extreme sand moving winds. And finally, another WHY could be plowing.

    I've found that in some areas items go deeper and deeper over time (ancient dig sites). The WHY for this usually is caused by run-off or wind driven sands.

    Here in Michigan I hunt fields that have probably never been plowed. The land was cleared for the storage of logs and building of houses. Today these fields are covered with very tall thick grass and the coins can be 150 years old and 1 inch deep. Most are usually 3 to 4 inches deep. I've dug early 19th century tools just barely under the surface.

    The WHY is no nearby hills for run-off or sand to blow. Also, no traffic on the surface to drive items deep during muddy weather.

    What about very old items laying on the surface? This week I found a 170+ year old iron knife laying on the surface. The WHY was it was in a water run-off area. The movement of water from rains kept this relic near the surface. This is one reason why one should always hunt sloping areas near low ground known to produce finds.

    Now if anyone bothered to read all this thanks!
    "Everything is an anomaly" Michigan Badger

  2. #2
    us
    Dec 2004
    Troy X5
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    Re: The Depth Battle

    #8 reader
    All animals are equal, but some are more equal then others. -George Orwell

  3. #3
    ZumbroKid

    Re: The Depth Battle

    Any thought about the size of an object and how close to the surface it is found? Someone has read your post. it is good forum members like you who create topics that are related to detecting. You are a credit to the site.

  4. #4
    us
    Looking for that ONE find.

    Nov 2005
    South Central Kansas
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    Re: The Depth Battle

    Now that you brought it up. I never thought objects sunk in the ground. Earth science explains that. A good example is your side walks. They do not sink the grass and other matter builds up and decays. This in turn builds the yard up and makes the side walks look like they are sinking. WTG Badger. Burdie

  5. #5

    May 2006
    42

    Re: The Depth Battle

    What I never understood is... if the ground is being built up, what is it being built from? Matter cannot be created. The grass must be composed of the contents of the soil beneath it... how does it build up like it does?

  6. #6
    us
    Oct 2005
    Summerville, South Carolina
    Tesoro "Eldorado", Whites "Beach Hunter ID",
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    Re: The Depth Battle

    Where is Mr Wizard when you need him, Art...

  7. #7
    us
    Director-Search & Recovery Team of Oakland County.

    Aug 2005
    In Michigan now.
    Excal 1000, Excal II, Sovereign GT, CZ-20, Tiger Shark, Tejon, GTI 1500, Surfmaster Pulse, CZ6a, DFX, AT PRO, Fisher 1235, Surf PI Pro, 1280-X, many more because I enjoy learning them. New Garrett Ca
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    Re: The Depth Battle

    Ground is built up from decayed plants, soil erosion, etc. This added material is what is built up. There is also some settling of objects on the ground. I asked Mr. Wizard on Ask.com
    (C) Sandman, 2005. All Rights Reserved.
    "TIME IS THE ONLY THING YOU NEVER GET BACK, WHY WASTE IT SWINGING A DETECTOR THAT ISN'T UP TO THE TASK."

  8. #8
    us
    May 2006
    Corrodedlargecentville
    Tesoro
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    Re: The Depth Battle

    Quote Originally Posted by catlord17
    What I never understood is... if the ground is being built up, what is it being built from? Matter cannot be created. The grass must be composed of the contents of the soil beneath it... how does it build up like it does?
    That is a very good point... hmmm I have been wondering about this too...

    If a coin is lying on the ground, the grass grows up around it, taking nutrients out of the soil and placing them spatially above the coin (as part of the grass structure). Non-organic components of the soil stay where they are, but the organic components go into building up the grass. When the grass is cut or dies, now this falls on top of the coin. So I guess it can still bury a coin that way.

  9. #9

    Aug 2005
    Eastern UP, Michigan
    933
    43 times

    Re: The Depth Battle

    One thing is for certain... here in the desert, nothing goes anywhere. I pick up brass from the Pancho Villa days right on top of the ground. This is from 90 years ago. Unless I am hunting washes or the grass in the park, I can almost leave my 2500 sitting here in my office. In general, after a couple years of hunting out here, I have discovered that there is nothing to be dug if I am going to the flat areas here in the desert; I leave my machine in the Jeep. Finding relics here is nuts anyway. Nothing goes away. One thousand years ago some Apache dropped a three inch piece of barbed wire and it is STILL laying right there on top of the ground and is still a piece of three inch long barbed wire. You guys that live where there is moisture SHOULD be thankful. Weather gets rid of SOOOOOOO much trash for you.

    As for lawns sucking up sidewalks. Catlord is correct, matter can be neither created nor destroyed. Although this isn't the exact application of this law, it is still sorta correct. Let's not forget the trapping effect of grass. As the wind blows dust and dirt across our lawns, the grass traps it and this causes some of the buildup... even more so if the grass is wet or taller.
    Garrett 2500 Pro, Cobra Beach Magnet, Bullseye 140mm, and a Magnet on a stick.

  10. #10
    us
    Oct 2005
    Northern, Michigan
    willow stick
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    Re: The Depth Battle

    Quote Originally Posted by DigEmAll
    One thing is for certain... here in the desert, nothing goes anywhere. I pick up brass from the Pancho Villa days right on top of the ground. This is from 90 years ago. Unless I am hunting washes or the grass in the park, I can almost leave my 2500 sitting here in my office. In general, after a couple years of hunting out here, I have discovered that there is nothing to be dug if I am going to the flat areas here in the desert; I leave my machine in the Jeep. Finding relics here is nuts anyway. Nothing goes away. One thousand years ago some Apache dropped a three inch piece of barbed wire and it is STILL laying right there on top of the ground and is still a piece of three inch long barbed wire. You guys that live where there is moisture SHOULD be thankful. Weather gets rid of SOOOOOOO much trash for you.

    As for lawns sucking up sidewalks. Catlord is correct, matter can be neither created nor destroyed. Although this isn't the exact application of this law, it is still sorta correct. Let's not forget the trapping effect of grass. As the wind blows dust and dirt across our lawns, the grass traps it and this causes some of the buildup... even more so if the grass is wet or taller.
    Great post!

    This is why I started this thread with the "why" thing. For treasure hunters the question really isn't so much DO relics sink or swim..it's really WHY are they at a certain depth in a certain location.

    In the past I thought all relics sunk at a certain rate. I must admit that I was only allowing what some had told me to influence my thinking. I mean it sounds logical, doesn't it?

    But since coming here to treasurenet and reading all the views I've been paying closer attention to what I'm actually finding out there in the real world of treasure hunting.

    What I'm discovering is, relics don't really sink...they get covered and in some cases...uncovered again (like at the beach).

    I'm digging iron and brass objects today that have been "lost" for at least 100 years. Some of these weigh over 10 pounds and are found in very furtile areas at less than 4 inches deep.

    These are locations with almost no stones and the ground is very soft and rich. The sod can be 8-10 inches thick and the 100+ year old relic suspended 1 to 3 inches down in the sod.

    I have discovered that a theory I've held to for years is wrong. I used to think sod forced relics down to the base of the sod. I've discovered via digs that this isn't true.

    In the field one can dig round smooth musket balls at 3 inches deep and in the same field find balls from the same era at 12 inches deep. Why the difference? I now think it's mainly due to run-off from higher ground.

    Do you guys see what I'm getting at here?

    Badger
    "Everything is an anomaly" Michigan Badger

  11. #11
    us
    May 2006
    Corrodedlargecentville
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    Re: The Depth Debate

    Great posts on this interesting topic. Badger, I think you might be on to something there with the runoff theory. I've noticed that, too... objects from the same era are sometimes at very different depths.

    At one site I was hunting recently, I found 100+ year-old relics at 3 1/2 to 4 inches, yet just 10 feet away, there was a 1947 wheat penny at 8". I did notice some low areas of the old yard where it looked as though water runoff had been flowing over the years.

    I still wouldn't doubt that settling can occur when it gets really muddy to the point that the ground is semi-liquid. Especially with people walking or driving on the mud.


  12. #12
    JW
    JW is offline
    us
    DemoExpert

    Apr 2005
    No. California
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    Re: The Depth Debate

    We get almost 3' of rain a year and on fields where activities occur you can find oldies from 2-14". I imagine that the gophers may push stuff up every once and a while to the 2" range but it never ceases to amaze me just how darn random the depths of objects are around here. I would say that soil make up has a lot to do with how deep the coin can go but sometimes even that theory gets shot down. Foot traffic tends to push coins into the soil but after they are burried how could feet affect it too much more, just seems like they would compact the soil and stop the decent of the coin...

    Great topic, cool responses, strange stuff those coins and relics tend to do... Neat to hear about it from lots of different places and people.

    HH

    JW

  13. #13
    us
    May 2006
    Corrodedlargecentville
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    Re: The Depth Debate

    Quote Originally Posted by JW
    Foot traffic tends to push coins into the soil but after they are burried how could feet affect it too much more, just seems like they would compact the soil and stop the decent of the coin...
    I agree. Once they get beyond maybe 3 inches, I'd imagine there must be other factors at work.

    Now that I've dug my first (or second or third) 18" deep hole into packed clay soil, I realize I'm not entirely thrilled to be finding things that deep. Maybe we need more gophers to push the stuff upward.


 

 

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