Where is the "Gold Line" when stream takes a "U Turn?"

Old Dirtbag

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Hello All,

I have been dredging in a tributary of this stream and finding some small flakes and pickers. The main channel of the stream makes a dramatic "U turn" or more like a "V turn" in the river channel. Where should I dredge in hopes of following the "Gold Line" in the sharp turn in the stream?

Any info is greatly appreciated!
 
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Kenmitch

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Disclaimer: Newb to prospecting.

Gold starts depositing when the water flow slows down. Seems like the inside bend prior to the sharp turn would be the logical place to start. I'd search for depressions in the stream bed leading up to and including the turn. Depending on the flow and how the bed looks it might not be a bad idea to sample the outside bend. If the area isn't too large it might be worth dredging the whole bend.
 

KevinInColorado

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You'll likely find 3-10x the gold on the inside of the bend than the outside. Also just upstream of the bend as the water "piles up" upstream of a hard bend during high water events...and drops gold when it piles up.
 

Kenmitch

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On another note....If it's kind of a secluded area dredging in some gold traps might be beneficial in the future. Seems like some stratigectly placed depressions with inconspicuous rock pilings would make a somewhat interesting experiment. Doubt it would really take too much effort if your already down there anyways. Guess it would be more of a strategic rock placing as you'd already have made the depression while dredging.
 

bcfromfl

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I believe you also need to consider the composition of the inside bend. If it's gravel/sand, then the gold line might travel right through it to the other side and pick up back in the river. In this case, you also might note that the upriver side of the bar is made up of heavier material and cobbles, and the downriver side is lighter sand. If the river is bending around a bedrock intrusion, then the gold will likely get blasted around the bend and bets are off...maybe drop off right behind a boulder, etc. Fast water? Slow water?

Doc is a little long-winded sometimes LOL, but he talks a little about an inside bend in this video:
 

deserdog

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Another thing to consider is what the river does during flood stage, when the gold is moving. If the flood stage takes the river way over that bend, the gold might, like another has mentioned, go right through the bend.
 

Hoser John

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Also what was done to the river in days of old? Channelized,hydroed, bucket or dragline? I like to visit on the most horrendous rain flow days and see what the changes are. Recent road built, fires,massive landslides as all matter much to deposition. lots of luck as sample sample sample is the mantra-John
 

Kenmitch

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Also what was done to the river in days of old? Channelized,hydroed, bucket or dragline? I like to visit on the most horrendous rain flow days and see what the changes are. Recent road built, fires,massive landslides as all matter much to deposition. lots of luck as sample sample sample is the mantra-John

That makes a lot of sense.

One of the hardest forms of prospecting is cyber prospecting. You can study maps, view google earth for hours but in the end....Without getting ones feet on the ground in the area in question it's really somewhat impossible to really know where the gold is. The gold that was once where it's supposed to be may be long gone. I'd imagine under certain scenarios past mining could alter the path that gold follows and where it decides to settle. Guess in the end gold is where you find it and not always where it's supposed to be.
 

goldenIrishman

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There are so many different factors that have to be figured in on where gold is going to drop out of the flow it's mind boggling! How sharp is the turn? How fast is the water flowing? What is the size of the gold? What is the shape of the gold? etc etc etc Just the difference between two different pieces of gold is going to change when they drop out of the same flow. Every single rock, pebble and grain of sand is going to have it's say as every one of them changes the flow.

When we look at a stream or river, the brain of a prospector is usually going about 1000 mph trying to figure out where the gold dropped out and became trapped. The actual speed of thought will change with experience.
 
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Old Dirtbag

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Thanks for the info! I will report back with my finds and observations.
 
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Old Dirtbag

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Any tips or advice is always appreciated!
 

Goldwasher

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a sharp bend in a creek is different form an oxbow in how and where they form.

In a creek yes look at the usual inside bend. Chances are however the ground is much harder than where an oxbow forms.

Pay attention to what the bottom of the creek looks like. Be concerned of where the gold was coming from before the bend.
What can catch it on its way in and can it make its way out.

Is the bend there because of the water? Or does the water do what it does at flood "because" the bend is there.

Only the smallest gold gets up off the bottom during flooding.

Your more likely to have material stripped off of a piece of gold and have the gold remain than to have it move far if at all. It seems to leapfrog if anything.

As mentioned during flooding does the water and bed load cross the bend?

Gold is gonna go into that bend and do different things depending on many things. and if it makes it out of the bend without getting bashed apart it will start to concentrate where it is allowed to.

I would follow the gold line if there is one straight through the bend to the opposite bank. Then start sampling like always with no real solid Idea of where it will be next.
 

Kenmitch

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Thanks for the info! I will report back with my finds and observations.

Good luck on your adventure!

I've been trying to picture this areas ever since you've posted the thread. Everything from slowly moving water to viciously moving rapids, giant bolders, cliff liined banks, etc.

Is it possible to describe the areas landscape?

Have you checked around the upper loop area to see if it looks like the water was dammed/diverted across at some point in the past?

Them old timers would do some crazy things diverting water to access the gold rich ground. I remember seeing a 2hr tv special on the CA gold rush. In one place they actually tunneled thru a mountain to divert water away from a waterfall so they could pick it clean. Diverting rivers, streams, creeks seemed somewhat the norm back in the hayday of the Gold Rush.
 
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Old Dirtbag

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The water current is relatively slow now. There is a dam controlling the water flow about 20 miles upstream.

On satillite views of the bend, there are two more filled in "U Turns" below the current creek channel. I mean that you can see where the creek used to flow, but was later filled in with sediment. From space it would look like this, ) ) ). The first curve being the current creek channel and the last two are filled in.
 
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Old Dirtbag

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The water current is relatively slow now. There is a dam controlling the water flow about 20 miles upstream.

On satillite views of the bend, there are two more filled in "U Turns" below the current creek channel. I mean that you can see where the creek used to flow, but was later filled in with sediment. From space it would look like this, ) ) ). The first curve being the current creek channel and the last two are filled in.
 

Kenmitch

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Those filled in channels could have some nice gold in them. Not suction dredgeable but they might be worth sampling to see. If it was me I'd probably be more excited about the oldest creek channel.
 

Goldwasher

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why not dredge-able..? water table can be your friend
 
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Old Dirtbag

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Could there be some formation underground that is making the creek make such a sharp turn?
 

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