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Jin

Detecting At Certain Sea Levels For Gold

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Something I heard recently, was many prospectors don't detect lower than a certain sea level in a given area. Well, that was news to me and I said to the guy that told me  "at what level would that be?" He said different levels for different areas. ( he said around 260 meters above sea level for the particular area we were in at the time)

I then meet someone else who said: "yes that's something that some people follow." He explained his theory but unfortunately, I only grasped half of what he was saying. I've been thinking about this and wonder why the levels one would detect at would matter. 

*Originally a lot of Victoria was underwater (ocean). I'm not sure if all the sea water had departed from the area before the period in which gold was being formed in.

The only reason I can think of,  is if the water was still present then as the gold got washed off the hills and came into contact with the water it slowed down immensely and the gold dropped out and stayed at that sea level. Just like when a river that's skinny widens out the flow slows down and the gold drops out.

The other idea and along the lines of what the second guy thought was that gold cools at different temperatures than other metals and when it reached the level that was covered in water it cooled down at that level and formed in the host rocks. 

Anyway, hope this isn't a stupid question and someone could explain it a little better.  (I asked someone else and never got a reply so I thought id ask here.) 

 

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I think the elevation of deposition has more to do with geologic forces than water level...there are gold areas in California that might be defined by elevation. There are other factors besides...

in other words-no simple answers.

fred

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4 hours ago, Jin said:

The only reason I can think of,  is if the water was still present then as the gold got washed off the hills and came into contact with the water it slowed down immensely and the gold dropped out and stayed at that sea level. Just like when a river that's skinny widens out the flow slows down and the gold drops out.

That's correct, Jin :smile:

Higher sea levels meant auriferous paleochannels formed deltas where they met the shorelines of the time. For example, the Murray basin was an inland sea during much of the Tertiary epoch.

The problem, however, is the shoreline changed as the seas retreated - and the auriferous gravel deposits moved with it. This means that there is no particularly enriched contour elevation for prospectors to follow. Nonetheless, I've discovered certain elevations are noticeably consistent for alluvial gold. Now, I could tell you, but then I'd have to ---  well, you know the rest!  :biggrin:

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3 hours ago, jrbeatty said:

That's correct, Jin :smile:

Higher sea levels meant auriferous paleochannels formed deltas where they met the shorelines of the time. For example, the Murray basin was an inland sea during much of the Tertiary epoch.

The problem, however, is the shoreline changed as the seas retreated - and the auriferous gravel deposits moved with it. This means that there is no particularly enriched contour elevation for prospectors to follow. Nonetheless, I've discovered certain elevations are noticeably consistent for alluvial gold. Now, I could tell you, but then I'd have to ---  well, you know the rest!  :biggrin:

 

Thanks for at least confirming my thoughts JR on the wash meeting the sea idea. Wonder why I was told people detect at certain levels if there is no particular contour level for prospectors to follow?:unsure: Anyway, from now on I'm taking notes on the different contour levels i find gold at to see if some sort of pattern forms.

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That’s why it’s very important to accurately mark all finds in my opinion.  There is one area in WA where after mapping for 2 years we worked out basically all nugget patches where between 600 and 650m elevation.

Most other areas are more line of strike over here, and not altitude.  But it did work very well in that one area.

I have heard lots of theories over the years, there was one dude who always went to the south west side of ridges, his theory was that was the way the glaciers retreated.  Each to their own, it’s whatever works I reckon.

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Jin, so glad you brought this topic up, as it’s one I’ve given some thought to recently.

Probably most of us have heard the expression, “There’s gold in them thar hills!”

In light of that expression — and the thing that’s been on my mind recently — is the fact that almost all gold prospecting videos I’ve seen take place in flat areas. (True, those flat areas may or may not be at high elevations.)

Is gold actually frequently found in hills/mountains? If so, I would assume that the sheer difficulty of climbing up such elevations while swinging detectors that can weigh over 8 lbs. is the main reason why prospectors tend to focus more on scouring more level terrain for gold.

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I assure you that there are multitudes of placers on very rough hills, mountains and cliff type structures...Desert areas in Az, Nevada and California are relatively flat in spots. Much of Oz that I have been in is very easy walking...

But, I have climbed many a rocky mountain, turned to look back and said...what the H am I doing way up here...gold is where you find it-sometimes easy, sometimes not so much!

fred

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Not only old sea levels but also old lake levels & ancient now long gone river channels & levels. Quite a few places I detect that are now high hills & mountains are up lifted penny planes & old lake bed material lifted way up. Very fine gold being on the fringes of where the lake edge lapped the shore line & at junctions where river systems came down from the hills as the land was pushed up & flowed into the lake. Also some very rich deposits found along the fault zone of the up lift & old lake "edge". These being from deep lake sediments dragged up as the fault lifted & the lake waters lapping at the edge acted like when you back pan fines concentrating the fine gold.

Then of course there are glacial deposits thrown in as well along with the usual reef erosion deposits gravitating down hill...... Throw all of the above combinations in together &.........you have to really scratch your head to try to make any sense of the deposits today.  I have all but given up trying to work out where the sources may have been or where the gold came from, but just wonder over the hills swinging my detector.:rolleyes: Cheers.

Good luck out there

JW :smile:

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I`m with TK, mark each find using GPS, it will help you see a trend, whether it is altitude or on a particular side of slopes, usually a relationship to a particular feature is revealed by this. Particularly when you can view and compare finds on topo and geo maps and now days Google earth as well, but remember this is only an indicator and there may be those patches that are "rogues", that send you back to the drawing board. Maybe with more saves you`ll realize you just missed a relationship with a feature, maybe you never will.

I am very fortunate that I started doing such religiously when the hand-held GPS first become available. That databank of find waypoints down the track is invaluable, thus I recommend to all young fellows getting started in this game, always save those waypoints, pondering over maps with a lot of waypoints can help you avoid cabin fever at the least but in time lead you to more of that magic yellow. 

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Jin,

I've posted elsewhere about beaches and energy.  When there is no energy the valuable objects are not moved into the tidal areas on my beaches here in Southern California.  When we had the El Nino a couple of years ago there were many areas with lots of rings and valuables that were washed up because of the short interval waves for many weeks.  What if you had a lake or ocean level for a few hundred thousand years doing the same thing with natural gold and then that sea dropped away.  You could have both deep gold that stopped at the shoreline and you could have other gold pay streaks that were brought back up by the energy in the waves at the time.

We have been told that one area where we hunt in Rye Patch, Nevada had an ancient lake and that shoreline held enough gold for us to target it as a pattern.  It has been hunted extensively below the source gold at the ancient lake level at that elevation and I think the pattern produced.

Mitchel

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