Detecting Alluvial Bench Deposits
February 2017 by Reese TownesThe same questions you ask yourself about gold trapping features in the present stream can be applied to the benches above the stream. Just imagine the stream at a much earlier time, before it cut its way down to the present level…
There are times when being able to recognize a type of rock can make you a much more successful prospector.
Our destination was some old hydraulic workings where the old miners had washed literally mountains of material away to expose gold in ancient river channels.
I knew the nuggets got into the nugget patch somehow, I just had to figure out how and from what direction they came.
Perhaps the most notable thing about skim placers is that they form on the top surface of gravel bars, as opposed to coarser gold placers where the weight of the gold particles allows the gold to settle down on or near bedrock.
“I heard him hollering down in the hole as soon as I got there,” he said. “I was just glad to see him alive.”
His take of gold was pretty close to what mine was—about a quarter of an ounce. We had just gleaned about half an ounce of gold in just twenty minutes.
Across and downstream of our operation was a large pile of huge boulders. It was logical to think that water forces may have deposited gold in and around these boulders. We moved our dredge over and started pulling the rock pile apart.
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