Weathering, Erosion and Placers
April 2017 by Chris RalphThe big interest to prospectors thinking about the effect of erosion is not what might happen long into the future, but what they might find in the rivers later this summer when the water levels go down.
Potholes in bedrock can trap placer minerals and even be glory holes. They are, at least, interesting geologic phenomena, and at best, a treasure trove of gold nuggets.
My wife Dorothy has always enjoyed tent camping. She thought she was really roughing it at established campgrounds until I convinced her to take a trip with me to drywash for gold in a remote corner of an arid desert wilderness...
The call of gold is a strong one and it has pulled men from every corner of the planet. That said, I guess it’s now my turn to chase far away gold.
The first and most important thing of the sampling process is to try to be as unbiased as possible. There is a natural tendency to select rock that looks the best—even unconsciously.
Several areas came to mind, but each was eliminated for one reason or another. One that seemed to be hanging on was the old historic mining town called Placerville.
As I started walking down to the river one chilly morning, the mist was hanging over the calm portions of the water like a white cotton blanket. This scene got me to thinking about why the river was like that—the deep pools, boulder fields, gravel bars, the effects of how much water was moving at any given time along the watercourse—and most of all the relationship all these things have on where I will be able to find gold.
I am going to suggest dozens of ways you can increase suction power, dredge to greater depths, and improve recovery methods in your sluice box.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts: Is an XRF gun useful for prospecting and mineral identification? • Ask The Experts: Is this deposit worth working? • Ask The Experts: Can a long range locator probe detect gold in quartz? • The PIGMI—a DIY Crevice Tool • Diary of a Diamond Prospector • The Ups and Downs of Nugget Hunting • Epithermal Gold and Silver Deposits • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices