Earthquakes Plus Vaporized Water Equal Gold?

 (Aussie geophysicist Dion Weatherely.)

I'm not a news junkie. In fact, I don't listen to news on the radio or watch it on TV, nor do I subscribe to any newspapers or magazines. I won't go into all the reasons why this is so, but suffice it to say I don't think the popular media has much credibility these days and I just got tired of their biased, politically correct bullshit.

Due to my choices in this regard, I often have to depend on others for the "news." That's how I came to write this post actually. Had it not been for "Bedrock Dreams" supporters and miners like Gary, Stan M., Sam G., "Rattlesnake" Jim, and others I wouldn't have known anything at all about this new theory of gold formation. My sincere thanks to all of you.

Highly Plausible

In a March 17th, 2013 article in the scientific publication Nature Geoscience, Australian geophysicist Dion Weathereley and his co-author, Richard Henley, proposed the theory that vaporized water in earthquake-induced fracture faults can create gold. Although not exactly rushing to jump on the bandwagon in large numbers, other earth scientists and researchers say Weatherley's theory is highly plausible as a mechanism for the link between gold and quartz.

Gold Concentrates
Gold Pans
Gold Concentrators

Gold and quartz? A possible link? With all due respect to Weatherely, Henley, and other earth scientists, even without fancy degrees or titles, gold prospectors and miners have been fully aware of that link for hundreds of years now. Duh!

Yes, I know that these Aussies are implying that earthquakes and vaporized water in fracture faults are their central theory here, not the relationship between gold and quartz. But I couldn't resist the opportunity to throw that little dig in somewhere. It's just how I roll...

Faults and "Jogs"

According to Weathereley and Henley when an earthquake occurs its energy moves and eventually dissipates along ruptures or faults. Larger faults can have scores or even hundreds of smaller cracks or fractures along their lengths connected by rectangular voids known as "jogs." In many instances water fills in part or all of the smaller faults and their associated jogs.

 (Close up of gold in quartz.)

The water that lubricates the faults and jogs contains large amounts of silica, carbon dioxide, and gold in solution (chemical state). All of these elements are "cooking" deep within the earth under incredible heat and pressure. During earthquakes, fault jogs can rupture with a tremendous amount of force, much like a pressure cooker's lid blowing off. When they do, the water or solutions inside them instantly vaporize into a type of highly mineralized steam which forces out the silica (quartz) and the gold.

"Flash Vaporization" and Nano-Particles

Before you get too excited about this new scientific theory, you may want to know the amount of gold created through this earthquake "flash vaporization" process. Apparently, it's quite small...somewhere on the order of one part per million of gold to underground water or solution. However, if a guy or gal could stick around for another 100,000 years or so, these "nano-particles" of quartz and gold could coalesce into a significant deposit. I don't know about you, but I don't think that's going to work out for me personally.

Anyhoo, you gotta love these Aussies...they keep coming up with new ways to look at the mysteries of gold mineralization, formation, and deposition.

Good on ya Mates!

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Large Nuggets in Australia (Part 1)"

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2013

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