Tips on "Seeing" Where the Gold Is (Part 4)

Here is installment number four of my series of posts on "seeing" where the gold is:

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Tip Number 4: Gold Loves Inside Bends
Most of you already know that the inside bends of streams are likely gold deposition points. In fact, we briefly touched on this subject in the previous post of this series (see the link at the bottom of the page).
That said, how many of you know exactly why gold loves inside bends (inside curves, if you prefer)? If you said "because the water slows down there" you are correct and to be commended. But if you said "because inside bends are the quintessential stream hydraulic low pressure points" you win the "Old Sourdough Nugget Award" for the day!
Stream hydraulics/hydrology and the physics of gold deposition are, for the most part, exact sciences that can be observed, studied, tested, and validated. The more you learn about the scientific aspects of these important issues the more successful you'll be as a placer gold miner, pure and simple.
Let's take a closer look at the structure and dynamics of inside bends. If you were to closely observe the water flow in and around an inside bend one of the first things you would notice in terms of stream hydraulics is that the water flow rate is much faster on the outside of the curve or bend. Any placer gold entrapped here (typically fines and very small flakes) will quickly be swirled past until it meets the next low-pressure area of the stream (e.g., perhaps the next inside bend, or?).
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Now peer closely at the water movement at the very inside of the bend you are examining. What's the water flow rate? Much slower isn't it, sometimes almost reaching a near standstill. If we follow the gold deposition standpoint I established in Part 3 of this series that paystreaks tend to follow specific patterns, try answering the following questions (not for my benefit, but for yours):
Where would the heaviest and largest pieces of gold likely be found between the most inside point of that inside bend and and it's much faster counterpart on the extreme outside of that bend?
Next, where would the highest amount concentrations of gold be between the extreme inside and outside?
Finally, what differences would take place in gold deposition and recovery values as you worked your way from the slow water in the extreme inside of the bend to its high-flow rate counterpart on the outside?
Stop and think about these questions a bit before answering them and try and develop a mental image of what is taking place at this inside bend in terms of actual gold deposition and paystreak development. If you can conjure up a clear mental image of what's taking place and answer these questions using that image, then I have nothing on you 'Pard. You get it...
Gold loves inside bends.
Until next time, be safe and may yellow metal fill your pan.
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If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Tips on 'Seeing' Where the Gold Is (part 3)"
(c) J.R. 2009
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