Tips on "Seeing" Where the Gold Is (Part 5)

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Here is the 5th installment of my post series titled, "Tips on 'Seeing' Where the Gold Is:"

Tip Number 5: Still Waters are Golden

Inside bends (as productive as they can be from a placer gold deposition standpoint) are NOT the only low-pressure stream areas that have the capacity for attracting significant amounts of gold. In fact, just about any area of a stream where water flow rates slow down or "still" significantly can be productive to work.

This is especially true if that low-pressure area is positioned immediately downstream from a high-pressure area (rapids, "runs," etc.). Remember, the greatest amounts of gold and the heaviest pieces find it hard to bump their way along a stream bottom unless the water flow is capable of forcing that movement in no uncertain manner.

When that high-pressure flow transforms abruptly into a low-pressure flow, guess what happens to most of gold being carried in that fast water? If you said, "It drops!" good on ya Mate!

Essentially, that is exactly what happens. That said, here are a couple of exceptions to this rule of thumb.

First, if a low-pressure area lies directly below a waterfall of any consequence don't count on striking it rich any time soon. Any gold being tumbled over that fall will not be deposited directly beneath the turbulent water under the fall but will be swept further downstream into calmer waters.

Note here that in my 30+ years of mining I have never made any decent gold recoveries near waterfalls. By comparison, I've worked some steep drop offs in dry placer areas that were quite productive. (But then dry placers can be a whole different ball game if you haven't already learned that important lesson.)

Get a Safety Kit and Stay Safe!

The second exception concerning the fast flow rate to slow flow rate deposition factor is this. If the low-pressure or slow water area directly downstream from the fast water stretch lies in a straight line and is not part of highly fractured bedrock, an inside bend, or does not contain major obstructions, I have 2 words for you. "Forget it."

Conversely, if those still waters below the raging currents contain any or all of the above-mentioned physical characteristics, then it's time to get some gold my friend. Perhaps lots of it.

What's the final analysis here? Still waters don't run deep. They are golden.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Tips on Seeing Where the Gold Is (Part 4)"

(c) J.R. 2009

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