Day 34, Science, Theories of Gold Formation in alluvial deposits

frthGold from Fracturing and Weathering

Back in old times, miners believed that gold nuggets resulted from the fracturing and weathering out of gold-bearing vein material that had formed deep within the bowels of the earth at some point in the ancient past. Later on these veins or gold-bearing “sources” were exposed as outcrops and, over time, further reduced in size and coarseness by hydraulic action or erosional factors (in the case of dry or desert placers). The resulting gold nuggets ranged from large, to medium, to small depending on how far they had traveled or how much they’d been “bunged up” along the way.

Over the past decade or so, the research of a new generation of mining engineers, chemists, geologists, and other earth science types has turned the old formation theory on its head to a great degree. In fact, some experts now believe that many gold nuggets and dust are formed some distance away from pre-existing veins and at or very near the earth’s surface…a theory that would’ve left many old timers shaking their heads in disbelief.

If this theory is true, then our Motagua River must have a main vein, deep inside and that vein is feeding the river with gold, if we just find the gold outcrops, something that we have in mind when explore new areas.

cristallyzation of goldCristallization

Crystallization theory proposes the idea that gold nuggets and dust are formed deep underground in very high temperature and intense pressure environments where gold molecules tend to join or “grow” together in elaborate crystalline structures.

As Australian scientist Dr. Rob Hough says, “Previously it was assumed that gold nuggets formed in place where they were found, either precipitated from fluids or grown from microbial action. But all of the gold nuggets we’ve studied have a crystalline structure and silver content that shows they formed at high temperatures.”

Dr. Hough’s research studies also suggest that since very high temperatures and pressures typically don’t occur at the surface of the earth’s crust, gold nuggets and dust (by virtue of this fact) must have originated deep underground. It’s believed that these crystallized nuggets ended up near the surface as a result of large-scale geological, erosional, and weathering factors over long periods of time.

In other words, a wide range of nugget and dust types in terms of coarseness and size can be formed by the crystallization process. Many of these will look like the common placer gold nuggets you’re familiar with already. We’re talking about a birthing and growth process here…not necessarily a “look.” And the gold in Guatemala rivers maybe have formed because of cristallization, due to the Motagua suture with previous high temperature and pressures in its formation, along with the active volcanic belt that we have, in the past they all were  hiperactive, that  have produced gold!!!

Botryococcus_63Oxidation

Quinton Hennigh, an australian miner engineer and scientist, came up with a third theory. He could blow holes in both the placer theory and the epithermal gold theory. He did some studies and realized that due to the acidity, water had the ability to hold in solution some 1,000 to 10,000 times more gold under the conditions of 2.7 billion years ago than today. If that’s true, where did the gold go?

Due to the acidity, 2.7 billion years ago, water had the ability to contain between 4 ppb and 40 ppb. Salt water today contains 4 ppt of gold. At 4 ppb, one cubic km of water could contain 130,000 ounces of gold. At 40 ppb, one cubic km of water could contain 1.3 million ounces of gold. Where did the gold go? It had to go somewhere.

Quinton postulated that like iron before it, the gold precipitated out of solution with the chemical changes of the GOE. The GOE or Great Oxidation was when the algae produced more oxygen than iron could combine with. The excess oxygen went into the atmosphere. The chemical changes in the acidity of water caused the dissolved gold to fall out of solution. Often in the presence of carbon from the dead algae since gold loves carbon. We all know that before the continent America did exist, it already did exists in a single continent named Pandora.  Where Guatemala is located now (it took millions of years for tectonic plates to move and form new continents) before there were algaes and in the Motagua fault you can see sometimes presence of antique algae and some carbon because of that dead algae… then, if gold loves carbon… antique gold is moving in the alluvial gold found in the rivers of Guatemala.

Gold from the Space Theorygold from space

Gold does not naturally occur anywhere here on earth. It arrived here as the planet was formed from a cloud of space dust. The gold itself having been forged in the fires of mount doom, er… forged in the massive energy of a collapsing star. That sorta power just doesn’t happen in our neighbourhood.

The one-in-a-million gold atoms are shot out in every direction from the supernova, and just sorta meander around for a few eons. The gold we find here on earth, apparently, traveled a distance of about 3 million light years to get here…

Gold, like all other elements in the universe heavier than lithium, is created in stars, by the process of nuclear fusion. However, the formation of different elements varies according to their atomic number.

Elements lighter than iron are formed by “helium capture” fusion, where nuclei capture a helium-4 nucleus and fuse with it into a heavier elment. For example, a carbon-12 nucleus could collide with helium-4 and produce oxygen-16 and energy. The iron nucleus is more strongly bound than any other nucleus, and so there is basically “no room” for the helium-4 to fuse with it.

The aliens brought the gold ... and fixed my hair

The aliens brought the gold … and fixed my hair

Elements heavier than iron are formed by neutron capture, or s-process, fusion. In this type of fusion, nuclei capture stray neutrons — it is called s-process as it happens much slower than helium capture. This process is responsible for all elements from iron to bismuth, like gold.

Elements heavier than bismuth are thought to be formed in supernovae, when pressures and temperatures are much higher than possible in a stable star.  But… gold coming from the outdoor space? it could be but not all… some gold have came from the stars, and maybe some gold dust from the stars have landed in Guatemala…

There are lots more of theories… But we have to say that what ever theories they are, the gold do exist… and take its path to our rivers… to Guatemala rivers… where is the gold? here, there and over there… gold is everywhere, that`s a true fact, as some day someone told me one day, and we know where to find lots, just have to pick it up.

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