Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums

Question about "Desert pavement"


bsumbdy

Recommended Posts

Hello all,

On my way out to my spot at Johnnie NV I have to cross a large area of "desert pavement" flat desert with the hard crust layer on top. I understand it is possible to detect nuggets in such areas? I have watched a number of videos where the ground is extremely fat, and people are digging up nuggets. seems odd to me i.e. Australia, Northern Nevada, Idaho, What is the process that puts nuggets in these areas? How would you target these areas? Has anyone found or heard of nuggets found in desert pavement in the Johnnie district? All the gold i have found there has been in washes. I have targeted the benches a little, with no luck.

Thanks Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris,

'Attack' the pavement with the hope of finding a meteorite and if you find gold that will be an extra! If you find one piece of gold then check closely and it may be a 'patch.'

Try and think 'what was this area like thousands and millions of years ago.

Mitchel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those are eolian placers Chris. In the desert sometimes placer concentrations are accomplished by wind rather than water. The desert pavement you are seeing is a surface effect of paleo desert deflation - wind formed pavements of heavier more mineralized material on top of the lighter materials. Backwards from water sorted materials.

Typically these desert pavements may only have lighter materials just below the surface, lacking the heavier mineralized content of the surface pavement. Similiar to a desert karst formation in that the tough closely packed surface materials prevent further sorting or erosion of the softer lighter materials trapped below.

The constant wind sorting leads the lighter exposed material being removed leaving only the resistant heavier hard materials left behind. Over many years this leads to an exposed surface of interlocked heavy materials, more resistant to wind erosion protecting the more wind erosion prone materials below them. Gold is extremely erosion resistant so it tends to concentrate in this top layer of "pavement".

These deflation placers tend to be individually small but are often scattered over a large area of desert pavement."Patchy" :200: In my experience these wind formed placers can be rich near the surface but usually aren't very deep.

Check out Chris Ralph's book Fists Full of Gold for more, and better information, on this subject.

You might find this Russian point of view interesting also. (Direct PDF download)

Edited by clay
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gold and the rocks in the pavement are more durable that surrounding country rock, so they 'float" on the surface as the land erodes over time

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes, you can detect gold in these places, - but the important fact is that there will be gold only if there is gold in the rocks underneath the area you are detecting. There are zillions of square miles of desert pavement in areas all across the deserts of the southwest. Only a very, very tiny fraction (much less than 1%) will have any gold. If its out close to Johnnie, NV - and there are some placers out there - its probably at least worth a try.

As Clay points out, my book has a more detailed description.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes, you can detect gold in these places, - but the important fact is that there will be gold only if there is gold in the rocks underneath the area you are detecting. There are zillions of square miles of desert pavement in areas all across the deserts of the southwest. Only a very, very tiny fraction (much less than 1%) will have any gold.

Very true Chris. If all you needed to find gold was some desert pavement or some quartz it wouldn't be worth much. This wouldn't be a gold forum either if the stuff was common. Maybe a tin or scheelite forum? :idunno:

I've been enjoying your tales of prospecting in the cool northern half of the continent. :thumbsupanim Still sizzling here.

Heavy Pans

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for the detailed replies. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks Chris i"ll reread your bool. the parts on desert pavement.

Thanks Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Chris & all,

This question about Desert Pavement caught my eye. It has been my experience that I have not found anything worth picking up in the desert pavement, but that is MY experience, so I generally avoid it, or if I encounter it, make a few swings with my detector coil over it, as I pass by.

On the other hand, a successful gold detectorist friend of mine says he has had good luck in the stuff, but it could be he has walked over a whole lot more country than I have, or was really lucky.

Thanks for chatting about this. I always try to pay attention when I see Reno Chris has posted...

Take care all,

Largo

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gary, the one and only virgin patch I have found was on desert pavement in the Dale District. Over the years that patch (the Orange Peal patch) has produced many hundreds of nuggets. On the other hsnd, I have swung over hundreds of other pavement areas with Zero results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...