Is there gold in the surf, ?
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04:56:16 Thu
Feb 28 2013
Is there gold in the surf, ?
Steve is right,
So, I started another thread on a subject that has long interested me, below is posts of interest, and points interest that can be thought about,
My focus is on a quick cheap get rich- concept, gold Jewellery, rings, chains, metal coins, gold nuggets big enough to be found with a metal detector in the surf, ( In Auss the word “surf “ means from out back where the waves form and break and roll on to the beach, ) and refer to most beaches around the world where gold may or may not result in glory holes, or gold runs,??. For a few reason,
I have 2 sketches, which at last attempt would not respond to modification, ?? don’t know why, working on it, back asap

Re: Quit my day job, going dredging ( 02:31:08 Wed Feb 27 2013 ) ________________________________________
It has been said that the gold just off the beach in Nome has never been tapped.I don't know..I see guys try that area from time to time but it appears it is more hassle than the sure pay on shore.
Dredger's idea of a hooka with detector in that area might work but I don't know how you get a hit exposed with sand tumbling back in on you.The buffeting would be a nuisance also when trying toi accomplish that.The surf is not always rough however.Any kind of surf makes that area along shore too murky also.
Here's what is happening however.Last year was the first year someone lately targeted that "just offshore" prospect with a novel idea.
They took an excavator and removed the tracks..These they built a cradle on with I-beams.The excavator sits atop the cradle along with a sluice.It runs down the shoreline feeding material from just offshore into its sluice in waters up to 10' deep maybe even 12'.They brought it in for reworking shortly afterwards but I don't recall what the alteration was.It got right back at it afterwards and it can work regardless of the surf.
I know one of the guys that put it togehter and he said they were quite happy with its performance after the upgrade.
When I first saw it, I assumed the support sand would constantly wash out letting it settle at a bad pitch.I don't know if this is a problem but may have asked and I was told it is not.
As Geo said, it could be a problem for a person working in the surf satnding up but I think because of the generally uniform and shallow drop this is not so pronounced here.
I really think they have hit the answer with that excavator where the barge mounted excavator can't get in that shallow area. .
Wow! I see I described poorly the excavator alteration.
The driven tracks sit under I-beams which provide support for the excavator bucket and cab section.They provide height advantage as well as a bed for the sluice and grizzly with hopper.I don't know if it shakes as well.I hope that helps.The whole rig drives along the coast and out into the water.
Re: Quit my day job, going dredging ( 06:19:51 Tue Feb 26 2013 )
Hey Laynac,
I like your question and hope peluk will give us an answer, I think it might be about where the big dredge leases start and stops, but I do not know for sure,
My experience in Auss, was I asked the lease hold if he was going to dredge the water ways, rivers, they said no, I asked if I could do what they were "not going to do", they said yes, and never charged me anything,
A question I had in mind was would it be reasonable to use a good anchor, placed just outside the breaking waves, to anchor a small floating hooker air supply, with enough hose so a diver could work the whole area where the waves break, under the breaking waves, with a underwater metal detector, ( I have seen some chunky gold from ocean dredging on this forum, first you could cover a lot of areas quicker faster cheaper, then maybe bring in a dredge,
Just some ideas, ??
Ever been to the beach on the Bearing sea?
Ever been to Santa Monica?
Well, lemmeee tell ya...
When those waves roll in and roll your dredge upside-DOWN... You will be initiated!!!
Second consideration... Take the floats off or use spuds????
Well... lemmee tell ya....
Alaska is known for 60 ft tides and the averge low tide and average high tide are TWO different things. So... You will be continually picking up and moving your tidal highbanker as you get chased in and then turn around and chase the tide back out....
Wait... there's more!!!
Ever stand at the tide in the sand? Oh yeah baby!!! The sand erodes under your feet and you can't stand in one place for 30 seconds at a time... It's time to move so you have jack up the spuds which are locked into the sand and that's just for openers...
Edit: There's still more...
The wave action picks up sand and the sand is mixed in a mixing zone that goes out a hundred feet or more. When you run a pump in that environment, you can expect to change pump seals daily. Something to do in your spare time!
Think about this for a moment. Gold has a high SG - 19.3 for 24 karat. This means gold will drop out of the current about the same time rocks having equal mass have.
So where you have fist sized rocks and larger is where you will find most of the gold. Beach lag deposits are a different case, because it is an erosional feature rather than depositional.
This means any lake deposits that might be economically gold-bearing would have to be gravel/cobble deltas. These are transient landforms at best. If the stream has fast enough current to move this size material, the delta will grow out into the lake until the lake is filled. You have the fluvial version of an alluvial fan building a fully developed pediment.
You are also faced with low gold concentrations. This is because there is no sorting action, just ... an analogy is "everyone out of the pool." All the sediments from fine sand to cobbles drops out almost all at once. River is now lake and it ain't moving.
In Alaska, we have another similar critter that is a glacial artifact. The same delta as above, but it formed as an ice contact feature. Same problem, no enhanced concentration.
Really, you need to study a bit. This can be a very expensive enterprise without having a competent knowledge base. And with the fever, competency may not be enough to keep you from making costly mistakes. Don't count on providence.
Hey Laynec,
I should imagine the cradle with I- beams is more like a sled, set up. And would work very well. and move quickly around, although engine and all compartments should be sealed,
Peluk, that is interesting, smile:
" It has been said that the gold just off the beach in Nome has never been tapped.I don't know".
That is good enough for me, back asap,

07:24:59 Thu
Feb 28 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
Ok, first I really do not think med size to small waves on a beach would be a big problem to a well weighted down diver, or fish or crabs on the bottom,
And I am not talking about using a standard floating dredge,

If i remember correctly the only way to swim through a big wave is to dive underneath it, the deep the better, I remember the force or energy in a wave vortex could be felt pushing me away and a little deeper, as I passed underneath, and I am guessing if the depth is say 6-8’. The energy of a 4’ wave rides a few feet above the bottom; my line of thought is I could work very comfortable in deep water, with small to medium waves, swing a metal detector,
Please note also that my suggested target areas would be the gutters and rip areas where the water runs back into the ocean, these are deeper channels , and I would be looking for hard packed rocky to larger rock sections and or exposed bedrock out crops channels, and hope gold whatever travellers or runs the same as river gold, ??, and heavy metals, ??.
From what I know and experienced about rips, I think the bigger the waves, the stronger the ripe, so the scenario could be like working in fast water river dredging, with small to med size waves, rolling “over “the energy of a fast flowing rip, ???.
Some lights on a diver might help. Especially at night. ??.
A questions of whether rips move around depending on weather or storms or wind and wave directions, is that good or bad.
The pics are rough,

14:06:04 Thu
Feb 28 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
You've got a real good thought process with the rip current scouring out channels back to the sea. Gold mining isn't about figuring out where the gold is as much as it's about figuring out where all the other garbage isn't, least when it comes to placer mining. It doesn't do you much good to find a spot where gold collects if everything else collects in the same place. You're looking for a natural concentration point, and those rip channels are 'it'. I suspect they are where they are due to topography and prevailing current, but wind direction might play a minor role in short-term situations.

16:31:55 Thu
Feb 28 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
Interesting thread.
I've found that deposition pattern in small streams and rivers too.

04:05:58 Sun
Mar 3 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
Hey, Kaveman, baub..
Rip current scouring out channels, and deposition patterns, exactly my thoughts too.
But new guys might not be aware of when a wave rolls in, “under the water line”, you can see the vortex of spinning energy, bubbles, sea weed, actually having an effect on the sands laying on the bottom,
A scenario looks like this, I have observed waves at and below water level , at about 2’ deep when a 1 and ½’ wave rolls over and past, the wave enters on the left, and hits the dry sand on my right, energy vortex or wave rolls over in a clock wise direction, lifting a few inches sands and carrying them up the beach, so during periods storms and big waves it seems feasible to me that these enormous forces would carry light sands heavy gravels metals rocks and gold jewellery, like chains, rings, up on to the beach,
We know good concentrates of small fine beach gold (Nome), is concentrated and deposited just above the low water mark, and up higher on the beach,
Jewellery gold being bigger and in odd shapes may not be thrown up on to the beach as far, ??. and may be caught in channels, and carried across the beach to the rips which carry water back out to sea, ???.in a storm , please note, the beach I have in mind has no natural gold, and people drop heaps, that is seen when dry beach detector operators recover hundreds of metal objects, but the line of thought is the gold lost in the surf, would quickly covered with light Sg sands,
I refer to the sketch , 8-9 show the waves and direction of the rip,
1-2 show anchors and safety line needed to move in the slow or fast flow of the rip,
3 shows small hooker air compressor,
4 is long hooker hose,
5 is diver with ,
6 please note extra weights,
7 is the diver holding a metal detector,
Back asap,

00:47:06 Mon
Mar 4 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?


02:28:17 Mon
Mar 4 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
I will agree with the logic that the rip channels might have enhanced lag deposits of gold.

However I see a problem with any land-based recovery system. Looking at dredger's drawing, where could a person place a recovery system "without" dumping the tails right back into same rip channel? Right side, left side, down the middle, it makes no difference. If there is enough transverse wave activity to generate rips, any material you deposit in the currents drags the material right back into the rip.

You wouldn't place your dredge right upstream from where you are dredging, would you?

You're gonna need some mechanism to keep from sucking sand in your pump's intake. If you have rips, you have some real wave activity; a few feet at least.

But I don't beach/surf mine. So this is just a thinking exercise for me.

05:57:27 Mon
Mar 4 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
Yes some excellent points there, and yes the dirty water being pulled into the rip where u r working,. I suppose I was thinking or hoping beach or rip dredging would not kick out as much dirty water as river dredging, ??.
Perhaps the end of the sluice could be directed up the beach or along the beach, from memory perhaps the dirty water tailings would soak back into sand quick enough, maybe a quick shallow dam, ??. in the sand, ??.
And I was thinking more like a sand and gravel pump, then just a clean water dump, ( with a good vacuum priming set up ), ???.
Back to the rough drawing above,
1 is a gravel and sand pump,
2 is the or a sluice attached to the gravel pump, both on wheels, perhaps a sluice could pivot, ??
3 is the suction hose , yes long suction hose, maybe some lengths of pipe, with a flexible hose on the end. if you need that long, ??
My line of thought was first beach prospecting for gold chains ect, with a under water metel detector, no natural gold source.
Second, a Nome Beach type situation, I also remember that it is said there is a good pay streak at low tide, perhaps a dredging ( sand / gravel pump ) that pay streak as the tide comes in, ???.
I am only thinking and guessing, too,
I have google earth both beaches on Auss east coast, Bondi, and also Nome Beach Alaska, very interesting,

16:28:37 Mon
Mar 4 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?

Two of our members peluk and joe_indy have commented extensively in the past about "natural features along the tidal areas that become natural gold concentrators. It's an interesting discussion considering the fact that certain forces act using piers, large boulders, buried cars, and every other conceivable object to concentrate gold.

An idea that comes to mind would be a sluice box set in the beach that as the tide advances and retreats over the box would lift gold slightly and deposit the gold in the sluice. If this catches a small amount of gold from the natural washing action of the tide, image the possibilities with hundreds of sluice boxs set up along the tidal zone. :smile:

- Geowizard

01:07:55 Mon
Mar 25 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
How about this for an idea. Speak with the Pomrenke's in Nome about following up on their claim. I'm talking about after they move the Christine Rose, go to that exact same area with a suction dredge and clean up what they've already broken up and stirred up. Seems like there should be plenty left for a good diver and dredge outfit. They move allot of material and seem to do very well. I don't have the experience or finances, nor the desire to go to Nome, but some of you do.
Just thinking out loud here.

15:11:16 Wed
Mar 27 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
Laynec,you can rest assured they have a suction dredge as well to take care of that.Also,mentioned earlier was the idea of jackup rigs.One or more is scheduled to be here this coming season.

15:47:40 Thu
Mar 28 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?

Great diagrams, dredger!

Lots of interesting stories and lots of drama in Nome.

Is there gold in the surf? He double LL yes! :smile:

Conventional wisdom has it that the gold in the Bering sea eroded and/or was pushed by glaciers from the land to the sea. That's a generic (25 words or less) explanation.

So, now what? :confused:

We have gold. We have diagrams and we have a couple million years of erosion of gold from the land to the sea.

We need a machine!

Check out WaterMaster:

This machine was introduced on this forum a couple years ago. I haven't seen a more flexible, design since then. All it needs is a sluice or screen/trommel sluice.

- Geowizard

03:03:43 Fri
Mar 29 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
Hey Wiz,

Yes mate, very interesting stuff, Aye, ?.

I have seen the watermaster, defiantly at home in muddy water ways, and I think about 1/4 the right size for Nome. on the up-side that would give us room for lots of sluices,


03:30:57 Fri
Mar 29 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
Quick Question, gold was pushed land to sea,

Question please, how far out from the land in the sea, is gold found, ???.


22:49:17 Fri
Mar 29 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?

I'm sure it has been mapped.

The maps aren't published. The State of Alaska doesn't map gold deposits, so it is unlikely that a public map exists. Private entities i.e. Bima and others use(d) direct sampling and drilling to get numbers.

They don't publish their findings.

- Geowizard

23:36:36 Fri
Mar 29 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
I don't really know the circumstances of gold deposition at Nome, but have an idea of my own that they may not have moved from land to sea. My idea is that they may have simply been left stranded by erosion, as the coastal rock was eroded by wind and water.

But then, I was wrong once before....:confused:

00:50:07 Sat
Mar 30 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?

That's true. The popular cross-section shows almost vertical laminated folds that contain gold. How much of the marine gold can be attributed to the erosion of the beach area is unknown because other sources have contributed to the marine deposition.

Here's a link to an interesting read on the subject: (begins with abstract on page 4)

There is reference to old beach and new or "modern" beach. The old beach is about 200 feet +/- above the modern beach. The earth was uplifted in the area which raised the terrain 200 feet higher.

There are reports on prehistoric "wisconsin" and "pelukian" glaciation and related erosion of gravels and silts if you or anyone needs references. A good place to research the subject is Alaska DGGS.

- Geowizard

01:22:21 Sat
Mar 30 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
Good information Wiz, thanks for the link. It does shoot down my idea to some extent. I was not aware of glacial actions in respect to Nome.

01:49:47 Sat
Mar 30 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
Hi Jim,

I think you are right. The point is that "There is gold in the surf" because it is still eroding from the beach and it has to migrate through the surf to get into the marine shelf. so, yes, in the current erosional process of the tide advancing and retreating, gold is on the move.

It's kind of like a giant gold pan that is coaxing the gold from the beach and into the sea. :smile:

- Geowizard

07:10:31 Sat
Mar 30 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
the biggest thing with weres the gold in nome is sea level. each different sea level has its own pay layer. each one makes its own beach. each beach gets eroded and spread out towards the new sea level.
glaciers moved the original loads to the ocean. more than five times.
so if ya ask me its all a crap shoot.

07:14:40 Sun
May 19 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
These guys seem to have some ideas,

17:13:25 Wed
May 22 2013
Re: Is there gold in the surf, ?
If you go snorkeling enough off any sandy beach, that is alongside any large body of water (fresh or salt water), you will notice that at some times the water has created natural riffles, or a sort of herringbone pattern of high and low spots, and at other times it has been leveled perfectly smooth and flat.
Well during those times that the natural riffles are occouring, yes the larger, heavier, and corser material does concentrate down into those valleys or hollows along the bottom, but as the winds, waves and, currents subside, all sorts of the smallest and lightest debris also settles into those valleys covering all as the bottom smothes out in the calmer weather periods.
Over time, and many, many cycles of wave action over the bottom, the heaviest particulate matter settles ever deeper, all the way down to their deepest possible points below the sands (whether that be down to heavy gravel, solid granite, hard clay, mud, etc. etc. etc.). It is in the depressions within this hard pack sub-strata that will produce the true and rich glory holes. (that we would all love tofind).
But as with anything the ones who will be most successful in finding these areas, are the ones who are actively looking for and working them.

Is there gold in the surf, ?
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