Earthquakes Give Us Gold
It precipitates as water turns to steam: researchers
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 18, 2013 6:20 AM CDT
Gold can form in an earthquake, a study says.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Earthquakes can have a silver—or rather golden—lining. Some six miles underground, water can contain trace amounts of gold and silica. When an earthquake occurs, voids along a geological fault widen suddenly, pressure plummets, and the water held inside turns to steam. Meanwhile, the gold and silica in that water end up on local surfaces, scientists in Australia suggest. It's not much gold, but it can build up over time, LiveScience reports.

The phenomenon can cause gold to "precipitate almost immediately," researchers say, per AFP. And even the smallest earthquakes may be capable of initiating the process. "Given that small-magnitude earthquakes are exceptionally frequent in fault systems, this process may be the primary driver for the formation of economic gold deposits," says one of the researchers. The theory could also explain why gold is often associated with quartz, as in the 19th-century US gold rush.

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
iq145
Mar 19, 2013 11:42 PM CDT
Earthquakes can have a gold lining? It did for Japan. The japanese decided to take $27 million dollars out of the international tsunami aid relief fund (meant for homeless japanese), and used it to combat Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling protest this 2012/2013 whaling season. The largest Whaling fleet in recent times. All of those hard-earned dollars donated by decent human beings around the world, siphoned off for what the japanese are pretending is "research"... at the expense of the international community. http://world.time.com/2011/12/12/blood-money-tsunami-recovery-funds-go-to-japans-whaling-industry/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16064002 http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/12/japan-admits-tsunami-funds-used-safeguard-whaling-fleet http://news.discovery.com/earth/japan-uses-tsunami-funds-to-support-whaling-fleet-111208.html
Chatsworth
Mar 18, 2013 7:33 PM CDT
Could explain why they found so much gold in California and Alaska and Mexico..
donwine
Mar 18, 2013 5:04 PM CDT
Half the world lust for gold and the other half spends their gold for lust!