Earthquakes could play a significant role in the formation of gold deposits, say researchers.
Gold is deposited when rock fractures filled with water widen during an earthquake and the drop in pressure causes dissolved gold to leak out. While most of the world's gold was formed up to three billion years ago during the formation of mountains the process could occur on a small scale almost instantaneously under the right conditions during seismic activity.
"When we know what forms a deposit, we can go looking for ancillary tell-tale signs of where those kind of mechanisms may have been occurring both in the recent past and through geological time," said Dr. Dion Weatherley. "This may assist in future gold exploration efforts."
"Gold could be deposited almost instantaneously in the Earth's crust during earthquakes, say Australian researchers."
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