Date of Award

Fall 1985

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences


Geological Sciences

Committee Director

Dennis A. Darby

Committee Member

G. Richard Whittecar

Committee Member

Ramesh Venkatakrishnan

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.G4G36


Unlike placer deposits in arid and semi-arid environments where gold concentration is closely tied to the position of the bedrock, Payan placer deposits have no association with bedrock. Gold concentration values show highest gold concentrations occur at the contact of a coarse sand unit and its underlying gravel unit. Comparisons of the size and shape distributions of gold grain populations with their associated black sand populations indicate the gold and black sand were not deposited in hydraulic equilibrium. The mean size of each gold population is consistently coarser than the mean size of its associated black sand population despite the large density difference. Flood events and subsequent entrainment sorting occurring during waning flow conditions can account for the observed areas of highest gold concentration as well as the anomalous size relationship between gold grain populations and their associated black sand populations. Morphological characteristics of gold grains observed under SEM establish that two types of gold exist in the Payan Mining District. One type probably travelled a distance of 80 to 100 km from its source, while the other type probably travelled less than 25 km from its source.


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