Carling, Paul A. and Breakspear, Richard M.D.
Placer formation in gravel-bedded rivers: a review (In Special Issue on Placer Formation and Placer Minerals - Selected Papers presented at the 26th International Sedimentological Congress, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa, 8 -- 12 July, 2002)
Ore Geology Reviews, 28, (4), . (doi:10.1016/j.oregeorev.2005.02.002).
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The literature on placer formation processes within fluvial systems is widespread and ranges between detailed laboratory studies of the hydrodynamic segregation processes through to the intuitive interpretation of the distribution of minerals within geological sections. However, there are few, if any, comprehensive reviews of the literature. Surprisingly, given the economic importance of placers, the theoretical framework relating to the hydrodynamics of physical grain sorting is not well developed and there are relatively few detailed laboratory hydraulic investigations to inform theory. In this wide-ranging review, the history of the development of principles of placer formation is explored as far as possible in a non-technical fashion. A consideration is given to the hydrodynamics of physical grain sorting above lower-stage and upper-stage bedforms and the typical internal sedimentary structures associated with placer concentrations are detailed. Finally, examples of the depositional environment of diamond, tin and gold placers are considered.
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