If the Earth used to be molten, why is there still gold found at it's surface?

9 Answers

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  • KLB
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    all of earth's minerals and metals are moved around via plate tectonics, water, and ice.

  • 1 month ago

    There seems to be a very hot 'thing' deep in the center of the earth. It continues to produce elements and volcanos leak it upwards. There is a lot of knowledge down there that would explain creation of matter. It is a tricky thing since other factors such as  gravity may also be involved. Meanwhile, the planet continues to grow ever so slowly.

  • 1 month ago

    It seems what you're really asking is why the core is mostly iron and nickel and did not capture all the heavier metals. It is believed that there was not always a metal core of any kind! Wendy Mao of Stanford U is among the most recent researchers to propose a theory of how all that iron and nickel got to the core. It had to flow in continuous veins as it trickled out of the mantle rocks. Earth first solidified as a mess; the stratification likely came later.

  • 1 month ago

    Earth was never molten.

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  • Tom S
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Very large impacts from long ago helped bring up the denser metals, and geologic activity since then moved it around and created "pockets" or veins.

    https://www.universetoday.com/81580/late-big-bomba...

  • poldi2
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    So you have never heard of volcanoes...?

    • Snowwie8881 month agoReport

      Yes, but they spew only from the upper part of the mantle. Gold is such a heavy element I would expect it to sink to the core of the Earth when it was still completely molten.

  • 1 month ago

    Migrating fluids serve as transport agents for many elements, the various metals in particular. the near surface of the earth (upper and middle crust) is a very dynamic place. In fact, the entire earth is very dynamic and there is a progressive segregation of elements occurring even now. Lithophiles are migrating toward the surface and into the crust.

    There are two primary ways that gold deposits form: a relatively lower temperature process in the very near surface (hydrothermal fluid circulation at sub-critical temperatures) and by supercritical and volatile-enriched (CO2 rich) fluids at higher temperatures (during metamorphism involving devolatilization reactions).

  • 1 month ago

    Plate tectonics and volcanic action.

    The surface of the earth is continuously being churned up, mixing materials from different layers.

    It's slow in human terms but an ongoing process over billions of years.

    • Snowwie8881 month agoReport

      Yes, but plate tectonics started millions of years after the Earth started to cool down. Before that it was one molten place. Why did all the gold not sink to the center at that time?

  • 1 month ago

    Gold veins are caused by meteor strikes.

    when the meteor strikes, the molten crater cools, and different elements (gold, stuff) cool at different times, because Gold takes more time to cool than stuff.

    so when the crap has cooled, the Gold drills through the stuff, creating 'veins'

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