Abstract

Neutron activation analysis of 67 samples of water draining from gold-barren and gold-enriched sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks of the Colorado Front Range reveals a relatively small range in total gold content (nondetectable to 150 nanograms per liter). "Solute" gold concentrations were generally higher than particulate gold concentrations and both were unrelated to rock or water types. The data suggest the occurrence of a spring flush out of "solute" gold in groundwater discharge during the snow-melt recharge period but indicate that direct hydrogeochemical prospecting for gold is unpromising.

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