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March 18 2013

Earthquakes make gold veins in an instant


Scientists have long known that veins of gold are formed by mineral deposition from hot fluids flowing through cracks deep in Earth’s crust. But a study published today in Nature Geoscience1 has found that the process can occur almost instantaneously — possibly within a few tenths of a second.

The process takes place along 'fault jogs' — sideways zigzag cracks that connect the main fault lines in rock, says first author Dion Weatherley, a seismologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

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