Hidden Vein Problem: Is there gold beneath the surface and if so, where and at what depth is the ore?

Science

Structural Geology

West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Question Description

Two prospectors and long-time competitors, Busch and Helmke, have been exploring for gold in the general area of Dismal Flats.Much to Busch’s dismay, Helmke has recently discovered a major ore shoot and has opened a small but profitable mine.

Even though Helmke has tried to maintain absolute secrecy, Busch has learned that the highest-grade ore is located at the intersection of a major quartz vein and the upper contact of the Merion Sandstone.Using his famous high-speed mapping technique, Busch produced the attached sketch map of the Dismal Flats area.He then staked the only available claim in the area that included the upper Merion contact.Unfortunately the quartz vein was not exposed in the claim.

In order to recover some of his losses, Busch has decided to sell his claim.He has assured a potential buyer that gold is “just below the surface” but because of his somewhat shady reputation, the buyer is suspicious.You have been hired to evaluate the Busch claim.Is there gold beneath the surface and if so, where and at what depth is the ore?

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Dismal Flats Two prospectors and long-time competitors, Busch and Helmke, have been exploring for gold in the general area of Dismal Flats. Much to Busch’s dismay, Helmke has recently discovered a major ore shoot and has opened a small but profitable mine. Even though Helmke has tried to maintain absolute secrecy, Busch has learned that the highestgrade ore is located at the intersection of a major quartz vein and the upper contact of the Merion Sandstone. Using his famous high-speed mapping technique, Busch produced the attached sketch map of the Dismal Flats area. He then staked the only available claim in the area that included the upper Merion contact. Unfortunately the quartz vein was not exposed in the claim. In order to recover some of his losses, Busch has decided to sell his claim. He has assured a potential buyer that gold is “just below the surface” but because of his somewhat shady reputation, the buyer is suspicious. You have been hired to evaluate the Busch claim. Is there gold beneath the surface and if so, where and at what depth is the ore? {This is an example of a common type of fault problem, called a “lost vein problem” (you saw one previously). A vein is present on one side of a fault, but because of limited exposure, its location is unknown on the other side. To solve this sort of problem, first determine the net slip on the fault. Then, plot the vein on your fault plane view and determine the location of its missing half, also on the fault plane view. You now know the location of the vein at the ground surface. Plot the missing vein on the sketch map. Is the vein-contact intersection beneath the claim? If so, how deep is it?} For full credit your report must include: 1) a cover letter to your client explaining your analysis and solution, including a description of movement on the fault (orientation of net slip vector and relative motion) (18%) 2) a map showing the location of the vein in the northern half of the map area (15%) 3) a fault plane section showing how you located the missing vein (32%) 4) the stereonet (or Excel sheet) used to construct the fault plane section (15%) 5) a cross section showing depth to vein/sandstone intersection relative to area of claim (20%) For full credit, prepare a professional report. ...
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