|Conglomerate is composed of quartz sand, quartz pebbles and iron hematite|
I've noticed over the years that many silver mine hunters connect, and rightly so I believe, quartz deposits along with silver and gold bearing rocks. This is one of the indicators of finding mineral deposits. In igneous rock types these are most always associated. Anyone traveling through the Black Hills of South Dakota can find quartz bearing rocks which also produced gold in the late nineteenth century. But here in Kentucky many claim that the abundant amount of quartz pebbles found in the conglomerate sandstones found around the state are sure fire indicators of the possibility of silver.
The conglomerates, sandstones, shales, and lime stones of Kentucky are all sedimentary rocks. That is they were deposited over eons of time gently falling to the bottom lakes, rivers, swamps and seas to form layers of sediments, thus sedimentary rocks. Some rocks, geologist surmise resulted from being deposit in vast rivers and streams much the way gravel bars and sand bars are found along rivers and streams today. Specifically, the conglomerate quartz pebbles are rounded. They do not occur in igneous rocks rounded. This smooth round shape is achieved by the action of rolling, tumbling and generally being abraded into the smooth stone. They started out somewhere else in the ancient Appalachian Mountains when they were much younger. But through unfathomable time and geological circumstances eroded away being tumbled and polished and once again deposited in a sediment only to become the rock we know to day. These quartz pebbles were not formed here, they just arrived here, the same as they are arriving today in the Gulf of Mexico from all the rivers in the Eastern US.
|Many fossils found in the Mississippian lime stones are formed from chert. This one comes from the Cave Run area|
|Chert or flint is quartz in a certain form and is formed throughout the lime stones of the state. This type is called Paoli, Chert sometimes called Carter Caves Flint|
|Typical arrow/spear points found throughout the state. The material of most arrowheads can now be traced back to the source of the flint.|
|Geode agates are found in a few locations in Kentucky and are prized around the world for their beautiful colors.The colors vary because of various minerals deposited with the silica during the formation of the agate|
|This agate has quartz crystals in the center surrounded by agates and reminds me of an artistic shape of Kentucky|
Now that the conglomerate rock (conglomeration of sand, pebbles and iron ore) is exposed then the extremes of the environment begin to break the rock back down. Sand is eroded a grain at a time year after year, every day as water, ice, and wind continually attack the exposed rock. Sand, pebbles are broken away and washed down the streams to the rivers and eventual to the seas. This process never, ever stops.
|Erosion continues to move quartz sand and every other material constantly|
This is the majority of the type of rock that dominates the past search areas for veins of silver. While there likely are some trace silver in some of the rock strata, especially in the broken and fragmented channel fills, no great discoveries have yet been made. Geologist generally conclude that it is unlikely and they have found no evidence to date that indicates any silver deposits with the rock formations of Kentucky. But perhaps the millions of years of weathering and erosion are just now reaching a strata that contains silver that was eroded somewhere else and deposited deep within the current rock formations millions of years ago. Speculation, maybe even exaggeration on my part. But there are those who search and follow the clues of the quartz and who knows, maybe they will surprise us someday!
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