What is gossan?

What is gossan?

Gossan. Gossan ( eiserner hut or eisenhut) is intensely oxidized, weathered or decomposed rock, usually the upper and exposed part of an ore deposit or mineral vein. In the classic gossan or iron cap all that remains is iron oxides and quartz, often in the form of boxworks (which are quartz-lined cavities retaining the shape…

What does gossan stain look like?

Frequently, gossan appears as a red “stain” against the background rock and soil, due to the abundance of oxidized iron; the gossan may be a topographic positive area due to the abundance of erosion -resistant quartz and iron oxides.

Why were gossans important to prospectors?

In the 19th and 20th centuries, gossans were important guides to buried ore deposits used by prospectors in their quest for metal ores. An experienced prospector could read the clues in the structure of the gossans to determine the type of mineralization likely to be found below the iron cap .