Novice unearths huge gold nugget

Updated 17 January 2013
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Novice unearths huge gold nugget

MELBOURNE: An amateur prospector has made the find of a lifetime in southern Australia, unearthing a gold nugget weighing about five kilograms (11 pounds) just outside the town of Ballarat, reports said yesterday.
The Y-shaped deposit was found with a hand-held metal detector at a depth of a little over 60 centimeters (24 inches), according to a video of the find posted on YouTube.
“The prospector said it sounded like the bonnet of a car through the headphones,” wrote TroyAurum, who uploaded the video.
“It was lying flat (broad side up) and he carefully dug it up.”
The find, made on Wednesday at a popular prospecting site outside Ballarat 110 kilometers (65 miles) from Melbourne, was confirmed by the owner of the town’s gold shop, Cordell Kent.
“A lot of people think Victoria’s goldfields are dead and that there’s none left, but he (the prospector) has worked in an area where a lot of people have worked in the past but he persisted and he’s been rewarded,” said Kent, of the Mining Exchange Gold Shop.
Kent said the 177-ounce nugget, which he was working to find a buyer for, was among the biggest he had seen in 20 years in the gold business.
“We have 800 prospectors on our books and only a couple of those have ever found a nugget over 100 ounces,” he said, adding that the sum total of his own finds was little more than 100 ounces. “There’s only been one or two big pieces and they were found a long time ago.”
Kent said the nugget was expected to fetch more than Aus$300,000 ($315,340). The prospector wished to remain anonymous.
Ballarat and its surroundings were a key site in Australia’s gold rush in the mid-1800s, which brought a flood of migrants and transformed the economy.


Thaw of Antarctic ice lifts up land, might slow sea level rise

Updated 22 June 2018
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Thaw of Antarctic ice lifts up land, might slow sea level rise

  • The fast rise of the bedrock beneath will lift ever more of the ice onto land, reducing the risks of a breakup of the sheet caused by warming ocean water seeping beneath the ice
  • The process was too slow to save the ice sheet from a possible collapse triggered by global warming

OSLO: Antarctica’s bedrock is rising surprisingly fast as a vast mass of ice melts into the oceans, a trend that might slow an ascent in sea levels caused by global warming, scientists said on Thursday.
The Earth’s crust in West Antarctica is rising by up to 4.1 centimeters (1.61 inches) a year, an international team wrote in the journal Science, in a continental-scale version of a foam mattress reforming after someone sitting on it gets up.
The rate, among the fastest ever recorded, is likely to accelerate and could total 8 meters (26.25 feet) this century, they said, helping to stabilize the ice and brake a rise in sea levels that threatens coasts from Bangladesh to Florida.
“It’s good news for Antarctica,” lead author Valentina Barletta of the Technical University of Denmark and Ohio State University told Reuters of the findings, based on GPS sensors placed on bedrock around the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica.
Much of the West Antarctic ice sheet, which has enough ice to raise world sea levels by more than three meters (10 feet) if it ever all melted, rests on the seabed, pinned down by the weight of ice above.
The fast rise of the bedrock beneath will lift ever more of the ice onto land, reducing the risks of a breakup of the sheet caused by warming ocean water seeping beneath the ice.
The uplift “increases the potential stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet against catastrophic collapse,” the scientists wrote.
Last week, another study said that three trillion tons of ice had thawed off from Antarctica since 1992, raising sea levels by almost a centimeter — a worsening trend.
It often takes thousands of years for the Earth’s crust to reshape after a loss of ice. Parts of Scandinavia or Alaska, for instance, are still rising since the end of the last Ice Age removed a blanket of ice more than a kilometer thick.
A further report this month found that the West Antarctic ice sheet expanded about 10,000 years ago, interrupting a long-term retreat after the last Ice Age, because of a rise of the land beneath.
But it said the process was too slow to save the ice sheet from a possible collapse triggered by global warming.
One of the lead authors of that study, Torsten Albrecht at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, told Reuters on Thursday: “The expected eight-meter (26.4-foot) uplift in 100 years in the Amundsen Sea region ... seems rather small in order to prohibit future collapse.”