Avalanches and Gold

Placer deposits in mountainous regions can be difficult to read and interpret.  The mountain building cycle, glaciers and mass wasting can deposit gold in areas that do not look like areas of typical placer deposits.
This is one example of how avalanches have the potential to destroy stream/gulch placers similar to the way glacier action does.
Avalanches are usually more fluid than glaciers and do not have the same scouring action, but as you can see in these pictures the front of the slide acted like a buldozer plowing down this gully. The tail looks very similar in character to what alpine glaciers leave behind.  Upon closer inspection I could see garbage can sized rocks in the debris and the gully was scoured down to bedrock in a few places.  This is just one episode, imagine how thousands of slides like this one or bigger would alter and shape the gully.
This particular gully has 2 silver mines that I know of in it.  The slide covered a bike path 30ft+deep and pushed into the river.  A bigger slide could have diverted the river altogether.
Now you can see why gold is typically found along the end and lateral moraines of glaciers.

This and two others in the area slid last week and had already been melting for 5 days!

Scouring out the Gully

The Drop Zone

The Drop Zone