Dredging for Gold by Clark Spence

Themes

The articles have three central ideas. It addresses the development and use of dredging technology. It also highlights the impact of dredging on the landscape and the environment. Finally, the author discusses the reclamation of the land damaged by the dredgers. Clark views gold dredging technology as one that revolutionized the mining industry. According to the Author, the gold dredging technology developed in California has had profound use in many parts of the globe. Clark mainly focuses on the bucket ladder dredge because it is the most common, efficient and sophisticated and expensive all the dredgers available. The author mention that the machine is capable of extracting gold dirt in the bedrocks that lie fifty to a hundred feet below the surface.

According to Clark, a dredger has several effects on the landscape and environment. It affected the appearance of the land because it brought stones and cobbles to cover the topsoil creating rough irregular heaps with pools of water between them. Dredgers also led to floods of debris from dredged upriver. The dredging process also makes land unsuitable for both grazing and farming due to the coverage of top soils with debris o stones and cobbles.

However, the recognition of the impact of the dredging technology on the environment has not been appointing of focus because of the existence of recoiling and resoiling techniques such as auxiliary sluices, sand pumps, suction equipment and resurfacing with a steam shovel. In fact, the author mentions the use of the stones and rock deposited on land for other secondary usages, and this further adds to the laxity in considering the effect of this method on the environment.

Significant Points in the Article

The author argues that dredging technology has revolutionized the mining industry making mining more efficient and profitable. The method has reduced the use manual labor. Clark also points out the effect that the dredging has had on the environment such as rendering farming and grazing land unusable. The technology also has affected the way landscape through the deposited debris and stones. Another point mentioned in the article is that though the dredger damages the environment and landscape it is possible to reclaim such land through recoiling and resoiling.

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