More than a hundred almost reach the sea, from which they are separated by detrital lowland or terminal moraines.
In sedimentary rocks it occurs as detrital material.
The gold in this conglomerate reef is partly of detrital origin and partly of the genetic character of ordinary vein-gold.
In North America, the crustal movements at the beginning of the period are less evident than in Europe, but a marked parallelism exists; for in the east, in the Appalachian tract, we find detrital sediments prevailing, while the open sea, with great deposits of limestone, lay out towards the west in the direction of that similar open sea which lay towards the east of Europe and extended through Asia.
The sea had gained somewhat at the beginning of the Carboniferous period in western Europe, but the effect of these movements, combined with the rapid formation of detrital deposits from the rising land areas, was to drive the sea steadily from the north towards the south, until the open sea (with limestones) was relegated to what is now the Mediterranean and to Russia and thence eastward.
The old land area still existed to the north, but doubtless much reduced in height; against this land, detrital deposits still continued to be formed, as in Scotland; while over central Ireland and central and northern England the clearer waters of the sea furnished a suitable home for countless corals, brachiopods and foraminifera and great beds of sea lilies; sponges flourished in many parts of the sea, and their remains contributed largely to the formation of the beds of chert.
Traced eastward into north Germany, Thuringia and Silesia, the limestones pass into the detrital culm formations, which owe their existence to a southern uplifted massif, the complement of the synclines already mentioned.
The detrital deposits of tertiary age - contained gold, though in too small quantities to be profitably worked in the ordinary way.
Beds between beds of sandstone and shale, and S becomes increasingly detrital in character as it is traced northwards.
When the rocks are concealed by detrital material he looks for outcroppings on steep hillsides, on the crests of hills or ridges, in the beds of streams, in landslides, in the roots of overturned trees, and in wells, quarries, roadcuttings and other excavations.