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North American Gold

When Earth formed, most of the gold sunk to its core—but some remained trapped inside Earth’s mantle.
Publish Date: Topic: Planet EarthPlanet EarthNova
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By Arlo Perez

As Earth formed, most of its heavy metals, including iron and gold, sank to its molten core. But as the planet cooled, small amounts of heavy metals remained in its rocky mantle. Sometimes, gold trapped in Earth’s mantle works its way back up to the surface by hitching a ride during a geological shakeup––like an earthquake.

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Major funding for "Making North America" is provided by the Alfred P Sloan Foundation.

National corporate funding for NOVA is provided by Draper. Major funding for NOVA is provided by the David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers. Additional funding is provided by the NOVA Science Trust.