Student: Hydraulic Mining

Hydraulic mining became the most efficient and most used mining method until 1884 when a court case brought by farmers and valley cities curtailed the practice. This is your opportunity to explore reasons for supporting and opposing hydraulic mining.
The instructions below are for students who would like to complete this lesson without a teacher’s direction.

When you click on the links that take you outside LearnCalifornia.org, a new window will open.


Read over the following assignment. You may do all of them or just one, it’s up to you. Your job is to do the research for each question! Start by studying the Hydraulic Mining Photographs and information from Additional Hydraulic Mining Sites.

  1. Discuss ways to clean up the residue left by the miners.
  2. Check the status of some of the mountain streams which still have mercury leaking from mines (mercury was used to capture the gold.)
  3. Write about the benefits and costs of hydraulic mining for California and the nation (gold to treasury and water for irrigation and water supplies for the towns.)
  4. After you complete this lesson, please remember to Grade Our Site. Thank you.

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