Monday, January 4, 2016

1/4/16 Report - Super Hot Metal Detecting Experiences: Location and Conditions. More On Beach Zones.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Today I'll continue with a topic I started a couple of days ago.

The purple arrow on the illustration above points to the intertidal zone.  That is the area between the high tide mark and low tide mark. We sometimes just refer to it as the wet sand.

The intertidal zone is one area that is constantly being changed by the surf and tides.  Objects coming out of the dunes can end up there (for a short time), and objects occasionally get washed up onto the intertidal zone from the surf.  It is not always easy to tell whether items are being washed up onto the beach or getting uncovered or washed out of the dunes.

Items can both wash up, get washed down into the surf or get covered or uncovered in the intertidal zone.  It is a very dynamic zone and not easy to figure out. I have spent a good amount of time in the past writing about how things move in that area.

The inshore surf zone is like an extension the the intertidal zone.  It works very much the same way. The obvious difference is that it is constantly underwater and continually getting hit by a moving water and crashing waves.  It is the most dynamic zone and can be impossible to work during rough surf conditions.  Along the Treasure Coast much of that zone is protected by salvage and exploration leases.

The bottom conditions in the inshore surf zone can really affect how the water hits the intertidal zone. That is a big factor that isn't talked about a lot.  The most obvious effect is when there is a lot of sand in the inshore zone intertidal zone the intertidal zone is somewhat protected. When there is a lot of sand in front of the beach, besides cutting down the force of water hitting the beach, the sand will also keep items safely buried so that they will not be washed up onto the beach.

The inshore surf zone can be one of the most productive areas.  That has certainly been my experience.  Some of the best hunting I have ever encountered was when the sand was removed from the area right between the inshore surf zone and the intertidal zone, cutting into the front of the beach and creating a dip right in front of the beach.  There have been times when coins and other items were so dense there that there was a good target every square foot running for a long distance. The only thing I have encountered that remotely compares to the density of objects found on those occasions was when there were very extensive coin lines or coin holes in the intertidal zone.  But that was not of the same magnitude.  I've told about some of those times in the past and won't describe it again now.

Both of those zones can change quickly.  As I've described before I worked one exceptional dip for two days without cleaning it out only to watch a front come in one evening. The dip and all of the remaining targets, which I knew were many, were gone when I returned the next day.

The big black spot that I added to the illustration above shows the area that I am talking about.  That is the area where I have found the greatest concentrations of good targets when the sand was moved more than usual.  On those occasions when heavy concentrations were found in that area, the sand was moved down to a hard bottom.  On one notable occasion, the bottom was composed of packed rocks and near impossible to dig.  The sand packed between the narrow spaces between the rocks made it almost like pavement, I had more luck foot fanning because the sand would lift out of the cracks and make the top layer loose enough to move.

Targets that are revealed in that area when conditions are just right are not normally covered by enough material that they can not be detected.

How and why such accumulations are found there is a topic for another day.

As you undoubtedly know, last year the Capitana crew found hundreds of gold coins along with a lot of other items.  They were working very close to shore.  With their blowers they did what nature occasionally but rarely does.  They moved the sand right in that area where the inshore surf zone meets the intertidal zone.  You know the result.

Although I have my theories and ideas, there are still questions that need to be answered. Maybe in another post I'll address some of those questions,  And hopefully next year I'll get more answers.


I like the cooler days we have now.  About time!

Monday we'll have a small surf.  Tuesday it will increase to  3 - 5 feet, with an additional foot or so Wednesday.

Happy hunting,