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Walker Lake sedimentary basin is a fault-controlled continental basin related to strike-slip faulting on the western side of the Basin and Range Province of Nevada. The Walker Lake Basin is contained within a triangular crustal block bounded by normal-to oblique-slip faults on the west, left-lateral faults on the south, and right-lateral strike-slip faults on the east (Walker Lane shear zone).

Modern Walker Lake is roughly one fourth the surface area and the water depth of its Pleistocene precursor Carbon-rich (up to 2.5% total organic carbon) and uranium-rich sediments are currently accumulating in the deeper saline and anoxic parts of Walker Lake. If these conditions were to continue, significant potential hydrocarbon source rocks and uranium-bearing beds could accumulate.

Walker Lake Basin is being infilled by axially fed, sand-rich fluvial-deltaic deposits; side-fed, coarse-grained alluvial-fan/fan-delta deposits; and central fine-grained lacustrine deposits. Waves, wind, and lake-level fluctuations have caused reworking of the lower parts of fan-delta surfaces and the front (windward side) of the Walker River delta. Carbonate deposits, which include beach-rock horizons, stromatolites, oncolites, caliche, and tufas, locally form along the shorelines and spring areas of this predominantly coarsegrained clastic system.

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