Silicate and carbonate sediment-water relationships in Walker Lake, Nevada
AuthorSpencer, Ronald J
AdvisorBenson, L. V.
Geological Sciences and Engineering
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Walker Lake is a closed basin lake located in west-central Nevada. The lake solutes were acquired through dissolution of evaporate minerals deposited by a preexisting lake, and weathering of materials within the basin transported by the Walker River. Evaporative concentration, biologic activity, and mineral precipitation have altered the composition of the lake. This has resulted in a Na-Cl- HCO^-SO^ water, with a TDS of ^ 10,500 mg/1. Calcium is removed from solution through the formation of carbonate minerals; calcites and monohydrocalcite are present in the sediment. Magnesium is removed from solution through incorporation in calcites and clay minerals, primarily detrital mixed-layer smectites and illites. Minor removal of sodium and potassium by the clay minerals also occurs within the lake and sediment. The biotic community removes silica (diatom frustules) and sulfate (anaerobic reduction) from solution, and adds carbon (photosynthesis, respiration, and organic decay) to the system.
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