Economic Significance of Playa Lake Deposits

  1. Albert Matter and
  2. Maurice E. Tucker
  1. C. C. Reeves Jr

Published Online: 29 JUN 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303698.ch15

Modern and Ancient Lake Sediments

Modern and Ancient Lake Sediments

How to Cite

Reeves, C. C. (1978) Economic Significance of Playa Lake Deposits, in Modern and Ancient Lake Sediments (eds A. Matter and M. E. Tucker), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303698.ch15

Author Information

  1. Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 JUN 2009
  2. Published Print: 24 NOV 1978

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632002344

Online ISBN: 9781444303698

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Keywords:

  • playa lake deposits;
  • intermittent flooding interspersed with periods of desiccation;
  • silts and clays;
  • The borates (borax, kernite, searleasite, colemanite)

Summary

Playa lake deposits accumulate in the topographic lows of arid and semi-arid localities. Regardless of latitude or elevation, the sedimentary history of any playa basin reflects periods of intermittent flooding interspersed with periods of desiccation. The lithology of the sedimentary fill is determined by topography, climate and geologic history. Other factors which may have local to regional influence are post-depositional faults, availability of aeolian debris, spring activity and nearness of active volcanic centres. Playa lake sediments range lithologically from boulder gravels to silts and clays, and may contain commercially valuable mineral deposits of various evaporites and uranium minerals. Future demands on minerals commonly found in playa lake deposits are bound to increase, and the more exotic mineral occurrences, such as those containing lithium, are expected to be utilized in the near future by expanding technology.