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Searles Lake, San Bernardino Co., California, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 35° 44' 17'' North , 117° 22' 26'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 35.73833,-117.37389
GeoHash:G#: 9qke31fyy
Locality type:Lake
Köppen climate type:BWk : Cold desert climate

Dry lake in the Searles Valley of the Mojave Desert. The evaporite basin is approximately 19 km (12 mi) long and 13 km (8.1 mi) at its widest point. The mining community of Trona is on its western shore.

Borax is mined since 1873. Nowadays also sodium sulphate, sodium carbonate and sodium chloride (halite) are produced.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

35 valid minerals. 10 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

Holocene - Pliocene
0 - 5.333 Ma

ID: 2875507
Quaternary alluvium and marine deposits

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 5.333 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Temescal Formation; Modesto Formation; Victor Formation; Alameda Formation; Aromas Red Sands; Bautista Beds; Brawley Formation; Borrego Formation; Burnt Canyon Breccia; Cabezon Fanglomerate; Campus Formation; Casitas Formation; Chemehuevi Formation; Corcoran Clay; Cushenbury Springs Formation; Dos Picachos Gravels; Dripping Springs Formation; Frazier Mountain Formation; Friant Formation; Harold Formation; Heights Fanglomerate; Hookton Formation; Huichica Formation; La Habra Formation; Manix Lake Beds; Mohawk Lake Beds; Montezuma Formation; Nadeau Gravel; Ocotillo Conglomerate; Orcutt Formation; Pacoima Formation; Pauba Formation; Peckham Formation; Pinto Formation; Resting Springs Formation; Riverbank Formation; Rohnerville Formation; San Dimas Formation; Shoemaker Gravel; Temecula Arkose; Battery Formation; Bay Point Formation; Colma Formation; Lindavista Formation; Lomita Marl; Merritt Sand; Millerton Formation; Palos Verdes Sand; San Pedro Formation; Sweitzer Formation; Timms Point Silt

Description: Alluvium, lake, playa, and terrace deposits; unconsolidated and semi-consolidated. Mostly nonmarine, but includes marine deposits near the coast.

Lithology: Major:{coarse alluvium}, Minor:{fine alluvium}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

Quaternary - Miocene
0 - 23.03 Ma

ID: 3185380
Cenozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 23.03 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

Localities in this Region
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This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Robottom, A. (1874) Borax deposits in California – an interesting discovery: Engineering & Mining Journal: 18: 82.
Hidden, W.E. (1885) On hanksite, a new anhydrous sulphate-carbonate of sodium from San Bernardino County, California: New York Academy of Science Annals: 3: 238-241; […American Journal of Science, 3rd. series: 30: 133-135 (1885); …Mining & Scientific Press: 50: 1 (1885)]: 230-241.
vom Rath, G. (1887) Ueber Glauberit und Hanksit von San Bernardino County. Niederrheinische Gesell. Sitzungsber., Band 44: 233.
Hidden, W.E. & MacKintosh, J.B. (1888) Sulphohalite, a new sodium sulphato-chloride. American Journal of Science, 3rd. series: 36: 463; […Zeitschr. Kristallographie, Band 15: 294 (1889)]: 464.
Hanks, H.G. (1889) On the occurrence of hanksite in California. American Journal of Science, 3rd. series: 37: 63-66.
De Groot, H. (1890) The Searles borax marsh. California Mining Bureau Report 10: 534-539.
Hanks, H.G. (1892) Gaylussite (new variety), San Bernardino County, California). Mining & Science Press: 64: 222.
Pratt, J.H. (1896) On northupite; pirssonite, a new mineral; Gaylussite and hanksite from Borax Lake, San Bernardino County, California. American Journal of Science, 4th. series: 2: 123-135; […Zeitschr. Kristallographie, Band 27: 416-429 (1896); …(abstract): Neues Jahrb., Band 2: 451-455 (1897)]: 124, 126.
Ayers, E.F. (1889) Mineralogical notes (thenardite, pyrite). American Journal of Science, 3rd. series: 37: 235-236.
Ayers, E.F. (1889) Notes on the crystallization of trona (urao). American Journal of Science, 3rd. series: 38: 65-66.
Foote, W.M. (1895) Preliminary note on a new alkali mineral. American Journal of Science, 3rd. series: 50: 480-481.
Penfield, S.L. (1900) On the chemical composition of sulphohalite. American Journal of Science, 4th. series: 9: 425-428.
Bailey, G.E. (1902) The saline deposits of California. California Mining Bureau Bulletin 24: 102.
Penfield, S.L. and Jamieson, G.S. (1905) On tychite, a new mineral from Borax Lake, California, and on its artificial production and its relations to northupite. American Journal of Science, 4th. series: 20: 217-224; […Zeitschr. Kristallographie, Band 41: 235-242 (1905)]: 217.
Gale, H.S. and Hicks, W.B. (1914) Octahedral crystals of sulphohalite. American Journal of Science, 4th. series: 38: 273-274.
Gale, H.S. (1915) Salines in the Owens, Searles, and Panamint basins, southeastern California. USGS Bulletin 580: 251-323; […(abstract): Geol. Zentralbl., Band 27: 172 (1921)]: 285, 292, 294, 297, 298, 303, 306, 307, 308.
Foshag, W.F. (1920) Sulphohalite from Searles Lake, California. American Journal of Science, 4th. Series: 49: 76-77.
Foshag, W.F. (1931), Schairerite, a new mineral from Searles Lake, California. American Mineralogist: 16: 133-139.
Foshag, W.F. (1935) Burkeite, a new mineral species from Searles Lake, California. American Mineralogist: 20: 50-56.
Frondel, C. (1935) Catalogue of mineral pseudomorphs in the American Museum. Museum of Natural History Bulletin 67, art. IX: 389-426.
Foshag, W.F. (1940) Sodium bicarbonate (nahcolite) from Searles Lake, California. American Mineralogist: 25: 769-778.
Pabst, A. and Sawyer, D.L., Jr. (1948) Tincalconite crystals from Searles Lake, San Bernardino County, California. American Mineralogist: 33: 472-481.
American Mineralogist (1950) 35: 1014.
Palache, C., Berman, H., and Frondel, C. (1951) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 235, 279, 294, 402, 406, 633.
Pabst, A., Sawyer, D.L., Jr., and Switzer, G.S. (1955) Galeite, a new mineral from Searles Lake, California (abstract). Geological Society of America: 66: 1658.
Smith, G.I. and Pratt, W.P. (1957) Core logs from Owens, China, Searles and Panamint Basins, California. USGS Bulletin 1045-A: 27, 31, 38, 40.
Hay, R.L.R. and Moiola, R.J. (1962) Authigenic silicate minerals in Pleistocene sediments of Searles Lake, California (abstract). Geological Society of America Special Paper 73: 168; …Sedimentology: 2: 312-332 (1962): 323, 324.
Pabst, A., Sawyer, D.L., Jr., and Switzer, G.S. (1963) Galeite and related phases in the system Na2SO4.NaF.NaCl. American Mineralogist: 48: 485-510.
Bowser, C.J. (1964) The origin of tincalconite at Searles Lake, California. American Mineralogist: 49: 1507.
Smith, G.I. and Haines, D.V. (1964) Character and distribution of nonclastic minerals in the Searles Lake evaporite deposit, California. USGS Bulletin 1181-P: 8-9, 10, 16-18, 19, 20, 21, 25-26, 27, 30, 31, 32, 50, 172.
Eugster, H.P. and Smith, G.I. (1965) Mineral equilibria in the Searles Lake evaporates, California. Journal of Petrology: 6: 473-522.
Murdoch, J. and Webb, R.W. (1966) Minerals of California, Centennial Volume (1866-1966). California Division Mines & Geology Bulletin 189: 71, 76, 82, 109, 118, 125, 172, 174, 185, 189, 197, 200, 211, 212, 214, 267, 276, 278, 280-281, 287, 315, 319, 328, 333, 355, 356, 360, 365, 367, 374, 376.
American Mineralogist (1969) 54: 302.
Pemberton, H.E. (1975) The crystal habits and forms of the minerals of Searles Lake, San Bernardino County, California. Mineralogical Record 6 (2): 75-83.
Pemberton, H.E. (1983) Minerals of California. Van Nostrand Reinhold Press: 192, 207, 208, 211, 216, 221, 261, 279, 280, 281, 281-283, 283, 284, 348, 362, 370, 382.
Tschernich (1992) Zeolites of the World: 315.
Korbel and Novak (1999) Mineral Encylopaedia: 133.
Mineralogical Record (2007) 38: 213.
Warren, J.K. (2010) Evaporites through time: Tectonic, climatic and eustatic controls in marine and nonmarine deposits. Earth-Science Reviews, Volume 98, Issues 3–4, February 2010, 217-268.

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