2019 Central Walker Lane

Welcome all to the 2019 Friends of the Pleistocene: Central Walker Lane trip!

The 2019 meeting will take place from Thursday 10/3 through Sunday 10/6. So far myself (Ian Pierce), Ken Adams, Jayne Bormann, Rachel Hatch, Chad Carlson, Craig DePolo, Bill Hammond, Marith Reheis, and Russell Shapiro have agreed to present. If you have any work in the area you would like to present, please let us know and we will include you!

UPDATE 2019.09.28

Guidebook and other supporting information is posted at the bottom of this page. ##Standby for the Final Final Final Version## There were some mistakes that were corrected, but the gb is being reviewed for further mistakes.

Thank you to those that pre-registered. We will still be accepting registration on site, however t-shirts etc. are reserved for those who pre-registered and will be first-come-first-serve for those who register on-site.

General Info

For this trip: please make sure your spare tire is in good shape, and that you have the tools and knowledge to change it. Bring everything you need to survive in the high desert (water -1gal/person/day, food, shelter, clothing, etc.), it will likely be cold at night (30s, possibly high 20s), and pleasant during the day (60/70s). Bring a high clearance car and carpool if possible. All roads are passable to passenger cars, but it might take you a long time and you are more likely to get flats. There is >100 miles of graded dirt road travel in total. The Friday/Saturday night campsite has no cell service, but there will be service on both Friday & Saturday. Please bring firewood if you can for the Friday & Saturday night camp.

DON’T SPEED IN HAWTHORNE (or any other towns). Be careful, especially on Saturday, getting on/off the highway for stops. Cross traffic goes 70+ mph.

Please arrive to the Thursday night campsite with a full tank of gas, there won’t be time to stop on Friday morning, and we have a lot of miles to cover. Saturday you can refill gas in Hawthorne in the morning or afternoon.

NO CAMPFIRES, FIREWORKS, LOUD MUSIC, ETC. AT THURSDAY NIGHT CAMP. We do not have permits to camp here, this will be “dispersed BLM camping”. There is no water, we will have porto-potties. Please be respectful of the houses we drive by on the way in. The first stop Friday morning is from camp @ 830am. Saturday morning we will try to leave camp by 830am.

Ian will be on site 10/3 around sunset with the toilets, shirts, beer, etc.


There are are 3 files here (see below)

  1. the guidebook 18 mb pdf – print this or save it to your phone/tablet- we aren’t making hard copies
  2. a zip file containing pdf maps. These are raw lidar hillshades or satellite images relevant to each stop. They should load up fine in avenza pdf maps if you want to explore the lidar we will be discussing. Save them ahead of time to your phone or tablet.
  3. a zip file of relevant papers and trench logs

Camp Site Locations

Thursday 10/3 Eldon Way camp site directions

From Carson City (North):
Drive south on US 395
Turn left on Johnson Lane (across the highway).
Turn right on Fremont St/East Valley Road
Drive up over and around on the main dirt track and you will find our camp ~1.8 miles from the turn off of East valley road.

From Gardnerville (South) :
Take Waterloo Lane east, becomes Toler Ave, becomes Fish Springs Rd.
Turn Left onto E Valley Road

Friday/Saturday night Fletcher Springs camp
38.358480, -118.897908

There is no water but there will be toilets & beer.

Be advised, Bill Hammond said the road coming from Bodie is impassible to cars- we aren’t planning to go this way for the trip but just FYI.

Thank you and see you at the FOP!

Trip Overview

Vehicles: ~100 miles of the total travel including the campsites will be on graded dirt roads. These roads should be OK in a passenger car that has some clearance, but low clearance compact cars might have trouble in a few places. You are definitely increasing your chances of getting flats if you are in a car for some of these roads.

Thursday night (10/3) we will be dry camping in eastern Carson Valley off of Eldon Road. This area is super dry, plan for no campfires.

Friday morning (10/4) we will break camp and have an overview of the trip from a hill looking out over Carson Valley above the campsite, as well as discuss the Eastern Carson Valley fault zone (Craig DePolo) and the local geodetic network (Jayne Bormann). From there we travel to Smith Valley where we will look at a slip rate site on the Artesia Fan (Marith Reheis), and discuss how the rangefront geometry accommodates strike-slip motion. Then onward to Mason Valley where we will stop for lunch with a brief overview of what we know about left-lateral faulting in the Central Walker Lane and the rangefront there. Then down to the Pine Grove Hills (~40 miles of dirt travel) where we will look at an active strike-slip fault. Finally we will reach our campsite at Fletcher Springs near the epicentral area of the 2016 Nine Mile Ranch earthquake sequence in Fletcher Valley. We will camp here Friday & Saturday nights. This site does not have water, but we will have toilets. Hopefully we will be able to have a campfire, but state fire restrictions may not be cooperative.

Saturday morning (10/5) we will wake up and travel east towards the Walker Lake basin over Lucky Boy Pass (graded dirt road, ~20 miles). First we will stop and look at lava flows that Marith Reheis will convince you influenced the outflow direction of Lake Russel in the mid-Pleistocene. Rachel Hatch will describe her results from relocating the 9-mile ranch earthquake sequence. Then on to Walker Lake where, over the course of multiple stops, we will look at evidence of strike-slip faulting, normal faulting, offshore seismic data, Pleistocene, Holocene, and Historic shoreline features, tufa, and discuss some issues with dating and measuring lateral offsets. Presenters here include: Ken Adams, Annie Kell, Noah Abramson, Marith Reheis, and Russel Shapiro. When we return to camp we will have the regularly scheduled Saturday night business meeting.

Sunday morning (10/6), we will wake up and travel west to Bridgeport, where we will discuss some of Bill Hammond’s recent work on climate-influenced seismic and geodetic patterns, Chad Carlson’s paleomagnetic work in the area, a hi-res gravity model of the basin, and look at some fault scarps and glacial moraines in the basin.

Guidebook and Supporting Documents


Here is the 4th and final version of the Guidebook, aka the final final final version (20 mb pdf). To be honest, the difference between the 1st and 2nd versions is only the difference between low and hi resolution.

PDF Maps

Ian prepared some shaded relief maps for various parts of the trip for use in the field. These are GeoPDFs and can be loaded in apps like avenza. Below is a zip file with all the maps, as well as links to individual maps.

Background Literature

Ian has prepared some background literature. Below is a zip file with all the documents, as well as links to individual documents (all are pdfs, except for one docx file).

Most Deserving Award Recipients


  • Trip Leader who did not actually run a trip: Bryant Platt
  • (Bryant, feel free to provide a better photo if you like, I obtained this one from social media)

  • Most deserving, most deserving award: Roger Smith
  • Sorry Roger, need to rotate this photo soon!


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