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The Walker Lane (also known as the Eastern California Shear Zone) is a geological trough oriented north-northwest-south-southeast, roughly aligned with the border of the states of Californiamarker and Nevadamarker in the United Statesmarker. The trough includes Death Valleymarker, the Owens Valleymarker, and Walkermarker, Goosemarker and Pyramid Lakemarker. Its southern end is just south of Death Valley where it intersects the Garlock Fault, a major left-lateral strike-slip fault. The term "Eastern California Shear Zone" is sometimes used to refer only to the portion of the Walker Lane extending south from the Owens Valley, and continuing across and south of the Garlock Fault across the Mojave Desert where it merges into the San Andreas Fault zone near Indiomarker.

The current view of geologists is that the Walker Lane takes up at least 25 percent of the boundary motion between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, the other 75 percent being taken up by the San Andreas Faultmarker system to the west. In the view of some geologists , the Walker Lane may represent an incipient major transform fault zone which could replace the San Andreas as the plate boundary in the future.

Active strike-slip faults identified in the Walker Lane include: Honey Lake Fault, Pyramid Lake Fault, Benton Springs Fault, Furnace Creek Fault, and Death Valley Fault.

The Walker Lane Belt exists as the boundary between the Great Basin province and the Sierra Nevada. It is characterized by the northwest-striking trans-current faults and co-evolutionary dip-slip faults formed as result of a spatially segregated displacement field. Contained in the southern segment of the Walker lane is the Eastern California Shear Zone, differentiated by east west faulting and different geodetic measurements.


  1. Stateline fault system: A new component of the Miocene-Quaternary Eastern California shear zone Bernard Guest et al., Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology (2007)
  2. Active Faulting in the Walker Lane
  3. Dokka, R.K., and Travis, C.J., 1990, Role of the eastern California shear zone in accommodating Pacific-North American plate motion: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 17, p. 1323-1326.
  4. Oldow, J. S., G. Kohler, and R. A. Donelick, 1994, Late Cenozoic extensional transfer in the Walker Lane strike-slip belt, Nevada, Geology, v. 22, p. 637– 640

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