Analysis of waters from springs in Nevada led to the identification of an area containing anomalous amounts of lithium northwest of the Clayton Valley area. Fish Lake Valley and Columbus Salt Marsh were found to contain waters having relatively high lithium and potassium concentrations.
At least a part of these waters is probably derived from the leaching of tertiary rocks containing saline minerals. The high-lithium waters at Columbus Salt Marsh could be derived not only by the leaching of rocks with a high soluble lithium and potassium content but also by subsurface outflow from Fish Lake Valley.
At Columbus Salt Marsh reconnaissance sampling indicated anomalous amounts of lithium in the shallow ground waters of the southwestern part of the playa. The highest concentration of lithium in the ground-water samples is 64 mg/1. The relatively high lithium concentrations in this area could represent waters concentrated after leaching source rocks having high soluble lithium, similar to those present in the Fish Lake Valley area, or the high values may simply represent subsurface flow from Fish Lake Valley.