Geography and also Landforms of Texas

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Find summary of Texas geography, topography, geographic land regions, soil areas, and major rivers.

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Access Texas almanac furnishing much more details top top the state geography, geographical and also land regions, climate and weather, elevation, soil areas, bordering states, and other statistics data.


Texas is the largest of the 48 contiguous says in the US since of this, it has actually a wide diversity of landforms. There room six main geographic locations in Texas: eastern Texas, the Gulf Coast, the Rio Grande Valley, the Blackland Prairies, the High Plains and West Texas.

In the south, the Gulf coastline Plain meets the Gulf the Mexico. The North main Plains steep upward producing some hills. The great Plains prolong to the Panhandle wherein they are damaged by short mountains, a southern expansion of the Rocky Mountains dubbed Trans-Pecos.

Texas Highest, Lowest, & median Elevations

Texas floor Area (Square Miles)

Mean Elevation 1,700 ft.
Highest Point Guadalupe Peak 8,749 ft
Lowest Point Gulf that Mexico Sea level
Geographic Center In McCulloch County, 15 mi. NE of Brady Longitude: 99° 27.5"W Latitude: 31° 14.6"N
Total Area 268,580.82 sq. Mi. 2nd
Land Area 261,797.12 sq. Mi. 97.48%
Water Area 6,783.70 sq. Mi. 2.52%
Forested land Area 51.6%
Dimensions (Length - Width) 790 mile - 660 miles

Texas: Physiographic Regions

The significant physiographic departments of the state space the

Gulf seaside Plain in the east and southeast; the North central Plains, covering most of main Texas; the great Plains, extending from west-central Texas up into the panhandle; and the basin and variety mountainous trans-Pecos area in the extreme west.

Gulf seaside Plain

The West Gulf seaside Plain covers northwest Louisiana, southwest Arkansas, easternmost Texas, and the southeast corner of Oklahoma. In general, uplands are conquered by pines and also bottomlands by hardwood forests. The jaw is initially longleaf in the southern section and shortleaf through a far-reaching hardwood aspect in the north portion. The southerly edge of the physiographic area occurs whereby trees become less dominant and also the grasslands the the seaside Prairies begin. The West Gulf coastal Plain extends eastern to the Mississippi Alluvial Valley and also north to edge that the Ouachita highlands. Drier climate and changing soils come the west note the leaf of the distribution of pine tree in east Texas and also the beginnings of the Oaks and also Prairies physiographic area.

North main Plains

Landforms in the Central Plains an ar of Texas is component of a larger central Plains an ar of north America. It is consisted of of 3 different areas. They space the cool Prairie, the overcome Timbers, and also the rojo Plains. Every of these locations has a different form of landform, and also they encompass prairies, forests, and plains.

The North main Plains of Texas space a southwestern expansion into Texas that the interior, or central, lowlands that prolong northward come the Canadian border, paralleling the good Plains to the West. The North main Plains that Texas prolong from the Blackland Belt on the east to the Caprock Escarpment top top the west. From phibìc to south, they prolong from the Red river to the Colorado River.

Great Plains

The good Plains an ar of Texas is component of the larger good Plains of phibìc America. The 3 separate locations in this region include the High Plains, the Edward Plateau, and also the Llano Basin. The terrain in these locations include plains, plateaus , canyons , escarpments , and basins

The an excellent Plains, i m sorry lie to the east of the basic of the Rocky Mountains, expand into northwestern Texas. This area, generally known as the High Plains, is a vast, flat, high plain covered through thick great of alluvial material. That is likewise known together the Staked plains or the Spanish equivalent,Llano Estacado.

Basin and Range: Trans-Pecos (a southern extension of the Rocky hills )

This region has 150 hills in its hill range. There are some plateaus and also basins. The Rio Grande forms this region"s southern border and new Mexico boundaries it to the north. Over there is also big Bend national Park in this region.

The Basin and Range province, through its center in Nevada, surrounds the Colorado Plateau ~ above the west and also south and also enters far West Texas native southern new Mexico on the east. It is composed of vast interior drainage containers interspersed through scattered fault-block hill ranges. Return this is the only part of Texas pertained to as mountainous, these must not be perplexed with the Rocky Mountains. Of all the independent varieties in West Texas, just the Davis hills resemble the Rockies

Texas Landscape and Landforms:

Chihuahuan Desert

In the joined States, the Chihuahuan Desert consists of the Trans-Pecos that Texas, southern brand-new Mexico, and also a small area in southeast Arizona. Vast basins and also valleys bordered through sloping alluvial fans and terraces make up the dried lowlands of this region, punctuated by occasional mesas and also mountain ranges. The Rio Grande and Pecos room the primary rivers that the Chihuahuan Desert. In this arid region, riparian corridors provide important habitat because that breeding, in-transit, and also wintering birds. Various other drainages finish in close up door basins and also include few permanent streams. Arid grass and shrubland are the primary lowland vegetation types, often overcame by creosote. This grades uphill into oak-juniper woodlands and also even coniferous forest in the highest possible reaches. The Madrean mountains note its western edge, the Edwards Plateau its east, and also the lessened shrubbiness the the shortgrass levels its north. The Chihuahuan Desert expand south throughout much the the central Plateau that Mexico, bordered by the Sierra Madre Occidental and also Oriental.

seaside Prairies

The coastal Prairies physiographic area covers approximately 880 km of seaside shoreline native Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana come Baffin Bay, Texas. The inland boundary of this area varieties from 15 km to 150 km from the coast, catching a facility of marshes and upland grassland and a very small amount of forested habitat. Swamp vegetation is identified largely through the salt contents of the water, with community types ranging from salt marsh come brackish to new water marsh. Almost all grassland habitats have actually been converted to agricultural use, mainly pasture lands and also rice farms. Forested locations occur primarily along significant riverine systems and also on coastal cheniers (ancient beachfront ridges), mottes and salt domes, and man-made levees and also spoil banks. The Chenier plain is critical sub-unit the the physiographic area that is situated from Atchafalaya Bay, Louisiana from the west to eastern Bay, Texas. Wooded subunits make up only about 6% that the Chenier Plain and also occur top top the cheniers themselves. This are long narrow bands the woodlands dominated by hackberry and also live oak that run parallel to the Gulf shore and range in width from about 30 come 500 m and also in length from about 1 to 50 km. Bottomland hardwood woodlands along the major river systems that drain the seaside Prairies range in ingredient from cypress-tupelo come hackberry-ash-elm come water oak-willow oak dominated forest

Edwards Plateau

The Edwards Plateau is entirely consisted of within Texas. This hilly area is plainly demarcated by the Balcones error escarpment to the east and also south, but grades right into the Chihuahuan Desert to the west and also the great Plains to the north. The plateau have the right to be split into 4 subregions. The main and western portions of the plateau are characterized by broad, relatively level uplands center dissected by tenderness sloping stream divides. The deep dissected part adjacent come the escarpment, the Balcones Canyonlands, is popularly well-known as the Texas Hill Country. This region is very dissected by fast-moving streams with steep-sided canyons. The northeast plateau, the Lampasas cut Plains, is identified by vast valleys. The final subregion is the central Mineral valley or Llano Uplift. This area has actually a granitic substrate that clearly differentiates this area from bordering areas. The Edwards Plateau was initially a grassy savannah with the most common trees being mesquite, juniper, and live oaks. Several of this community kind still remains, but agricultural practices have actually heavily modified most of the area. The eastern and wetter finish of the Plateau is characterized by diverse woodlands consisting of hardwoods (primarily oaks) and Ashe Juniper. Periodic, naturally-occurring fire was a significant ecological pressure in the west plateau that kept live oak savannahs and also produced a mosaic of habitats across wide landscapes.

Oaks and Prairies

The Oaks and also Prairies expand from around the Red flow of Oklahoma southern to san Antonio, Texas, east to the acidic sandy soils the the east Texas Pineywoods and west to the east Cross Timbers. In ~ this area, the Texas Blackland Prairie to represent the southernmost expansion of the north American tallgrass prairie. In this subregion, the major habitat is tallgrass that typically occurs on greater areas with an excellent drainage. Eleven tree associations have been defined in the Blackland Prairie, and dominant vegetation includes huge bluestem, little bluestem, Indiangrass, switchgrass, brownseed paspalum, and gramagrass. Likewise present in the Oaks and also Prairies physiographic area are bottomland hardwood forests, wherein burr oak, Shumard oak, black color walnut, American elm, cedar elm, and white ash are usual components. Riparian forests incorporate cottonwood, sycamore, black color willow, and green ash. Typical trees the upland hardwood forests developing on the upper slopes and summits that Austin chalk escarpments encompass Texas oak, san Saba oak, mexican plum, and cedar elm. There is frequently an linked dense scrub layer within these forests, including species such as aromatic sumac, toxicity oak, Carolina buckthorn, and also coralberry. There space occasional wetlands and freshwater marshes in the Oaks and also Prairies area, primarily connected with the peripheral areas of streams, rivers, and reservoirs.

Osage plains

The Osage Plains, covering west-central Missouri, the southeastern 3rd of Kansas, most of central Oklahoma, and also extending right into north-central Texas, is the southernmost of 3 tallgrass prairie physiographic areas. It qualities into savannah and woodland come the east and south, and into much shorter mixed-grass prairie come the west. The Osage levels consist of three subregions. The Osage Plains appropriate occupy the northeast segment. Although high solution demarcated from the Ozark uplift, the plains are nevertheless a transitional area across which the boundary in between prairie and also woodland has shifted over time. In the central portion that the physiographic area lies the second subregion, the Flint Hills. This big remnant core of aboriginal tallgrass prairie is a rocky rojo terrain the stretches from north to south across Kansas and extends right into Oklahoma. Come the west and also south of these hills space the Blackland Prairies and also Crosstimbers. This vegetatively complex region of intermixed prairie and also scrubby cedar-mesquite woodland extends into north-central Texas. Together in the rest of the good Plains, fire, herbivory, topography, and drought kept prairie and also established the location of woodlands.

Pecos and also Staked levels

The Staked and Pecos levels cover the western panhandle the Texas, the west finish of the panhandle that Oklahoma, and extensive areas in eastern new Mexico. These high and dry plains are spanned with a shortgrass prairie overcame by grama and also buffalo grasses. There are also extensive areas of shinnery, a midgrass prairie through low shrubs. The area qualities into taller grass to the east, to Trans-Pecos shrub savannah to the south, and much more chaparral and pinyon-juniper in the Mesas and also Plains area come the west. The northern border the Oklahoma is created as an arbitrary north limit.

rojo Red plains

The roll Red Plains prolong north from the Edwards Plateau in Texas to western sections of Oklahoma. The landscape is level to rolling plains, with natural vegetation consist of of combined grass plains, short grass high plains, shinnery oak grasslands, and also mesquite grasslands plains. The blended grass levels association is the change zone between the tall grass prairie association and other associations that are located in the western part of the physiographic area. Grasses and also forbs space the leading vegetation. The shinnery oak grasslands are located in wide rolling topographic relief that the western and northern part of the area. Oak mottes happen throughout vast expanses that tall, mixed, or brief grasses. The mesquite- grassland kind is probably the most extensive of neighborhoods in the area. This association generally occurs on level to tenderness rolling topography, and also is characterized by open canopy of quick mesquite trees with an understory that prickly pear and also thorny scrub. These natural communities were kept by a range of harsh weather events, consisting of severe winter weather, cycles of hot temperatures and drought, and tornadoes.

southern Texas Brushlands

The southern Texas Brushlands physiographic area, completely in southern Texas, is component of the Tamaulipan biotic province that extends into Mexico at the very least as much as the Rio Soto la Marina in Tamaulipas and the Monterrey region of east Nuevo Leon. These components of Mexico need to be included to the partner in trip planning unit as soon as possible. The area is overcame by chaparral, or brushland habitat, and reasonably recent farming fields. However, the an ar also includes fairly extensive grasslands, oak forests, and also some tall riparian forests. In the brushlands, much of the area was originally covered by mesquite-acacia savanna, and also areas that semi-open mandrel scrub usually less 보다 3 meter tall alternative with grassy areas. The loved one coverage of grassy locations is questionable, and may have actually varied during wet-dry cycles. Forested areas included live oak mottes and taller riparian zone forests along the Rio Grande, Nueces and also other rivers. Cenizo, or purple sage, covered several of the area together well, mostly on caliche capped ridges follow me the Rio Grande and Bordas escarpment. Coastal acreage, relatively small in this physiographic area, were once conquered by a complex of coastal marsh, upland grasslands, and also floodplain forest.

Texas geography Areas:

East Texas

The land between the Sabine and the Trinty Rivers is eastern Texas. The is similar to the locations of the Deep south of the US, consisting of pine trees, Cyprus, swamps, and the remnants of noodle plantations begun prior to the civil War. The discovery of vast oil areas in this area much more recently has actually brought new industry come this area of east Texas.

Gulf Coast

Major port cities in Texas including Houston, Galveston, body Christi and also Brownsville comprise this area known as the Gulf Coast. Crucial industry in this area is tourism.

Rio Grande Valley

The Rio Grande sink contains huge cattle ranches. It and also the lengthy border in between Mexico and also Texas is mostly plain.

Blackland Prairies

This area consists of the vital cities the Waco, Dallas, ft Worth and San Antonio. The Blackland Prairies represent some that the best farmland in Texas.

High Plains

The High plains are come the west that the Balcones Escarpent. The climate is semi-arid and has extremes in weather. Amarillo and also Lubbock are major cities there.

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West Texas

The primary industry in West Texas is ranching, with little suitable for farming and small amounts the rainfall or water. West Texas is additionally a semi-arid climate. Guadalupe Peak and Davis hills are located in West Texas.