Texas: High Plains
The Balcones Escarpment marks the western margin of the Gulf Coastal Plain; in central Texas the line is visible in a series of waterfalls and rough, tree-covered hills. To the west lie the south central plains and the Edwards Plateau; they are essentially extensions of the Great Plains but are sharply divided from the high, windswept, and canyon-cut Llano Estacado (Staked Plain) in the W Panhandle by the erosive division of the Cap Rock Escarpment.
No traces of the subtropical lushness of the Gulf Coastal Plain are found in these regions; the climate is semiarid, with occasional blizzards blowing across the flat land in winter. The Red River area, including the farming and oil center of Wichita Falls, can have extreme cold in winter, though without the severity that is intermittently experienced in Amarillo, the commercial center of the Panhandle, or in the dry-farming area around Lubbock. Cattle raising began here in the late 1870s (settlers were slow in coming to the High Plains), and huge ranches vie with extensive wheat and cotton farms for domination of the treeless land. Oil and grain, however, have revolutionized the economy of this section of the state.
Sections in this article:
- Industry in the Late Twentieth Century
- Oil, Industrialization, and World Wars
- The Late Nineteenth Century
- Civil War and Reconstruction
- The Texas Republic and U.S. Annexation
- Independence from Mexico
- American Expeditions and Settlement
- Spanish Exploration and Colonization
- Government, Politics, and Higher Education
- Places of Interest
- West Texas
- High Plains
- Blackland Prairies
- Rio Grande Valley
- Gulf Coast
- East Texas
- Facts and Figures
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