Texas: West Texas
All of West Texas (that part of the state west of long. 100°W) is semiarid. South of the Panhandle lie the rolling plains around Abilene, a region cultivated in cotton, sorghum, and wheat and the site of oil fields discovered in the 1940s. The dry fields of West Texas are still given over to ranching, except for small irrigated areas that can be farmed. San Angelo serves as the commercial center of this area. The Midland-Odessa oil patch lies northeast of the Pecos River and is part of the Permian (West Texas) Basin, an oil field that extends into SE New Mexico.
The land beyond the Pecos River, rising to the mountains with high, sweeping plains and rough uplands, offers the finest scenery of Texas. There are found the Davis Mts. and Guadalupe Peak, the highest point (8,751 ft/2,667 m) in the state. The wilderness of the Big Bend of the Rio Grande is typical of the barrenness of most of this area, where water and people are almost equally scarce. El Paso, with diverse industries and major cross-border trade with Mexico, is a population oasis in the region.
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
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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