Most of the patterns of vegetation in Texas depict a close resemblance to various patterns of the surface geology. The region is composed of a wide collection of the rock types, making Texas be endowed with diverse types of soils and landforms. It can be contended that Texas geologic history is detailed in the strata of rocks that are known to fill a horde of surface sedimentary basins as well as cropping out across the state. Analysis on the strata of the rocks reveals a detailed geologic history that mainly highlights the changes that the geography has experienced which began in ancient times during the Precambrian Era. Physical features such as mountains, rivers, volcanoes and earthquakes constitute the geologic history of Texas.
The surface of the Texas is covered with the Precambrian rocks that said to be 600 million years old. These rocks, which were formed in the early history of the formation of the earth, are composed of both sedimentary and igneous rocks that have since been deformed through volcanic activities. Due to various agents of the mass wasting, most of these rocks have since been exposed making them be visible on the earths surface as it is the case in the Llano uplift and other areas especially in trans-Pecos Texas (University of Texas At Austin 2). In the onset of the Paleozoic, the extensive inland seas flooded majority parts of the West Texas. This led to deposition of large amounts of the limestones and shales.
The Ouachita Trough links the southern and eastern regions to the Texas Craton. Before the collision of the European and African continental plates with North America plate, there was a massive accumulation of sediments in the Ouachita Trough during the Precambrian era (Ward 1). The collision caused faulting of the rocks in the region which in return led to the formation of the mountainous uplifts as well as small basins that are filled with inland seas that are shallow. These features described the West Texas basin. The deposition of the sediments in this trough also made it possible for the Ouachita Trough to extend along the margin of the Paleozoic, traversing some parts of the Arkansas Oklahoma and Mexico. It is apparent that the outlay of the previous Gulf rim was greatly influenced by the geographical position of the earlier Ouachita Mountain Belt before the onset of abrasive activities such as river erosion and collision of the plate tectonic plates.
The Mesozoic Era was also integral in the geologic history of Texas. In this period, the European and African plates started shifting away from each other. This led to the formation of a belt of the fault-bounded basin that traversed Mexico and Nova Scotia (University of Texas At Austin 2). Sediments from the neighboring regions (uplifts) were transferred and deposited in this trough basically by the streams flowing along this region. The shifting of the European and African plate tectonics paved a way for further deposition of the sediments in the basin making them be completely filled hence getting buried underneath the marine salt. This took place during the formation of the East Texas and Gulf Coast Basins. In the East Texas, there was an upward movement of the deeply deposited salt that led to the formation of the salt ridges and domes. These features provided an extensive collection of folded structures that were paramount when it comes to trapping oil and gas.
The constricted openings hindered the circulation and the flow of ocean currents into both Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. At this region, the climatic conditions were characterized by hot temperatures which also led to high rates of evaporation. This made water in these constrictions to be dense as well as saline. The precipitation of these salts encouraged deposition of more sediments around the margins of the ocean as well as the Gulf of Mexico (Ward 5). The salt layers might have buried beneath the young rocks but they played an integral role geologic history of Texas, especially in South Central Texas.
The oceanic circulation and the general flow of ocean currents improved as the gulf and Atlantic continued to separate. The enhanced oceanic flow affected the salinity of the ocean since the oceanic waters around this region became more normal saline. This implies that the sediments that accumulated along the western flank of the gulf were composed of carbonates. Such sediments include calcium carbonate debris as well as some of the skeletons of living organisms living in sea water (Ward 5). These forms of sediments were hardened over time to form rocks such as limestone and dolostones. The continuing erosion swept away mud and sand away from this part of the continent and, later on, getting accumulated in the coastal regions of the Southern Texas. In addition, there was an extensive shallow lake in West Texas during the beginning of the early Mesozoic Era. This lake covered most parts of the Permian Basin. However, the lake was later intruded by waters from the Gulf of Mexico.
The collection of the lignite-bearing deposits, particularly from the rivers to the Texas basin, happened in during the Cenozoic era which according to geology, it happened 66 million years ago. During this period, The Mississippi River traversed across East Texas as well as the large delta that extended towards the northern region of Houston (Urbanczyk, Rohr and White 5). Cenozoic Era was characterized by the subduction of the Farallon plate beneath North American plate. The compression of the Laramide led to the formation of the Fold Mountains, reverse faults with steep gradients and thrust faults. When the magnitude of the compression forces began ceding, magnetism forces set in. The onset of magnetism was characterized with emplacement of the collection of the intrusive rocks mainly in the region around El Paso. This was tailed by volcanic activities in big Bend national Park. Regions around Trans-Pecos Texas experienced myriad Cenozoic eruptions of volcanoes. This led to the ejection of the thick lava flows that accumulated on the older Mesozoic as well as well Paleozoic layers, leading to the formation of the rift basins. Due to massive abrasion activities, most of the Cenozoic volcanic rocks have been eroded extensively, making them be exposed, especially in the arid regions of Trans-Pecos Texas.
Generally, the geologic evolution is accredited to the varied landscape that Texas State is endowed with. This indicates that the geographical features of Texas are attributed to varied natural processes that have immensely contributed to its current state. It can, therefore, be contended that the present day Texas is a link that relates the geological past of this region to its unavoidable future. References
BIBLIOGRAPHY University of Texas At Austin. "Geology of Texas ." Bureau of Economic Geology (1992): 1-2. pdf document.
Urbanczyk, Kevin, David Rohr and John White. "Geologic History of West Texas." Department of Earth and Physical Sciences, Sul Ross State University (2004): 2-22. pdf document.
Ward, Bill. "Geologic History of South Central Texas." Native Plant Society of Texas Symposium (NPSOT) (2006): 1-12. pdf document.
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