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Texas

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TEXAS, the most centrally located of the southern tier of the United States, is much the largest in the Union and is popularly known as the aLone Star State." It is bounded on the southeast by the Gulf of Mexico, on the east by Louisiana, on the east and north by Arkansas, on the north and east by Oklahoma, on the west and north by New Mexico, on the southwest by Mexico. It lies between lat. 25° 51' and 36° 30' N. and between long. 93° 30' and 106° 40' W., and extends, therefore, east and west nearly 800 miles, north and south nearly 750. Its land area is 262,400 square miles and its coast line nearly 400 miles. According to United States census estimates it had a popu lation of 4,700,000 in 1919 and a total wealth of $6,859,909,141 in 1912. Texas is divided into 252 counties and is a political but not a physical geographic unit. The State was admitted into the Union in 1845, having been for 10 years previously an independent republic.

The general surface slopes upward fairly uniformly toward the northwest from sea-level to 4,000 feet and more. The Gulf deepens but slowly off shore and long bar rier islands enclose along most of the coast shallow lagoons and bays whose total area is about 3,500 square miles. Padre, Galveston and Matagorda islands and Matagorda Peninsula are the longest of these barriers. Dredged channels aided by jetties allow large vessels to enter Galveston and Corpus Christi bays and Sabine Lake. The southeastern and eastern third of the State is quite flat but is diversified by very low hills along its northwestern bound ary which rises to 500 or 600 feet above sea level and which is marked toward the south by the Balcones Scarp and toward the north by the White Rock Scarp. The middle third of Texas is mainly level or nearly level country, but is marked by numerous hills which, chiefly in the southwest, cluster thickly enough to make large areas of rather rough contour. Ex cept for the Trans-Pecos region west of the Pecos River, the northwestern third of Texas, rising northwesterly from about 2,000 feet on the east to 4,000 feet on the west, is a part of the almost level great plains, but is cut more or less toward the east by the head streams of the larger rivers. West of the Pecos and nearer the Rio Grande, upon a plateau with an altitude of 3,000 to 4,000 feet, rise the Guada lupe, Franklin, Quitman, Davis, Organ, Chinati, Chisos and other mountains. Two peaks con siderably exceed 8,000 feet and 18 are higher than any east of the Mississippi. The mean elevation of Texas is 1,700 feet.

a consequence of the north westerly rise all the rivers flow in a general southeasterly direction. The Canadian and the Rio Grande, with its tributary, the Pecos, rise in the Rockies outside Texas. The Red, the

Brazos and the Colorado rivers rise on the Staked Plains. The Sabine, the Neches and the Trinity rise in the northeast, the Guada lupe, the San Antonio and the Nueces rise in the central part of the State. The Canadian and the Red rivers are parts of the Mississippi River system. The other rivers discharge into the Gulf along the Texas coast, all except the Brazos emptying into bays which they are silt ing up. Owing to slight and irregular rainfall over their upper drainage areas, the larger rivers are not well adapted to navigation, nor do the streams in general afford much constant water power. The Rio Grande divides Texas from Mexico, the Red and Sabine rivers di viding Texas partially from Oklahoma, Arkan sas and Louisiana.

rocics are repre sented only in the Llano, Van Horn and El Paso regions where, and in the Marathon re gion, limited exposure of Cambrian and Ordo vician strata are to be found. Scarcely any Silurian and no certain Devonian rocks have been discovered. In north central Texas, Car boniferous strata estimated to contain 8,000, 000,000 tons of bituminous coal and a vast quantity of recently discovered petroleum out crop over an area of 13,500 square miles. West of the coal-bearing area the Permian Red Beds outcrop over 25,000 square miles. The Jura Trias system is unimportant, outcropping only along the scarps of the Staked Plains. In the Trans-Pecos region are lesser outcrops of the Carboniferous, Permian and Jura-Trias. Ex ception being made of the Llano region and the Permian-Carboniferous areas. the middle third of Texas from the Rio Grande to the Red River is covered by Upper and Lower Creta ceous areas in the proportion of two to five. The long Balcones Scarp marks a fault which divides the Upper Cretaceous on the east from the Lower on the west. The Eocene and Pleistocene, separated by a narrow Oligocene and a Miocene-Pliocene strip, occupy all of southern and eastern Texas in about equal areas. West of the Lower Cretaceous and the Permian outcrop, northwestern Texas is almost wholly occupied by later Cenozoic strata. Erup tive lava sheets are to be found in the Trans Pecos, where the mountains are of the Basin Range type; basaltic outbursts are to be found widely but sparsely scattered through the southern Upper Cretaceous. In the Llano re gion vast masses of granite are exposed. Some 23,000,000,0W tons of lignite are estimated to lie in the Eocene Beds. The marine Neocene of the Coastal Plain contains immense petroleum deposits, but petroleum has also been found in large quantities in the Eocene, CretaCeous and even the Carboniferous. Over a thousand square miles of the Eocene are some easily accessible beds of good limonite.

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