Chapter Three: Texas Regions

Section One: Mapping Texas Lands

1. Two Kinds of Geography

a)      Plains = a wide area of flat or gently rolling land.

-         Physical Geography = the physical features of the Earth’s surface.

-         Human Geography = the features of the Earth that are created or changed by humans.

-         Settlement = a place where people live.

2.Weather and Climate

a)      Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a specific time and place.

b)      Climate is the expected weather conditions at a place based on what happened in the past.

3. Texas Climate

a)      Because Texas lies in the Middle Latitudes, it has warm summers and cool winters.

b)      Generally, average temperatures decrease as elevation and distance from the Equator increase.

c)      The Southern and eastern parts of Texas are cooler than the Western areas because they have more clouds and rainfall.

d)      East Texas gets more rain than West Texas because it lies along the Gulf Coast.

e)      The variations in rainfall cause differences in vegetation from East to West Texas.

4. Landform Regions

a)      Most of Texas is made up of plains.

b)      The Rocky Mountains extend into West Texas.

5. Rivers of Texas

a)      The Rio Grande separates Texas and Mexico in the South.

b)      The Sabine River separates Texas and Oklahoma in the North.

c)      The Red River separates Texas and Louisiana in the East.

d)      The Pecos River is an important tributary of the Rio Grande.

-         Tributary = A stream that flows into another stream or larger body of water.

e)      Most Texas rivers flow into the Gulf of Mexico.

Section Two: Identifying the Four Regions of Texas

1. Dividing Up Texas

a)      Texas is divided into 4 Regions. Three are further divided into subregions.

-         Subregion = A smaller division of a geographic region.

2. Coastal Plains Region

a)      The largest region. About 1/3 of all Texas. Bordered by the Balcones Escarpment to the west, and the Gulf of Mexico to the East. It is divided into 5 subregions.

-         Escarpment = A cliff or abrupt break in the Earth’s surface.

b)      The Piney Woods is the northernmost subregion of the coastal Plains Region.

-         Contains the only true swamps in Texas.

c)      The Post Oak Belt is a subregion of the Coastal Plains Region, west of the Piney Woods.

d)      The Blackland Prairie is a subregion in the extreme western part of the  Coastal Plains Region. Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin are here.

e)      The Gulf Coastal Plain is a subregion of the Coastal Plains Region, lying along the gulf. Houston is located here.

f)        The South Texas Plain is a subregion of the Coastal Plains Region, located in extreme southern Texas. Known as Cattle Country.

3. North Central Plains Region

a)      The North Central Plains Region begins at the Balcones Escarpment and extends west to the Caprock Escarpment. It is divided into 3 subregions.

b)      The Grand Prairie is a subregion in the southeastern most part of the North Central Plains Region.

c)      The Cross Timbers is the middle subregion of the North Central Plains Region. We are located here, and this is how our school got it’s name.

d)      The Rolling Plains is the western most subregion of the North Central Plains Region. Known for its Steppe landforms.

-         Steppe = A vast, treeless plain.

4. The Great Plains Region

a) Lies in the extreme Northwest part of Texas, and is divided into 3 subregions.

b)      The Llano Basin is a sunken-in, egg-shaped subregion of the Great Plains Region, lying in central Texas.

c)      The Edwards Plateau is a subregion lying in the southernmost part of the Great Plains region. The Edwards Aquifer is located here.

- Aquifer = An underground Sea of fresh water!

d)      The High Plains is a subregion of the Great Plains Region, extending along most of the New Mexico Border to Oklahoma. Also called the “Llano Estacado”.

5. Mountains and Basins

a)      This region is in extreme West Texas, including the city of El Paso, and Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas.

- Contains the only true deserts in Texas.

6. Summing Up Texas Regions

a)      Texas landscape is diverse, but it can be easy to learn about, and study.

b)      The Balcones Escarpment is a key to understanding Texas landforms. To its east, Texas is a Coastal Plain. To it’s west, the land is higher, and somewhat hillier.

c)      The Great Plains, past the Caprock Escarpment, is very flat, but has some deep canyons and steep cliffs.

d)      The Mountains and Basins is the only part of Texas with true mountains.

Section Three: Mapping Texas People

1. Where People Live in Texas

a)      Most of the 21  million Texans live in a city. 4 out of 5.

b)      The largest Texas cities are: Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin.

-         Metropolitan Area = A city and all the areas around it that depend on the central city.

-         Suburb = A smaller community just outside a city.

c)      2/3 of the Texas population lives east of the Balcones Escarpment. The “great triangle” on our large class wall map.

2. Why Cities Grow

a)      Many people live in east and central Texas cities because industry there has so many good jobs.

-         Industry = The activity of making or preparing products for sale.

b)      Dallas and Fort Worth are expanding from new industries in the airplane, and in military fields.

c)      San Antonio has a large tourism and military industry.

d)      Austin is home to government, educational, and high tech industries.

e)      West Texas has a large ranching, farming, and oil-based economy.

3. Farming in Texas

a)      Texas has the 2nd highest farm income of any state.

b)      Texas produces more cotton than any other state.

c)      Most cotton is grown in the High Plains, near the Panhandle.

d)      Rice and Citrus Fruits are grown in southern Texas along the coast.

4. The Rich and Poor in Texas

a)      The average Texan earns $25, 369 per capita income.

-         Per Capita Income = The average amount of income per person per year in a given area.

b)      Highest incomes are generally in cities, where better jobs attract more people.

c)      Oil rich Sherman County has the states highest per capita income at $38, 000.

d)      The lowest income areas are along the Lower Rio Grande Valley area.

e)      Inner-cities are also typically low income areas.

5. Diverse Names of Texas Cities and Towns

a)      Many Texas towns are named after Spanish words, reflecting our heritage.

b)      Others take names from famous Texans or from Indian words.

-         Heritage = beliefs and customs that people get from their ancestors.