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Texas Ecoregions
Effects of Weathering, Erosion
and Deposition
What is an Ecoregion?
• an area defined by its environmental
conditions, esp. climate, landforms, and
soil characteristics.
Factors Affecting Our
Weathering – chemical and physical break
down of rocks into sediment
Erosion – the movement of sediment from
one place to another
Deposition – the placement of sediment
after being carried from place of origin
Piney Woods
• It is the wettest region of the state.
• This allows for a high rate of decomposition to
occur resulting in healthy, nutrient-rich soils.
• The topography is gently rolling to near flat
through out the region.
• Pine trees, woody vines, and hardwood trees
dominate the vegetation.
• Unless an area has been clear-cut of
vegetation for construction, the amount of
trees and plants can prevent erosion.
• Very little erosion takes place in these areas.
Oak Wood Prairies
These areas have
nutrient-rich soils and
receive good amounts of
rainfall through the year.
If the land is clear-cut of
natural vegetation for
construction nutrients can
easily be eroded by wind
and water.
Blackland Prairies
• Large herds of bison grazed
on the grasses at one time.
• Blackland prairies in Texas,
which are mostly composed
of clays, are eroded primarily
by water. Secondary causes
include wind, and the action
of burrowing animals (bio
Gulf Coast Prairies and
• A narrow band about 60 miles wide along the Texas coast
from the Louisiana border to Brownsville roughly outlines
the Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes
• Near the gulf waters you can see marshes, barrier islands,
estuaries (where salty sea water and fresh river water
meet), and bays.
• Catastrophic events such as hurricanes can increase wave
Llano Uplift
• A basin; in some places, it is 1000 feet
below the level of the surrounding
limestone escarpment.
• It gets its name from the granitic mass
that is exposed in the basin, granite
that has been dated at one billion years
• Upland soils are shallow, reddish
brown, stony, sandy loams over
granite, gneiss, and schist with deeper
sandy loams in the valleys.
South Texas
Brush Country
The area is known as
“Brush Country” due to the
shorter trees and many
Overgrazing of the land has
allowed nutrient-rich topsoil
to erode way by wind and
Rocky, dry soil cannot
support grasses, trees can
thrive because of their
deeper root system.
Coastal Sand Plains
Soil in the region is
primarily sand-based.
If there isn’t enough
vegetation to keep the soil
in place, rainfall received
can cause severe erosion.
Catastrophic events such
as hurricanes can increase
wave erosion.
Edwards Plateau
This region is located
between dry western plains
and moist prairies and
Unfortunately, water erosion
has left most of the region
with very shallow soils (less
than 10 inches) lined with
limestone rock layers.
High amounts of rain in a
short amount of time can.
cause flash flooding
Rolling Plains
This region is part of the Great
Plains of the central United
Soils in this area are most
fertile and sought after for crop
Periods of drought and then
sudden increase in rainfall
causes large amounts of
erosion and deplete the soil of
High Plains
• “Texas Panhandle”
Largest and most completely flat
areas of it size in the world!
• The High Plains ecoregion is one of the
windiest regions in the United States.
• The climate is generally dry, and areas
without vegetation experience wind
• The Palo Duro Canyon was formed by
water erosion by a fork of the Red
River. The canyon continues to
become deeper as the water moves
sediment downstream. Wind and water
erosion gradually widen the canyon.
• “Desert portion” of Texas.
• The weathered bedrock in this area has
high amounts of calcium.
• The Guadalupe Mountains and the
Davis Mountains are located in this
ecoregion, making it the most
mountainous area of Texas.
• * In general, soil in this region is eroded
due to the decline of grasslands.
• Flash-flooding and rapid runoff are
causes of erosion in the park.
• Erosion of the limestone cliffs takes
place because of acid rain.
• This ecoregion has seagrasses,
oyster reefs, barrier islands,
muddy estaurine bottoms, reefs
and open water.
• These areas provide plants and
animals with their basic needs
and support hundreds of
• Global warming has one of the
most negative impacts in marine