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Historical Geology of The Permian Basin

One of the largest oil producing areas of the world is located in West Texas.

This area is known as the Permian Basin. Most of the oil is being produced from rocks

formed in the Permian Period. The largest amounts of these rocks are located in

the Permian Basin and southeastern New Mexico. That is why this area is known as

the Permian Basin. The main features of the Permian Basin was formed in the early

part of the Paleozoic area but it wasn’t until the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian

Periods that the folding occurred in which formed the outlines of the basin as it

is presented to us today. (Intro to Petroleum Geology of the Permian Basin)

Our basic composition of the Permian Basin is made up of sand, distance, and

mountain regions. We also have the desert region in which tons of Igneous, Sedimentary,

and Metamorphic rocks can be found. There are also a lot of crusted plates, and violent

volcanoes that are located in our region. In our Big Bend and Fort Davis areas, when

traveling down the highway you may find many sedimentary deep filled basins and uplifted

landscapes where you can tell erosion played a huge part in their current forms.

(Roadside Geology of Texas)

The earth as we know it can be divided from the center outward into three concentric

shells. These shells are known as the Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, and the atmosphere.

Basically these are the general features of the Earth and I am going to give you

a description in which you may be able to define the uses of these in our every day


The Lithosphere: (rock sphere) is the solid sphere in which we live, farm and

build our buildings of our cities. It is 8,000 miles in diametere and 26,000 miles

in circumference. The outer few miles of lithosphere is made up of rock called crust.

Hydrosphere: This is where the water sphere is located. It is made up of everything

that contains water: Oceans, Rivers , Lakes, as well as the groundwater. The main

purpose we use this for is to drill wells into so that we may obtain the water that

we use in our homes.

Atmosphere: This is the outer shell and it is made up of the air. It extends

outward at least 200 miles from the surface of the crust, but half of its mass is

within 12 miles of sea level. The atmosphere is important to all living things because

it gives us oxygen which is the important factor to process life. (Intro to Petroleum

Geology of the Permian Basin)

The feature that makes up our lovely West Texas region A.K.A. the Permian Basin,

is three rock types. These are found exclusively in the Big Bend, and Marathon regions.

These rock types are Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic. These are found throughout

most of the Permian Basin area. Here are some brief definitions in which you may

define these rock types. These definitions come from the book(Intro to Petroleum

Geology of the Permian Basin) .

Igneous Rocks: formed by the cooling and solidfication of molten material called


Sedimentary Rocks: formed from particles that were deposited by water, air, or ice.

Metamorphic Rocks: formed from sedimentary and igneous rocks, but altered by heat,

pressure, and fluids to a different form and mineral composition.

Erosion as mentioned earlier has played a huge role in defining and shaping our

scenic view and landscapes of West Texas. When looking up at one of these magnificent

ancient volcanoes, you can estimate pretty much exactly how much rock has been weathered,

eroded and removed from this part of the country. Another example of erosion is pretty

much given at the bottom of every mountain found in West Texas. You can see it in

the talus piles and even in the dry climate of this part of the state. (Roadside

Geology of Texas).

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