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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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