ⓘ Edwards Plateau


ⓘ Edwards Plateau

The Edwards Plateau is a geographic region at the crossroads of Central, South and West Texas. It is bounded by the Balcones Fault to the south and east, the Llano Uplift and the Llano Estacado to the north, and the Pecos River and Chihuahuan Desert to the west. San Angelo, Austin, San Antonio and Del Rio roughly outline the area. The southeast portion of the plateau is known as the Texas Hill Country.


1. Natural history

The bedrock consists primarily of limestone, with elevations ranging between 100 and 3000 ft. Caves are numerous.

The landscape of the plateau is mostly savanna scattered with trees. It mostly lacks deep soil suitable for farming, though the soil is fertile mollisols and some cotton, grain sorghum, and oats are grown. For the most part, though, the thin soil and rough terrain areas are primarily grazing regions, with cattle, sheep, and Angora goats predominant. Several rivers cross the region, which generally flow to the south and east through the Texas Hill Country toward the Gulf of Mexico; springs occur in wet years, but permanent surface water supplies are sparse throughout the area, except for man-made reservoirs. The area is well drained; rainwater flows into the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone at the south of the plateau to feed rivers to the south. Rainfall varies from 15 to 33 inches per year, on average, from northwest to southeast, and the area has a moderate temperature and a reasonably long growing season.


1.1. Natural history Flora

Trees of the savanna include juniper and oak species scattered over grasses, a vegetation type historically shaped by droughts and regular fires. Some pecan trees are found near the springs and rivers. The Balcones Fault is associated with the Edwards Plateau formation. This fault line is an ecological demarcation for the range definition of a number of species.


1.2. Natural history Fauna

Caves of the Edwards Plateau are important habitats for a great deal of wildlife. The area is home to some of the largest colonies of bats in the world, including millions of Mexican free-tailed bats. The largest colony of these inhabits Bracken Cave near San Antonio, while the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin is the summer home for over half a million they winter in Mexico and is the largest bat colony anywhere in an urban area. The Edwards Plateau is home to at least 14 endemic freshwater fishes, including two subterranean species of catfish and 13 fish species considered to be spring-associated. Mechanisms for spring association of fishes is not fully understood, but thought to mediated by water temperature. The large numbers of reptiles and birds also include breeding populations of the Texan endemic golden-cheeked warbler Dendroica chrysoparia.

Nearly all the natural habitat of the plateau has been converted to ranchland, farmland, or urban areas, such as Austin and San Antonio, with only about 2% remaining in scattered fragments, especially to the east of the plateau. Further alteration to the savanna has incurred though the encroachment of shrubs now that grassland fires are carefully controlled. Small areas of intact habitat remain, particularly around Austin, where areas are protected, such as the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge. Another important area for wildlife is Fort Hood military base.


2. Human history

Earliest human settlement of this area was by Native Americans. First it was used and wandered about by Jumano and Coahuiltecan groups, then the Apacheria extended into the Southern Plains by the forerunners of the Lipan and Mescalero Apaches. After the expulsion of the Apachean groups from the Plains by the Comanche, this area was dominated by the Penateka band of the Southern Comanche.

  • Edwards County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 2, 002. The county seat
  • California Edwards Plateau region of Texas Edwards Aquifer, an aquifer in that region Edwards County, Illinois Edwards County, Kansas Edwards County, Texas
  • neotenes, also known as the Texas salamander, Bexar County salamander, Edwards Plateau salamander, or Texas neotenic salamander, is a species of entirely
  • Haden Edwards August 12, 1771 August 14, 1849 was a Texas settler and land speculator. Edwards County, Texas on the Edwards Plateau is named for him
  • The Edwards Aquifer is one of the most prolific artesian aquifers in the world. Located on the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of
  • Plateau shiner Cyprinella lepida is a species of fish in the family Cyprinidae. It is endemic to the United States, where it occurs on the Edwards Plateau
  • into the limestone of the Edwards Plateau by tributaries of the Colorado River. Beneath the surface of the Edwards Plateau lies an underground labyrinth of
  • long, in central Texas in the United States. It drains part of the Edwards Plateau in Texas Hill Country northwest of Austin. Two spring - fed tributaries
  • in the Edwards Plateau The Plant List, Chaetopappa bellidifolia A.Gray Engelm. ex A.Gray Engelm. Shinners Flora of North America, Edwards lazy daisy
  • located in West Texas in an area from the southwestern reaches of the Edwards Plateau and the northeastern edge of the Chihuahuan desert. The North Concho
  • and corresponds to a physiographic section designation within the Edwards Plateau in a geographic context. Central Texas includes the Austin Round Rock
  • to the south of the Llano Estacado lies the Edwards Plateau The Rolling Plains and the Edwards Plateau subregions act as transitional zones between