Franklin Mountains (Texas)

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Franklin Mountains
El Paso Franklin Mountains and Scenic Drive aerial.jpg
Aerial view of the Franklin Mountains from the south, with El Paso's Scenic Drive at the bottom, and New Mexico's Organ Mountains on the horizon in the distance
Highest point
PeakNorth Franklin Peak
Elevation 7,192 ft (2,192 m)
Coordinates 31°54′10″N106°29′36″W / 31.90278°N 106.49333°W / 31.90278; -106.49333 Coordinates: 31°54′10″N106°29′36″W / 31.90278°N 106.49333°W / 31.90278; -106.49333
Geography
CountryUnited States
StatesTexas and New Mexico
Geology
Orogeny Laramide orogeny
Age of rock Cretaceous
Type of rock Sedimentary, Igneous

The Franklin Mountains of Texas are a small range (23 miles long, 3 miles (4.8 km) wide) that extend from El Paso, Texas north into New Mexico. [1] The Franklins were formed due to crustal extension related to the Cenozoic Rio Grande rift. Although the present topography of the range and adjoining basins is controlled by extension during rifting in the last 10 million years, faults within the range also record deformation during the Laramide orogeny, between 85 and 45 million years ago.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast.

El Paso, Texas City in Texas, United States

El Paso is a city in and the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, in the far western part of the state. The 2017 population estimate for the city from the U.S. Census was 683,577. Its metropolitan statistical area (MSA) covers all of El Paso and Hudspeth counties in Texas, and has a population of 844,818.

New Mexico State of the United States of America

New Mexico is a state in the Southwestern region of the United States of America; its capital and cultural center is Santa Fe, which was founded in 1610 as capital of Nuevo México, while its largest city is Albuquerque with its accompanying metropolitan area. It is one of the Mountain States and shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and Arizona; its other neighboring states are Oklahoma to the northeast, Texas to the east-southeast, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua to the south and Sonora to the southwest. With a population around two million, New Mexico is the 36th state by population. With a total area of 121,592 sq mi (314,920 km2), it is the fifth-largest and sixth-least densely populated of the 50 states. Due to their geographic locations, northern and eastern New Mexico exhibit a colder, alpine climate, while western and southern New Mexico exhibit a warmer, arid climate.

Contents

The highest peak is North Franklin Peak at 7,192 feet (2,192 m). Much of the range is part of the Franklin Mountains State Park. The mountains are composed primarily of sedimentary rock with some igneous intrusions. Geologists refer to them as tilted-block fault mountains and in them can be found 1.25 billion-year-old [2] Precambrian rocks, the oldest in Texas. [1] [3]

Franklin Mountains State Park Texas state park in El Paso, Texas

Franklin Mountains State Park is a Texas state park in El Paso, Texas, in the United States. Park headquarters are located at an elevation of 5,426 feet (1,654 m) with the highest peak reaching 7,192 feet (2,192 m). It is the largest urban park in the nation lying completely within city limits, covering 24,247.56 acres (9,813 ha). Franklin Mountains State Park is open year-round for recreational hiking, mountain biking, picnicking and scenic driving and vistas.

Sedimentary rock Rock formed by the deposition and subsequent cementation of material

Sedimentary rocks are types of rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of small particles and subsequent cementation of mineral or organic particles on the floor of oceans or other bodies of water at the Earth's surface. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause these particles to settle in place. The particles that form a sedimentary rock are called sediment, and may be composed of geological detritus (minerals) or biological detritus. Before being deposited, the geological detritus was formed by weathering and erosion from the source area, and then transported to the place of deposition by water, wind, ice, mass movement or glaciers, which are called agents of denudation. Biological detritus was formed by bodies and parts of dead aquatic organisms, as well as their fecal mass, suspended in water and slowly piling up on the floor of water bodies. Sedimentation may also occur as dissolved minerals precipitate from water solution.

The Precambrian is the earliest part of Earth's history, set before the current Phanerozoic Eon. The Precambrian is so named because it preceded the Cambrian, the first period of the Phanerozoic eon, which is named after Cambria, the Latinised name for Wales, where rocks from this age were first studied. The Precambrian accounts for 88% of the Earth's geologic time.

North Franklin Mountain mountain in United States of America

North Franklin Mountain is a mountain in the Franklin Mountains of El Paso, Texas, located in the Southwestern United States. North Franklin, at 7,192 feet (2,192 m), is the highest point in El Paso, and the 27th-highest mountain in the state of Texas. Surrounded by a state park and with a maintained trail leading to its summit, the mountain is a popular hiking destination.

Organ Mountains

The Organ Mountains are a rugged mountain range in southern New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument was declared a national monument on May 21, 2014. They lie 10 miles (16 km) east of the city of Las Cruces, in Doña Ana County.

Northwest El Paso is an area of El Paso, Texas that is located on the west side of the Franklin Mountains. It is home to some of the most affluent neighborhoods within the city of El Paso, Texas. It has magnificent houses perched high on the mountains, as well as some spectacular houses in the Upper Valley. It is also one of the fastest-growing areas of the city.

See also

Trans-Pecos

The Trans-Pecos, as originally defined in 1887 by the Texas geologist Robert T. Hill, is the portion of Texas that lies west of the Pecos River. The term is considered synonymous with "Far West Texas", a subdivision of West Texas. The Trans-Pecos is part of the Chihuahuan Desert, the largest desert in North America. It is the most mountainous and arid portion of the state, and most of its area is vast and sparsely populated, comprising seven of the ten largest counties by area in Texas. The area is known for the natural environment of the Big Bend and the gorge of the Rio Grande, part of which has been designated a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. With the notable exceptions of Big Bend Ranch State Park, Big Bend National Park and the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, the vast majority of the Trans-Pecos region consists of privately owned ranchland. However, the majority of the region's population reside in the El Paso metropolitan area.

Chihuahuan Desert desert

The Chihuahuan Desert is a desert and ecoregion designation covering parts of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. It occupies much of West Texas, parts of the middle and lower Rio Grande Valley and the lower Pecos Valley in New Mexico, and a portion of southeastern Arizona, as well as the central and northern portions of the Mexican Plateau. It is bordered on the west by the extensive Sierra Madre Occidental range, along with northwestern lowlands of the Sierra Madre Oriental range. On the Mexican side, it covers a large portion of the state of Chihuahua, along with portions of Coahuila, north-eastern Durango, the extreme northern part of Zacatecas, and small western portions of Nuevo León. With an area of about 362,000 km2 (139,769 sq mi), it is the third largest desert of the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in North America, after the Great Basin Desert.

Davis Mountains mountain range in the US state of Texas

The Davis Mountains, originally known as Limpia Mountains, are a range of mountains in West Texas, located near Fort Davis, after which they are named. The fort was named for then United States Secretary of War and later Confederate President Jefferson Davis. They are a popular site for camping and hiking and the region includes Fort Davis National Historic Site and Davis Mountains State Park. The historical and architectural value of the fort, along with the rugged natural environment of the park are a significant destination for tourism in Texas.

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Rio Grande rift

The Rio Grande rift is a north-trending continental rift zone. It separates the Colorado Plateau in the west from the interior of the North American craton on the east. The rift extends from central Colorado in the north to the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, in the south. The rift zone consists of four basins that have an average width of 50 kilometers. The rift can be observed on location at Rio Grande National Forest, White Sands National Monument, Santa Fe National Forest, and Cibola National Forest, among other locations.

Llano Uplift

The Llano uplift is a low geologic dome that is about 90 miles (140 km) in diameter. It consists of an island-like exposure of Precambrian igneous and metamorphic rocks surrounded by outcrops of Paleozoic and Cretaceous sedimentary strata. At their widest, the exposed Precambrian rocks extend about 65 miles (105 km) westward from the valley of the Colorado River and beneath a broad, gentle topographic basin drained by the Llano River. The subdued topographic basin is underlain by Precambrian rocks and bordered by a discontinuous rim of flat-topped hills. These hills are the dissected edge of the Edwards Plateau, which consist of overlying Cretaceous sedimentary strata. Within this basin and along its margin are down-faulted blocks and erosional remnants of Paleozoic strata which form prominent hills.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park national park in Texas, USA

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is an American national park in the Guadalupe Mountains, east of El Paso, Texas. The mountain range includes Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas at 8,749 feet (2,667 m), and El Capitan used as a landmark by travelers on the route later followed by the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. The ruins of a stagecoach station stand near the Pine Springs visitor center. The restored Frijole Ranch contains a small museum of local history and is the trailhead for Smith Spring. The park covers 86,367 acres in the same mountain range as Carlsbad Caverns National Park, about 25 miles (40 km) to the north in New Mexico. The Guadalupe Peak Trail winds through pinyon pine and Douglas-fir forests as it ascends over 3,000 feet (910 m) to the summit of Guadalupe Peak, with views of El Capitan and the Chihuahuan Desert.

Geology of the United States regional geology

The richly textured landscape of the United States is a product of the dueling forces of plate tectonics, weathering and erosion. Over the 4.5 billion-year history of our Earth, tectonic upheavals and colliding plates have raised great mountain ranges while the forces of erosion and weathering worked to tear them down. Even after many millions of years, records of Earth's great upheavals remain imprinted as textural variations and surface patterns that define distinctive landscapes or provinces.

Colorado Plateau plateau in the southwestern United States

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Guadalupe Mountains Mountain range in the US states of Texas and New Mexico

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Loop 375 is a beltway that partially encircles the city of El Paso, Texas. The beltway is mostly a freeway, except for its northern section, which includes at-grade intersections. The highway passes through various areas of El Paso, funneling traffic within and around the city. The road is known locally under different names, as Woodrow Bean Transmountain Drive in the northern section, Purple Heart Memorial Freeway in the northeastern section, Joe Battle Boulevard in the eastern section, and the César Chávez Border Highway in the southern section.

Geography of Texas

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East Potrillo Mountains

The East Potrillo Mountains are a mountain range in south central Doña Ana County, New Mexico. They are located approximately 25 miles (40 km) west of El Paso, Texas, 30 miles (50 km) southwest of Las Cruces, New Mexico, and 30 miles east of Columbus, New Mexico. The southern tip of the range is less than 5 miles (8 km) from the Mexican border. The mountains and most of the surrounding acreage are located on land owned by the Bureau of Land Management. Access to the general vicinity is through New Mexico State Road 9, and several unpaved county roads.

West Potrillo Mountains

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Caballo Mountains landform

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Geology of North America regional geology of North America

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The geology of Colorado was assembled from island arcs accreted onto the edge of the ancient Wyoming Craton. The Sonoma orogeny uplifted the ancestral Rocky Mountains in parallel with the diversification of multicellular life. Shallow seas covered the regions, followed by the uplift current Rocky Mountains and intense volcanic activity. Colorado has thick sedimentary sequences with oil, gas and coal deposits, as well as base metals and other minerals.

References

  1. 1 2 Van Hise, C.R. and Leith, C.K. 1909. Pre-Cambrian Geology of North America. United States Geological Survey, Bulletin 360, 939 pp. (See pp. 746-748)
  2. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_br_p4501_0124g.pdf Precambrian rocks can be seen in the Tom Mays unit of the Franklin Mountains park
  3. Brooks, A.H. 1904. The Geological Society of Washington. Science NS 19(490):794-796.
  4. Richardson, G.B. 1909. El Paso folio, Texas. United States Geological Survey, Folios of the Geologic Atlas, No. 166, 11 pp. (See Figure 10)
<i>Handbook of Texas</i> encyclopedia of Texas published by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)

The Handbook of Texas is a comprehensive encyclopedia of Texas geography, history, and historical persons published by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA).