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Copy of Trans- Pecos Region
Transcript of Copy of Trans- Pecos Region
Claire Sarfatis & Mary Elizabeth Scott Geography Typical Land
Chihuahuan Desert is the largest one. It is also in Mexico, but the northern part is in the Trans Pecos region Major Landforms
(north of El Paso)
(forms eastern boundary)
Major Aquatic Features
(not extremely efficient for the environment because it is low in recharge or refill rates and high in mineral content)
Carved by the Rio Grande Watershed EL PASO-
LAS CRUCES Many of the groups that work with the El Paso-Las Cruces watershed agree that there is a substantial amount of chloride and sulfate in the suface water. Surface water is the water that has collected on the external grounds of the earth. The chloride and sulfate are beleived to be from runoff of surrounding factories and buildings. The ground water in the El Paso-Las Cruces has also proved to be a problem because many experts are worried that the aquifer will not be able to replenish in time for there to be a reasonable amount of water left. Normally this wouldn't be a problem but many people are frivouslly using the water as mining water. Ways That Humans are Affecting the Watershed
-They are dumping large amounts of sulfate and chloride as runoff into the watershed
-They take the groundwater in large amounts constantly not allowing it to fill back up
- Multiple groups are working to preserve this watershed by going there regurally to clean up debris and anything else they can do to make it cleaner Climate i. wind: 9.6 mph average wind speed
ii. rainfall: 8 in. in El Paso; 12-15 in. near Sanderson (July-Sept rainy season
iii. sunlight levels: 6.5-7 kwh/m2 per day (302 days per year does the sun shine)
iv. temperature: 71.6 Degrees F = Average High 51.75 Degrees F = Average Low
*Highest average annual solar radiation in the U.S. MAJOR EVENTS Natural Changes in the Trans-Pecos Weathering Erosion The Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl started in 1932 when 14 dust storms raged upon Western Texas, Eastern New Mexico, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western Kansas, and Eastern Colorado. Western Texas is inhabited by the Trans Pecos region which was one of the most severly handicapped regions after the Dust Bowl diminished. Not only were the huge dust storms a major problem here but on a normal average year the land would receive 12.2 inches of rain but during the dust bowl they only received 1.9 inches. In this area government officials were told to go to the farmers there and ask them to implement certain measures to stop the dust from hurting the crops. This procedure would help increase healthy crops and thus increase not only the farmers' salary but Texas' also. The one flaw with this plan is that the procedure of protecting the crops took more money than the farmers had and they could no longer support their way of life. Between the years 1935 and 1937 is when the government tried to implement and failed the plan to save the crops. During this time over 34% of farmers left.
I tell you this because this shows how devastated the land in the Trans Pecos region was and how difficult it was for humans to try to control it. Dry soil meant that not only are crops unnable to grow but other life-saving plants could not produce either. This caused a domino affect and when one link in the food chain was deleted everyone else suffered too. Once the producers were gone the primary consumers started to die off and then went the rest until it came up to the top consumer. Some animals moved and others simply died. Either way, the ecosystem was greatly affected. Deposition Sustainability Factors a. The Trans Pecos region relies heavily on the sun how it affects its plantlife. The ever-present life source helps the plants to grow rapidly and thus flourish. With all the vegetation around, the primary consumers have much food and so do the secondary consumers etc. The sun helps to increase the well being of most animals when used correctly.
b. The average rainfall is about 10-15 inches for the whole region a year. The little rainfall is a population control factor in the Trans Pecos regions because it limits the diversity, number, and reproduction of the plants here. There is already a limited number of plants because of the harsh desert conditions but the sun is even more limiting because it forces the plants to be able to retain water. o Thanks to.... The Rio Grande has worn away at the land in Big Bend National Park for many years .
Wind wears away at rock gradually; wind- worn rock is often somewhat striped
When CO2 mixes with water in clouds, it falls as rain and causes chemical weathering
This picture, taken in Big Bend National Park, shows both wind and water weathering. The wind weathering is displayed by its telltale stripes, and the water weathering is shown by the river curling through the canyon Wind, and some water, contributes the main force of erosion in the Trans-Pecos.
In the picture from before, the rock had to be carried away after it was weathered down, and wind or the river, combined with gravity, took it from where it was.
In the picture below, rock that was broken apart by wind has been carried down by gravity and wind. You can see where wind and gravity have carried sediments away. Deposition occurs when the agents of erosion drop the sediments they carried.
Deposition is visible when the sediments dropped pile up on the ground This picture displays deposition along with erosion. The sand on the ground is the dropped sediments. Agave lechuguilla (Lechuguilla) Pecari tajacu (Javelina or Collared Peccary) Canis latrans (Coyote) Opuntia lindheimeri (Texas Prickly Pear) Lepus californicus (Black-tailed Jackrabbit) Odocoileus virginianus (White-tailed Deer) Phrynosoma cornutum (Texas Horned Lizard) Arphia conspersa (Banded-winged Grasshopper) Bouteloua dactyloides (Buffalo Grass) Equus africanus asinus (Donkey) Because the ground is so dry and plants are somewhat scarce in this region, a tornado could be extremely devastating to the Trans-Pecos ecosystem. By ripping up the few plants that survive there and taking many animals' food source, this hypothetical tornado could throw the ecosystem's equilibrium off, or even cause the extinction of some species in this region. A large fire could hurt this region for the same reason that a tornado would hurt the Trans-Pecos: since the plants there are small and scarce, every last one is precious. If a fire were to wipe out too many of the plants in this region, the animals may die too, resulting in a lack of life in West Texas. Potential Disasters Historical Disaster The Dust Bowl threw the ecosystem in West Texas out of whack. As almost 3 quarters of topsoil was removed, the plants that were not extremely hardy had trouble surviving. The ecosystem had to rebuild itself through succession, and it isn't entirely finished. Every bit of the West Texas ecosystem was affected, and, of the little life that survived in the Trans-Pecos, most ither relocated or died. Succession After the Dust Bowl Because it lives in the dry Trans-Pecos region, the Lechuguilla holds a lot of water in its green, spiky leaves. Because it lives in the dry, arid Trans-Pecos region, the Lechuguilla stores much water in its spiky green leaves for when it can't find water. To avoid predators like coyotes, the Javelina sleeps in burrows at night. It also protects itsels with its tusks. The Prickly Pear cactus, like the Lechuguilla, is a succulent. This means it stores large amounts of water in its leaves, allowing it to survive well in dry areas. The Black Tailed Jackrabbit has large ears that keep it cool through blood circulation, and its strong legs let it outrun most predators. It also camoflauges well. Because they live in such an open, large environment, these Banded Winged Grasshoppers blend in well to the ground and they have no trouble flying around. Because it can survive in warm and dry environments easily, Buffalo Grass grows well in the Trans-Pecos region. The Texas Horned Lizard can survive well in deserts and it shoots blood from its eye sockets to deter predators like the coyote. To survive in the Trans-Pecos Region, the donkey has large ears to cool its blood and it survives mainly in deserts, which means it is used to the dry, arid environment it inhabits. The coyote is well adapted to living in most environments. It is not picky about its meat, and it has adapted in the desert to have a lighter brown pelt. The White-tailed Deer eat cacti easily, which allows them to get water in a region that has very little water. This way, they can get water more easily than if they were forced to search for surface water. O Conservation There are many endangered species in Texas, two of which are the Mexican Long Nosed Bat and the Mexican Spotted Owl. These animals are in danger of extinction, and if we don't help them, they may die off. Oil is quickly being depleted from the Trans-Pecos region, and people keep needing more and more. If we keep drilling for oil, we may run out soon.
To protect this region of Texas, we need to use less oil and put in place more laws to protect wildlife. If we don't do anything, we may destroy the environment here and eliminate all the animals in the Trans-Pecos
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Worster, Donald. “Dust Bowl.” Texas State Historical Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr. 2012. <http://www.tshaonline.org/search/node/the%20dust%20bowl>.
Wikipedia (multiple articles) <http://www.wikipedia.com>
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (multiple articles) <http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us> FIN