Windmill characterizes Lubbock Texas

Windmill characterizes Lubbock Texas

This windmill pin was given to me by Ron Eberhardt, retired from TxDot, and one he received while attending meetings for TxDot.

Lubbock is a city in and the county seat of Lubbock County, Texas, United States. The city is located in the northwestern part of the state, a region known historically and geographically as the Llano Estacado [see below] and ecologically is part of the southern end of the Western High Plains. The city is home to Texas Tech University, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The city is the economic center of the Lubbock metropolitan area, which had an estimated 2013 population of 301,038.

Lubbock’s nickname is the “Hub City”, which derives from it being the economic, education, and health care hub of a multicounty region, north of the Permian Basin and south of the Texas Panhandle, commonly called the South Plains. The area is the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world and is heavily dependent on irrigation water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer.

Lubbock High School has been recognized for three consecutive years by Newsweek as one of the top high schools in the United States. Lubbock High School is home to the only international baccalaureate (IB) program in the region. The IB program is one of the criteria examined by Newsweek in formulating their list of top high schools.

Region of the Ogallala formation

Region of the Ogallala formation

Llano Estacado (meaning Palisaded Plain), commonly known as the Staked Plain, is a region in the Southwestern United States that encompasses parts of eastern New Mexico and northwestern Texas. One of the largest mesas or tablelands on the North American continent, the elevation rises from 3,000 feet (900 m) in the southeast to over 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in the northwest, sloping almost uniformly at about 10 feet per mile (1.9 m/km).

Northwest Escarpment of the Llano Estacado

Northwest Escarpment of the Llano Estacado

“The ‘Staked Plains’ tale is deeply entrenched in Texas mythology, but the real interpretation of Llano Estacado is sensible geologic: it means ‘stockaded’ or ‘palisaded’ plains —which is precisely how the edge of the plains appear when viewed from below the caprock!”

Ogallala Aquifer Region

Ogallala Aquifer Region

The Ogallala formation is a wedge of sediments built up eastward of the Rocky Mountains as they were uplifted in the Miocene, with the consequent alluvial fans referred to as the “Gangplank”. The Ogallala Aquifer is the main freshwater source for the region and consists of braided stream deposits filling in valleys during humid climatic conditions, followed by a sub-humid to arid climate and thick eolian (wind-blown) sand and silt. Caliche layers cap the Ogallala, which reflect today’s arid conditions. Pleistocene rainfall over the flat terrain caused water to pond at the surface, resulting in a High Plains characteristic, innumerable round ponds called playa lakes. Spearing[1] goes on to say,

“When the weather is dry, they are dusty, round, gray, usually unvegetated flats, as observed from the highway. But after a High Plains thunderstorm, water quickly fills the ponds, only later soaking into the underlying porous sandstones just below the surface to add to the groundwater in the Ogallala aquifer. Early pioneers depended dearly on water from these surface ponds for themselves and their livestock, considering how few streams are on the High Plains. But rains didn’t always come, and the ponds dried up frequently. The 20th century has witnessed a concerted effort to tap the more reliable Ogallala water sands. Predictably, the consequent high dependency on groundwater has removed more water than is naturally replaced, raising concern for Panhandle citizens and planners as to future water supplies.”

The Pecos and Canadian rivers have eroded the Llano Estacado region down to the Triassic and Permian redbeds resulting is a distinctive color contrast besides separating it from source rocks in the Rocky Mountains.

Location: 07-F5

[1] Spearing, D. (1991). Roadside Geology of Texas. Missoula. MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company,

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