Geology of Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas


Geology of Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas, by M. D. Machenberg. 39 p., 20 figs., 1 plate, 1984. ISSN: 0363-4132. Print

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"Along the western margin of the Southern High Plains lies a belt of active and vegetated sand dunes created by windblown sands that began accumulating several thousand years ago. The dunes create a dynamic landscape that shifts in response to constantly changing winds. Ivory-colored sand creates a variety of dune forms, including long, sharp-crested ridges up to 85 ft (25 m) high and sandy hills anchored by a dense cover of native shin oak trees. The sandhills, with their specially adapted plants and animals, represent a unique environment.

Human fascination with the Monahans Sandhills began more than 10,000 yr ago. The dunes have meant many things to the peoples inhabiting this region. The sandhills sheltered abundant game hunted by nomadic Paleo-Indians, supplied water to modern Indians, and hindered westbound settlers in covered wagons. Today the sandhills offer a variety of opportunities for recreation and nature study to the many visitors of Monahans Sandhills State Park.

This guidebook provides the reader or park visitor with a better understanding of the origin of the sandhills, their geological characteristics, and the interactions between the physical and biological processes characteristic of the sandhills. It explains that the dynamic nature of the dunefield is a function of variables such as sand supply, precipitation, vegetation, complex local winds, and human occupation."

Machenberg, M. D., 1984, Geology of Monahans Sandhills State Park, Texas: The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, Guidebook 21, 39 p.

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