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Geography Resources Online

The Geography of the Southwest
To the Texas Environment
Mexico's Geography
General Geography Resources
Southwestern Studies Mapping Exercise
History 1301 Mapping Exercise
World Civilization Mapping Exercise
Other Exercises Online

The Best of Geography Onlineof the Southwest


The Texas Environment
To North Texas

Mexican Geography

Arizona Geography

New Mexico Geography

Southwestern Studies
Mapping Exercise Locations

  1. Coastal Plains & Gulf Slope
  2. Balcones Escarpment (Fault)
  3. Piney Woods (East Texas)
  4. Post-Oak Belt
  5. Blackland Prairie
  6. North Central Plains
  7. Great Plains/High Plains
  8. Llano Estacado (Staked Plains)
  9. Edwards Plateau
  10. Hill Country (Llano Basin or Burnet-Llano Basin)
  11. Mountains & Basins Region of Texas
  12. Guadalupe Mountain Range
  13. Davis Mountains
  14. Big Bend
  15. Galveston Island
  16. Matagorda Peninsula
  17. Copano Bay
  18. Sabine River
  19. Neches River
  20. Red River
  21. Rio Grande River (Rio Bravo)
  22. Trinity River
  23. Brazos River
  24. Colorado River
  25. Nueces River
  26. Pecos River
  27. Candian River
  28. Yucatan
  29. Southern Mexico
  30. Meseta Central
  31. Sierra Madres Occidental
  32. Sierra Madres Oriental
  33. Sierra Madres del Sur
  34. Central Highlands
  35. Baja California
  36. Gulf of Mexico
  37. Bay of Campeche
  38. Popocatepetl
  39. Iztaccihuatl
  40. Coahuila
  41. Chihuahua
  42. Nuevo Leon
  43. Tamaulipas
  44. Pacific Ocean
  45. Lake Texcoco
  46. Rio Conchos
  47. Panuco River
  48. Tampico
  49. Vera Cruz
  50. Chaco Canyon
  51. Rocky Mountains
  52. Colorado Plateau/Four Corners Region
  53. Grand Canyon

History 1301 Mapping Exercise

See textbook pages 4, 9, and 158 for most locations.
Identify the following locations on the provided outline maps of North America, Africa, and Europe: (those with ** are required for Exam I.)
  1. **The 12 American Indian Geographic Regions of North America (Eastern Woodlands, Mississippian Woodlands, Great Plains, Southwest, Great Basin, California, Northwest Coastal, Northwest Plateau, Arctic, Subarctic, Mesoamerica, Caribbean. See General Geography Resources

    Good In-Class Links:

    Other Good Ones:
In-Class Activities:
Mapping Exercise (See List of Locations)
Map Analysis Worksheets (See Worksheets)
Video: The Edwards Aquifer: A Texas Treasure

Select five American Indian nations located in different areas of the Southwest. Explain how geography affected their lifestyle. Be sure to use specific examples from class discussions.

Optional Activities:

  1. Salt Map
  2. Wall Mural

Exam Terms:

  1. Blackland Prairie
  2. Staked Plains (Estacado Plains or Llano Estacado)
  3. Edwards Plateau
  4. Hill Country (Llano Basin or Burnet-Llano Basin)
  5. Trans-Pecos
  6. Guadalupe Range
  7. aquifers
  8. Sierra Madres
  9. Central Highlands (Volcanic Highlands)
  10. chinampes

Other terms:

  1. longitude
  2. latitude
  3. savanna
Outline of Class Discussion

Introduction: Define territory (map handout and transparencies); Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Mexico

Many ways to geographically divide the Southwest: cultural map (southeast, arid America, mesoamerica - cultural similarities through region), but these can be subdivided

Texas has four natural regions: the Coastal Plains, the North Central Plains, the Great Plains, Mountains & Basins

Each of these regions can be subdivided into geographic regions.

The Coastal Plains is the larges natural region in Texas beginning on east coast and extending into Mexico as the Gulf Slope; Northwest boundary=Balcones Fault or Escarpment - this fault usually accepted boundary between lowland & upland Texas; below soils brought from above, above fault eroded


  1. Piney Woods or Pine Belt - forests (pine & hardwood), rolling hills, broad valleys; from Red River to 25 miles from coast; adaptable soils, iron, oil, minerals
  2. Post Oak Belt - two strips from Red River to San Antonio, includes Tyler & College Station; mixed soils, sandy soils, post oaks
  3. Blackland Prairie - also Central Texas Prairies; rich black soil; includes Dallas
  4. Gulf Coast Plain or Coastal Prairie - from Corpus to the Sabine River, 100 miles inland; low & marshy with rich soil and sand islands
  5. South Texas Plain (sometimes combines with Coastal Plains) - Corpus to San Antonio to Del Rio including the Rio Grande Plain and valley to Sierra Madres Oriental in Mexico; rich soil, eroded areas and plains to scrub & cactus vegetation

North Central Plains includes area from Blackland Prairie to Caprock, Red River to Colorado River) including:

  1. The Cross Timbers - From Ft. Worth to Abilene separated east & west by
  2. The Grand Prairie (aka Ft. Worth Prairie) that includes Ft. Worth - often fewer trees, limestone based
  3. The Rolling Plains including Abilene, Vernon & Wichita Falls

Great Plains from Mexico into Canada and in Texas includes:

  1. The High Plains - southward to Midland and Odessa including Amarillo, Lubbock, Plainview with "Caprock" limestone escarpment dividing from Rolling Plains
  2. The Edwards Plateau - broken tableland includes portions of Austin and San Antonio
  3. The Llano Basin or Hill Country - smallest geographic section in Texas but major rivers; was heavily populative by American Indians

Basin & Mountain Region (or Trans-Pecos) - mainly west of Pecos River so sometimes called the "Trans-Pecos;" deserts and mountains, includes El Paso, Big Bend, Pecos Valley-Stockton Plateau including Guadalupe Range (highest in Texas - 8,749' peak); Hueco Mountains, Diablo Plateau, Davis Mountains, Big Bend, and Upper Rio Grande Valley

In addition, fourteen major rivers including three Texas boundaries (Sabine ("Cypress"), Red, and Rio Grande (Pueblos called it "Posage" - river of great water)

  1. In East - Trinity, Neches, and San Jacinto
  2. Central - Brazos, Colorado, Nueces, Guadalupe, San Antonio, Lavaca
  3. West - Pecos, Canadian

Rainfall varies from heavy in East to very little in West

Hot summers, generally mild winters

Hurricanes and tornadoes

Native wildlife includes:

  1. Birds abundant - today some extinct like Ivory-billed Woodpecker, Greater Prairie Chicken, Passenger Pigeon, and Carolina Parakeet
  2. House sparrow NOT native; arrived in 1867 in Galveston
  3. Boat Tailed Grackle - invaded from tropical America; arrived in Dallas 1947
  4. Cattle Egret - 1958 from Africa
  5. Endangered natives include: Whooping Crane, Golden-Cheeked Warbler, Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, Attwater's Prairie Chicken, Peregrine falcon, Southern Bald Eagle
  6. Still abundant - Brown Pelicans, Blue-winged Teal, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron
  7. Mammals - natives include Black Bear, Whitetail Deer (most important game animal), coyote, bobcat, bison in West & North, pronghorn antelope, river otter, mink
  8. Most recent arrival - armadillo
  9. Reptiles - American Alligator, snakes
  10. Fish abundant

Groundwater - Aquifers underlie over half state; principal source for cities

Mexico also extremely diverse; six geographic regions

Southeast Mexico - includes Yucatan; tropical; hostile Indians kept isolated; dangerous hurricanes, mild winters, hot/humid summers, abundant wildlife, sparse human population but Maya built astonishing civilization there

Southern Mexico - states of Colima, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, S.W. Michoacan; picturesque; extensive erosion; deep river valleys including Mexcala or Balsas River; highlands (mountains) of Chiapas; volcanic on Guatemala border; from tropical to subtropical, forests to cacti; provided escape for Indians, least Europeanized

Gulf Slope - extension of Coastal Plain; abundant wildlife, includes most of Veracruz including area of volcanic mountains (Lost Tuxtlas), east slopes of Sierra Madre Oriental, coastal plain crossed by borad river valleys

Meseta Central - between East and West Sierra Madres and slope toward Rio Grande; precious metals attracted Spanish to region; also fierce Chichimeca Indians

The Central Highlands/Volcanic Highlands - where many complex Indian cultures developed including Tenochtitlan/Mexico City; valley; spectacular beauty; snow-capped mountains to over 17,000', forests, lakes; includes all or part states of Puebla, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Queretara, Guanajuanto, Morelos, Mexico, Michoacan, Jalisco, and Federal District; earthquakes common; most important river headwaters (Lerma-Santiago, Balsas, Panuco); varied climate & vegetation; western rim of Sierra Madre Occidental, most famous canyon Barranca de Cobre; mountains important to survival of a few Indians (Tarahumara, Tepehuan, Huichol, and Cora); fishing important and small animals, agricultural land relatively scarce, Indians build "chinampas" or "raft gardens; includes three areas:

  1. "Tierra Cliente" - eastern hot country, tropical 60-80 inches rain/year, humid, forests and savannas
  2. "Tierra Templada" - temperate country up to 5-6000 ' elevation along eastern edge of Volcanic Axis, 60-80 inches rain/year to 200 inches in cloud forests
  3. "Tierra Fria" - north of "Tierra Templada," cold country to 12-13,000'; great variations in rain, temperatures, vegetation

Northeast Mexico - all but southern part arid and dry; includes Baja California peninsula, a huge fault block tilted upward on eastern side; Picacho del Diablo - 10,100 feet

Native wildlife - cochineal or "cochinilla" scale insect used for red dye; rabbits, squirrels, quail, dove, chacalacas, deer, peccaries or javelinas, coyotes, puma, jaguar, ring-tailed cat, opposums, porcupines, armadillos, anteaters, rodents

Vegetation - corn, beans, squashes, gourds, chilis, tomatoes, chayote, jimaca, chia, indigo, prickly pear ("nopol"), maguey, agave or century plant (fermented for tequila and mescal), avocados, cherry or "capulin," guava

World Civilization Map Exercise


Identify the following locations on the attached world map for 2 points each = 100 points. A 20 point bonus will be given to aesthetics (i.e. coloring, neatness, readability, etc.). [Total possible 120 points)
1. Olduvai Gorge
2. Catal Huyuk
3. Jericho
4. Tigris & Euphrates Rivers
5. Sumer
6. Ur
7. Babylonian empire
8. Nile River
9. Upper Egypt
10. Lower Egypt
11. Memphis, Egypt
12. Thebes, Egypt
13. Alexandria, Egypt
14. Nubia
15. Axum
16. Mediterranean Sea
17. Red Sea
18. Indus River
19. Harappa
20. Ashoka's India
21. Hwang (Yellow or Hwang Ho) River
22. Han China
23. Himilayas
24. Pacific Ocean
25. Indian Ocean
26. Persian Gulf
27. Sahara Desert
28. Ghana kingdom
29. Crete
30. Macedonia
31. Aegean Sea
32. Rome
33. Caspian Sea
34. Arabian Peninsula
35. Iranian Plateau
36. Black Sea
37. Atlantic Ocean
38. Mesoamerica
39. North America
40. South America
41. Tenochtitlan
42. Cahokia
43. Andes Mountains
44. Amazon River
45. Polynesia
46. Australia
47. Japan
48. Korea
49. Scandanavia
50. Home of the Huns

Exercises Online

Culture Games

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