Geology of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex: A Primer (2022)

Sciences and Arts

Robert J. Stern

The year is 2041 and UT Dallas Engineering has invented a time machine. You are the best History student at UT Dallas and have been selected to take the first trip back in time. The UT Dallas president asks you, “Where do you want to go? Back to talk with Lincoln at Gettysburg? Jesus at the Last Supper? Galileo at the Papal Inquisition?” You answer “No ma’am, I want to go back to November 1841 and talk with John Neely Bryan, the founder of Dallas.” The president gives you a quizzical look, says “Wait a minute”, whispers to her robotic assistant who whirls and leaves the room. The robot returns soon with a paper bag that he gives to the President, who pulls out a bottle of whiskey and hands it to you, saying “You’re going to need this.” A team of engineering students turns a few dials and everything goes fuzzy for a few moments while you go back 200 years in time.

The next thing you know, you are standing on a small wooded knoll overlooking a small river. It is the Trinity River, and you are standing about where Dealey Plaza is in downtown Dallas today. It is late afternoon in November 1841. In the distance you can see a herd of buffalo, heading south for the winter, with a band of Native Americans following on horseback; overhead a sky full of geese flies in the same direction. One hundred yards away a man in a covered wagon is cajoling a team of horses across the river. It is John Neely Bryan.

Bryan, the horses and wagon reach the riverbank and slowly come up to where you stand. He gives you a suspicious look until he spies the bottle of whiskey in your hand and smiles. After you help him set up camp and share some beans and bacon for dinner, you open the bottle, share it with him, and talk. He asks you where you are from and you tell him “200 years in the future.” He raises a suspicious eyebrow but says nothing. You try to convince him, telling him about the war with Mexico, the Civil War and how Texas joined the United States, then left, then joined again. You tell him the slaves are free and equal citizens and women have the same rights as men. You tell him about automobiles, airplanes, two World Wars, the atomic bomb, television, credit cards, and the internet. He asks a few questions but is mostly dumbfounded, only breaking his silence to ask for the whiskey bottle. Finally, you stretch his credulity to the breaking point by telling him about the city of Dallas—“How did you know I was going to name the town that I hope grows here that?” he blurts—but you continue. You tell him that what he is starting here will in two centuries be the third largest concentration of people in the USA after the greater New York and Los Angeles areas. You tell him that the great concentration of people will spread out over an area about the size of Maryland and be home to ten million people, and one in three Texans. Bryan grows alarmed and gets up, saying “I knew you was crazy but now I know you’re mad-dog dangerous!” as he points his rifle at you. You press the panic button and are digitally evacuated from the mid-nineteenth century back to UT Dallas just in time to escape with your life.

This little fantasy captures the miracle that is the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. We can’t know how many people will live here in two decades, but given its size today and its growth rate, ten million in 2041 is not a bad guess. According to US Census Bureau estimates for 2017, 7,400,000 people call the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area “home.”[1] The DFW Metroplex is the fourth largest and the fastest growing metropolitan area in the nation (Fig. 1).

The natural advantages for population centers on ocean, lake, or river are obvious, but what about the inland centers? Their natural advantages may be less obvious, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Geology of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex: A Primer (1)

There are many stories that could be told about the surprising rise to prominence of the DFW Metroplex; about entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and politics, but these are not of interest here. Instead, the physical setting of the Metroplex is emphasized, especially the subtle natural advantages that the Metroplex has. Most large US cities are older and are located where there were natural harbors for ships like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Others nucleated at key points on the Great Lakes, like Chicago and Detroit. Still others were established at key points on a great river, like St. Louis, New Orleans, or Pittsburgh. Only a few younger urban areas grew up around inland railroad junctions; these include Denver, Atlanta, and the DFW Metroplex. The natural advantages for population centers on ocean, lake, or river are obvious, but what about the inland centers? Their natural advantages may be less obvious, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. We should know about these so we can celebrate and protect them.

This essay outlines the geology of the Metroplex and the natural advantages that this has bestowed on our region. What made the land where the Metroplex is situated? Today the Metroplex is increasingly a “built environment,” but the growing skin of asphalt and concrete is thin, and what lies beneath is easy to find in creek beds, roadcuts, and construction sites. It is worth thinking about the ground beneath our feet, not only because it affects our house foundations and fecundity of our gardens, but also so we can better understand our place in the world.

A common complaint is that the metroplex has no mountains or beaches or even a great river (no offence intended to the Trinity River, about which I’ll say more complimentary things later) but in fact mountains and ocean beaches were once here. The mountains were here 300 million years ago, a broad white sand beach was here 110 million years ago, and the great river was here 100 million years ago. These beautiful scenes all existed where we are today; we just arrived too late to enjoy them. But it’s not too late to see evidence that these beautiful scenes once existed where we live today. Figure 2 shows the geology that lies beneath the DFW Metroplex.

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The post-Civil War economy around Dallas was founded on cotton, which grew well on the thick soils in the east. In contrast, the drier land around Fort Worth favored cattle drives and ranching.

Geology of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex: A Primer (2)

Dallas didn’t exist when the Texas Republic began in 1836, and it barely existed when Texas joined the United States ten years later. Dallas was founded at the best crossing of the Trinity River, where the river cuts southeast across the firm Austin chalk. In 1841, John Neely Bryan set his ferry and trading post on a low hill of the chalk on the north side of the river and Dallas germinated there. A few years later, in 1849, the U.S. Army built a fort overlooking the junction of the West Fork and Clear Fork of the Trinity River. The fort was abandoned almost as quickly as it was built, with the crude structure becoming the nucleus for the great city of Fort Worth.

Rainfall and soil dictated different economies for the regions around Dallas and those around Fort Worth. Dallas and the eastern half of the Metroplex receive an average of 37 inches of rain per year, while Fort Worth and the western half receive a little less. Just as important as the rainfall itself are the rocks that this rain has fallen on over the last several millions of years. The eastern Metroplex is mostly underlain by shales—which easily break down into thick soils—but the western Metroplex is mostly underlain by limestones, which form poor soils. As a result, the post-Civil War economy around Dallas was founded on cotton, which grew well on the thick soils in the east. In contrast, the drier land around Fort Worth favored cattle drives and ranching. These economic realities of the last half of the 19th century are reflected in the saying that “The East stops at Dallas; the West starts at Fort Worth.”

The solid Earth has three great compositional layers: the core, the mantle, and the crust. The crust is by far the smallest part, making up about 0.5% of Earth’s mass, and is divided into thinner oceanic crust and thicker continental crust. The lightness and thickness of continental crust means that its upper surface is mostly above sea level, and this encouraged an incredible variety of plants and air-breathing creatures to evolve on its surface, Texans included. The continental crust beneath southern Oklahoma and north central Texas is composed of Precambrian (about 1.4 billion year old) igneous and metamorphic rocks. These rocks are everywhere buried beneath sedimentary rocks in the Metroplex but can be seen in the Llano area west of Austin, for example in the granitic monolith of Enchanted Rock. Thick Paleozoic (541 to 252 million year old) sedimentary rocks lie on top of the crust, including the Mississippian (about 330 million year old) shales of the gas-rich Barnett Shale. Paleozoic sedimentary rocks are mostly buried beneath younger sediments in the Metroplex, but Pennsylvanian sedimentary rocks (about 300 million years old; Fig. 3) are exposed in the far northwest (Fig. 2). Thick sequences of Pennsylvanian sediments were shed from the east, where collision between the ancient continents of Laurussia and Gondwana made the super continent Pangea (“All Earth”), with a now-eroded mountain range marking where the collision occurred (although remnants of the Pennsylvanian mountain range are still exposed in the Ouachitas of SE Oklahoma and SW Arkansas). Places where Pennsylvanian sedimentary rocks can be enjoyed include Mineral Wells State Park, where some folks enjoy climbing cliffs of Pennsylvanian conglomerate. These conglomerates were shed westward from the mountains that used to rise where Dallas is today. Another fun destination is Mineral Wells Fossil Park, where you can hunt for Pennsylvanian marine fossils.[2] At this time, the ocean lay to the west. The economy of Fort Worth was transformed in 1917 when oil was discovered in Pennsylvanian sedimentary rocks near Ranger, about 90 miles to the west.[3]

Population and economic activity in north central Texas focused on the Metroplex, because the Trinity River is short and does not flow over the salt deposits to the west.

Geology of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex: A Primer (3)

Paleozoic sedimentary rocks of the Metroplex tilt gently west, so they get younger in that direction. Some of the youngest Paleozoic sedimentary rocks have thick layers of salt and the rivers that flow over these deposits can become quite salty and unpalatable, even nonpotable. One reason that population and economic activity in north central Texas focused on the Metroplex is because the Trinity River is short and does not flow over the salt deposits to the west. In contrast, longer rivers to the north (the Red River) and south (Brazos River) reached farther west and flowed over these salt deposits, making the water of these rivers too salty to use. The saltiness of the Red River is reflected in the fact that Striped Bass, a fish that normally lives in the ocean, thrives in Lake Texoma. (The largest was caught in 1984 by Terry Harber; it was 39 inches long and weighed 35 pounds.)[4] Thus, partly because of water quality, the regional economy—transportation, banking, et cetera—increasingly focused at communities built on the shorter Trinity River. The superior quality of Trinity River water—a gift of the river’s shorter length—thus stimulated the growth of Dallas and Fort Worth over settlements on the longer Brazos and Red River. Maintaining Trinity River water quality and quantity, increasingly supplemented by water from rivers to the east, is also a key for the future of the region. The unpredictable effects of global climate change on rainfall in and around the Metroplex complicates planning for continued population growth.

The importance of Dallas and Fort Worth as regional centers was cemented when the railroads arrived after the Civil War. The north-south railroad arrived in Dallas 1873 with the Houston and Texas Central. A memory of this railroad is preserved in the name of Central Expressway, which follows the old tracks. The east-west Texas and Pacific Railway arrived the same year and established Dallas and Fort Worth as regional transportation hubs. The north-south freeways (IH-35E and 35W, and IH-45) and east-west freeways (IH-20 and 30) followed similar routes to and through the Metroplex.

Most of the Metroplex is underlain by Cretaceous sedimentary rocks. These sediments were deposited as sea level rose through the 79 million years of this time period, reaching the Metroplex about 110 million years ago. The sea expanded from the Gulf of Mexico, a small ocean basin that formed when Pangea broke up about 165 million years ago. As sea level rose, the ocean flooded the land, which had been eroding for about 200 million years since the collision to form Pangea ended. The first deposits in the Metroplex were clean beach sands and shallow water limestones, now exposed west and south of Fort Worth. Dinosaurs cavorted in this shoreline environment. You can see their footprints at Dinosaur Valley State Park, near Glen Rose.[5] Sea level continued to rise slowly, depositing shallow marine limestones, which are well exposed in Tarrant County. This basal sand overlain by younger limestones makes up the Comanche Series (CS in Figure 4).

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One or more great rivers flowed south into the Metroplex region, forming a great delta with vast swamps. Dinosaurs returned to the area; their footprints are known from rock exposures near Lake Grapevine.

Geology of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex: A Primer (4)

This shallow warm marine environment was interrupted about 100 million years ago, when crustal uplift to the northeast in what is now southeast Oklahoma and southwest Arkansas shed tremendous volumes of sediments to the south. These sediments outcrop in the mid-cities area, from Arlington north to Grapevine and beyond. One or more great rivers flowed south into the Metroplex region, forming a great delta with vast swamps. Dinosaurs returned to the area; their footprints are known from rock exposures near Lake Grapevine. Oak trees thrive on this sandy soil and in John Neely Bryan’s time a forest of these defined the north-south strip known as the “Cross Timbers,” separating the limestone scrub to the west from the blackland prairie to the east. You can get your hands dirty in the Woodbine, helping other volunteers dig for Cretaceous swamp creatures such as crocodiles and turtles at the Arlington Archosaur Site.[6]

Tectonic movements to the north waned, the region subsided, and the great Woodbine river died. The sea invaded again, but this time it was a stagnant sea, with no oxygen below the shallow wind-mixed region, so that any animal that swam or sank into the oxygen-starved waters died instantly and was preserved in the black shales deposited on the seafloor, known as the Eagle Ford Shale. A slightly different variety of Eagle Ford Shale is a prolific producer of oil in south Texas. The Eagle Ford Shale in the Metroplex makes a poor soil and its swelling clays sometimes causes problems for construction.

The sea about 90 million years ago was deep enough to submerge all but the tallest skyscrapers in downtown Dallas.

Geology of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex: A Primer (5)

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Sealevel continued to rise and the stagnant Eagle Ford ocean was replaced by much more oxygenated waters (Fig. 5). The sea about 90 million years ago was deep enough to submerge all but the tallest skyscrapers in downtown Dallas.[7] In this clear, warm sea, far removed from muddy shorelines, single-celled phytoplankton called coccolithophorae thrived. These creatures were armored with hubcap-shaped calcite plates that sank to the seafloor when the coccoliths died, accumulating on the seafloor as a gentle “snow” over millions of years to ultimately produce the 400-foot-thick Austin Chalk (Fig. 6). The Austin Chalk is the bedrock that Dallas is built on, from east of US-75 (Central Expressway) to west of the North Dallas Tollway. Austin Chalk outcrops generally stand a little above the more easily eroded Eagle Ford Shale to the west and the Taylor and Navarro shales to the east, which tend to form muddy river valleys (e.g. the Elm Fork and East Fork of the Trinity River). The north-south trending Austin Chalk outcrop belt makes a well-drained, modestly vegetated, high-standing ridge that can makes an excellent route for animals and people to move from San Antonio though Austin to Dallas. It was this firm substrate for overland travel and favorable river crossings that was followed by buffalo, Native Americans, John Neely Bryan, railroads, and IH-35.

The north-south trending Austin Chalk outcrop belt makes a well-drained, modestly vegetated, high-standing ridge that can makes an excellent route for animals and people to move from San Antonio though Austin to Dallas.

Geology of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex: A Primer (6)

The economy of Dallas was transformed when the gigantic East Texas oil field, a subterranean pool 42 miles long and 8 miles wide, was discovered 120 miles to the east in 1930.[8] This pool was found where the Woodbine sandstone was slightly tilted; the oil was cooked out of the organic-rich Eagle Ford Shale and sealed into place by a cap of Austin Chalk.

The youngest Cretaceous sediments underlie the easternmost Metroplex (Fig. 2), and farther east only Cenozoic sedimentary rocks, deposited in the last 66 million years, are exposed. The boundary between the youngest Cretaceous and oldest Cenozoic sedimentary rocks (Paleocene; Fig. 2, 3) elsewhere preserves evidence of the large meteorite that struck Earth on what is now the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, disrupting climate and leading to the demise of the dinosaurs and other Cenozoic life. Such evidence has not yet been reported from this horizon in the Metroplex.

The final geologic time period represented in the Metroplex is the Quaternary, essentially the most recent two and a half million years of Earth history. This was a time known as the Ice Age. The great continental ice sheet that covered much of North America never reached south of Kansas and Missouri, but its effects on climate and especially rainfall were felt in the Metroplex region. The Trinity River and its tributaries received much more water and were much more vigorous streams than they are today. Coarse gravels were deposited and broad river terraces were cut by these bigger rivers. Giant mammals like Mammoths dominated the animal life of the Metroplex. Occasional glimpses of these majestic beasts are sometimes seen when someone finds a buried tusk or tooth. A spectacular mass grave of these beasts can be seen at Waco Mammoth National Monument.[9]

Not being near the seashore or on a great river means that the DFW Metroplex is protected from increasingly powerful storms and floods resulting from climate change.

I hope you enjoyed this brief overview of the rocks beneath the DFW Metroplex. Keep this history in mind when encounter some of the many rock exposures in roadcuts, construction sites, and along streams in the Metroplex. Pause and think about the environments in which these sediments were deposited. The rocks can be visited easily enough on your own, or you can join one of the many fossil-collecting field trips offered by organizations like the Dallas Paleontological Society.[10] If you want to learn more about the geology of our region, take a look at Stern and Pujana (2016).[11]

Our region enjoys significant natural advantages including buildable land extending in all directions and good water resources. Even some former disadvantages are no longer such: Not being near the seashore or on a great river means that the DFW Metroplex is protected from increasingly powerful storms and floods resulting from climate change. From Nature’s hand, we only have to worry about flooding, droughts, tornadoes, and maybe earthquakes. Will we and our children and the many new people who will move to the Metroplex be wise enough to make the best use of and protect these advantages?

(Video) S1 EP.2-How-To Fossil Hunt The Ladonia Fossil Park- ACCESS POINTS - GUIDE







[7] (includes a nice downloadable guide to the units and fossils in Dallas County)




[11] Robert J. Stern and Ignacio Pujana, “Stratigraphy of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex,” in George Maxey and Roger Farish, eds. Guide to Fossil Collecting, Ivy Press (Dallas, 2016), 4-1 to 4-17. The Guide to Fossil Collecting by the Dallas Paleontological Society is best obtained at; click on ‘store’.

This article appears in AthenaeumReview Issue2 (Summer2019), pp.83-93. DownloadaPDFcopy.
Filed under Natural SciencesDallassouthwest
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What type of rock is Dallas built on in what depositional environment was it deposited? ›

Austin chalk is the well known white rock that the city of Dallas sits on. Volcanic ashes are present in the Austin chalk, and were deposited by wind from distant erupting volcanoes and erupting igneous intrusions around 86 Ma.

What makes up the Dallas Metroplex? ›

The Metroplex region revolves around the cities of Dallas (Dallas County) and Fort Worth (Tarrant County). Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas; Dallas and Fort Worth are among the nation's fastest-growing cities.

What is considered the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex? ›

Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex

There are actually two separate metro areas in the DFW metroplex: the Dallas – Plano – Irving metro area and the Fort Worth – Arlington – Grapevine metro area, both spreading across multiple counties.

Why is Dallas called the Metroplex? ›

Etymology. A portmanteau of metropolis and complex, the term metroplex is credited to Harve Chapman, an executive vice president with Dallas-based Tracy-Locke, one of three advertising agencies that worked with the North Texas Commission (NTC) on strategies to market the region.

How was Texas formed geologically? ›

Uplift of mountains, inundation by vast inland seas, river transport of large volumes of eroded sediment, volcanic eruption, and earthquake activity are all processes that have been active throughout the geologic development of Texas.

How do we know Texas was underwater? ›

And at one point, about 260 million years ago, Texas was almost completely covered by water teeming with sharks and other sea life. The remaining evidence of these creatures – dinos, sharks, and other creatures – are what we call fossils. And you don't have to be a paleontologist to find one.

What is the biggest industry in the Metroplex? ›

In the Dallas area, the top industries are technology, financial services and defense.

What is Dallas-Fort Worth known for? ›

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is an ideal location for the most popular recreational sports in the world, and it includes over 200 golf courses, an amazing park system, and a diverse wellness community.

Is DFW bigger than Houston? ›

The total area of Houston Texas is 671.70 sq mi, and the total area of Dallas Texas is 383.44 sq mi. Houston Texas is bigger than Dallas Texas by 288.26 sq mi. Houston TX is 1.8 times bigger than Dallas TX.

Is DFW bigger than Rhode Island? ›

You've heard it before – everything's big in Texas. It's especially true when it comes to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The 9,286 square miles it covers is larger than the states of Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

What does Metroplex stand for? ›

Definition of metroplex

: a large metropolitan area usually made up of two or more cities along with neighboring heavily populated areas.

What makes a city a Metroplex? ›

A metroplex is a conurbation with more than one principal anchor city of near equal importance.

What do you call a person from Fort Worth? ›

Residents of Fort Worth have two options: “Fort Worthian” or “Fort Worther.”

What is the oldest rock in Texas? ›

The oldest rocks in Texas can be found in the Llano Uplift, dating back 1.3 billion years. For example, the ancient batholith Enchanted Rock was formed during the Precambrian Era.

What is the most common type of rock in Texas? ›

Burial and compression of these sediments formed limestone formations. Limestone is the most common rock in Texas.

Are there diamonds in Texas? ›

Diamond. There is only one well-authenticated find of diamond in Texas. A small brownish diamond was found in1911on section 64, block 44, Foard County.

Did dinosaurs live in Texas? ›

The oldest (earliest) "batch" of Texas dinosaurs lived from about 225 to 220 million years ago. Fossils of dinosaurs of that time are found in Late Triassic rocks located in the Panhandle region of Texas. During those days much of that area was part of a tropical inland basin surrounded on all sides by mountains.

How many dinosaurs have been found in Texas? ›

From the Triassic to the Upper Cretaceous periods, dinosaurs roamed Texas. Fossils of 21 different dinosaurs and footprints have been found across the state.

Why is Texas so rich? ›

The Texas economy today relies largely on information technology, oil and natural gas, aerospace, defense, biomedical research, fuel processing, electric power, agriculture, and manufacturing.

What is the #1 job producing industry in Texas? ›

In Texas, oil and gas extraction is the largest industry, accounting for 6.1% of the state's total GDP of $1.8 trillion. The industry's annual economic output totals $111.6 billion, a 24.1% increase over the last five years. Overall employment in the industry totals about 76,000, or 0.6% of all jobs in Texas.

What is the fastest growing industry in Texas? ›

1) Construction. Over the past decade, the construction industry has seen the fastest growth of any other industry in Texas. According to Investopedia, construction workers make up 6% of the nonfarm workforce in the state.

What is the most exclusive neighborhood in Dallas? ›

Although the distinctions between University Park, Park Cities, and Highland Park are subtle, there's no question that Highland Park is the most prestigious of the three. In fact, Highland Park is the most affluent city in Texas and the 7th most affluent city in the United States.

What is the safest area to live in Dallas TX? ›

Check out these five safe, affordable neighborhoods in Dallas!
  • Deep Ellum.
  • Lake Highlands.
  • Oak Lawn.
  • West End.
  • Winnetka Heights.
16 Aug 2022

What is the coldest month in Dallas? ›

The cool season lasts for 3.0 months, from November 25 to February 24, with an average daily high temperature below 64°F. The coldest month of the year in Dallas is January, with an average low of 39°F and high of 57°F.

What do you call someone from Dallas? ›

Dallas, Texas
Time zoneUTC−06:00 (Central)
• Summer (DST)UTC−05:00 (Central)
ZIP CodesZIP codes
35 more rows

Why is Dallas so famous? ›

The city has a huge art and music scene, but is also a place of historical significance, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy on a visit here in 1963, putting Dallas in the international spotlight.

Is Dallas better than Fort Worth? ›

Dallas is Different than Fort Worth

Fort Worth is known to be more casual and easy-going than Dallas, has less traffic and is easier to navigate. Dallas tends to be more expensive, urban and busy. Most visitors and residents don't have the same “Texas feel” in downtown Dallas as they might in Fort Worth.

Where is the cheapest place to live in North Texas? ›

Top 10 Cheap Places to Live in North Texas
  1. Grapevine. Grapevine is a city located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. It's known for its small-town charm and affordability. The cost of living in Grapevine is 11% lower than the national average, and the median home price is just $472,000.
  2. Flower Mound.
3 Jan 2022

Is Fort Worth less humid than Dallas? ›

Fort Worth has the fewest muggy days in Texas.

Dallas has just a few more muggy days because it is 200 ft. lower than Fort Worth. San Antonio and Austin both average a 68° to 73° dew point for almost 1/2 of the year (mid-April thru September). Houston averages around 200 muggy days a year.

What is the fastest growing city in Texas? ›

Dallas – Fort Worth is the fastest growing city in the country, expanding by 131,767 residents in the last ten years. The region now boasts 7.5 million people, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in the country.

Is Dallas richer than Houston? ›

According to the 2018 Knight Frank City Wealth Index, Dallas ranks seventh globally for the most households (297,970) earning at least $250,000 in 2017, just behind Houston at No. 6 (298,868 households).

Which city is bigger Dallas or Austin? ›

The Dallas-Fort Worth metro area has a population of about 1.4 million, while Austin has a more intimate population of about 960,000. Both Dallas and Austin have thriving city centers as well as sprawling suburbs that are mini cities in their own rights.

Is DFW bigger than Manhattan? ›

At 17,207 acres (6,963 hectares; 27 square miles), DFW is larger than the island of Manhattan, and is the second largest airport by land area in the United States, after Denver International Airport.

Is DFW the largest airport in the world? ›

At 17,207 acres (6,963 hectares; 27 square miles), DFW is larger than the island of Manhattan, and is the second-largest airport by land area in the United States after Denver International Airport.
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
OperatorDFW Airport Board
ServesDallas–Fort Worth metroplex
24 more rows

Is Dallas airport bigger than Atlanta? ›

DFW's 65.7 million passengers in 2016 ranked it 11th globally, one spot lower than the previous year after being overtaken by fast-growing Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson International Airport topped the global ranking with 104.1 million passengers.

Is Metroplex a real word? ›

a vast metropolitan area that encompasses several cities and their suburbs: We're moving to the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.

How do you write Dallas Fort Worth? ›

One commenter made an interesting point: If you're east of the airport, it's Dallas; if you're west, it's Fort Worth. Or, if you're in Arlington, Irving, Denton, Frisco, etc., you just say the name of that particular city. There was also a mention of the Tarrant County favorite, "Fort Worth-Dallas."

Is Metroplex capitalized? ›

Capitals are most commonly used for proper nouns and the first word in a sentence. Capitals may also be used for: Popular names: Places and events that do not have officially designated proper names but have popular names that are the equivalent: North Dallas, Metroplex.

What is the biggest Metroplex in the US? ›

The metropolitan area of New York-Newark-Jersey City had the biggest population in 2021. Based on annual estimates from the 2020 census, the metropolitan area had around 19.77 million inhabitants, which was a slight decrease on the previous year. The Los Angeles and Chicago metro areas rounded out the top three.

What is a giant city called? ›

Ecumenopolis (from Greek: οἰκουμένη oecumene 'world', and πόλις polis 'city', thus 'a world city'; plural ecumenopolises or ecumenopoleis) is the hypothetical concept of a planetwide city.

What is bigger than a city? ›

Gigalopolis or Gigacity – an incorporation of a group of megalopolises, containing over one hundred million residents. Megalopolis or Megacity – a supercity consists of a group of conurbations, containing more than ten million residents in total.

Why is Dallas called the Triple D? ›

There was a musical in 1956 that popularized Big D with a song that Bing Crosby sang: "Big D, little A, double L-A-S," the tune used to go. The beloved Dallas Morning News writer Paul Crume called his column "Big D" starting in the early 1950s. The name stuck.

Is Fort Worth bigger than Dallas? ›

Dallas, to the east, ranks as the ninth in the U.S. with its population of over 1.3 million. Fort Worth, to the west, is ranked as the 16th largest, and it's the fastest growing city in the nation, with a population reaching nearly 900,000.

What is a Dallasite? ›

Noun. Dallasite (plural Dallasites) a native or resident of Dallas, Texas.

When was North Texas underwater? ›

Back when these life-forms were alive—265 million years ago or so—the Guadalupe Mountains were underwater, part of a flourishing reef that once stretched about 400 miles around the edge of a long-vanished sea. Reefs are a fascinating fusion of biology and geology.

Where is the Austin Chalk located? ›

The Austin Chalk and Tokio and Eutaw Formations extend from Texas near the border with Mexico in an arc through Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and into coastal Alabama. Despite covering such a large region, most of the assessed oil and gas resources are in Texas.

Are there diamonds in Texas? ›

Diamond. There is only one well-authenticated find of diamond in Texas. A small brownish diamond was found in1911on section 64, block 44, Foard County.

Did Tyrannosaurus rex live in Texas? ›

Tyrannosaurus is a lizard-hip dinosaur. The oldest (earliest) "batch" of Texas dinosaurs lived from about 225 to 220 million years ago. Fossils of dinosaurs of that time are found in Late Triassic rocks located in the Panhandle region of Texas.

How many drilling rigs are in the Eagle Ford Shale? ›

Eagle Ford Oil & Gas Rigs

A total of 86 rigs are drilling horizontal wells, one is drilling directional and one is vertical. Karnes County leads activity in the region with 16 rigs in production. See the full list below in the Eagle Ford Shale Drilling by County below.

How deep is the bedrock in Austin? ›

The Austin Group has an aggregate thickness of approximately 430 feet in the Travis- Williamson county region.

What type of rock is in Austin Texas? ›

The Austin Chalk is an upper Cretaceous geologic formation in the Gulf Coast region of the United States. It is named after type section outcrops near Austin, Texas.


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