The High Plains area is part of the Southern Great Plains. It is separated from the Rolling Plains by the Llano Estacado Escarpment and dissected by the Canadian River Breaks in the northern part. Notable canyons include Tule and Palo Duro along the Caprock. This relatively level plateau contains many shallow siltation depressions, or playa lakes, which sometimes cover as much as 40 acres and contain several feet of water after heavy rains. These depressions support unique patterns of vegetation within their confines.
The upland soils are dark brown to reddish brown, mostly deep, neutral to calcareous clay and clay loams in the north to sandy loams and sands in the south. Caliche is present under many soils at various depths, especially on the Potter series. The original vegetation of the High Plains was variously classified as mixed prairie, shortgrass prairie, and in some locations on deep, sandy soils as tallgrass prairie. Blue grama, buffalograss, and galleta (Hilaria jamesii
) are the principal vegetation on the clay and clay loam sites.
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