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The outstanding physiographic feature of Dallas County is the White Rock Cuesta, which marks the western edge of the Austin Chalk limestone. Immediately below the chalk lies the easily eroded Eagle Ford Shale, hence the contact between the two strata is clearly marked by this westward facing cuesta, which extends from the southwest corner of the county to the middle northern border. The Trinity River, an antecedent stream, has cut a gap through the cuesta about midway between the northern and southern boundaries of the county…. The gap through the cuesta, and the narrowing of the Trinity River flood plain, are among the most important physical factors that influenced the early growth of Dallas.

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