The area of the Plainview basin is about 32,000 square miles. It is located between the outcrops of pre-Cambrian rocks in northeast New Mexico on the west, the Bravo dome and Amarillo uplift on the north, and the Matador trend of uplifts on the south. The belt of uplifts along the southern boundary of the basin, is a westward continuation of the Red River uplift and the Electra arch, and may extend westward in New Mexico to include the Tertiary dikes and Capitan Mountains. It is named the Plainview basin, after the largest town near the center of the basin but it has also been called the Palo Duro or Tulia basin, and seems to be a westward extension of the Hardeman syncline. The average thickness of sedimentary rocks is about 8,000 feet, the maximum thickness is about 11,000 feet, and their total volume is about 48,000 cubic miles.
Cenozoic and Mesozoic formations are not important as possible petroleum reservoirs. Tertiary sands and clays of continental origin mantle the Llano Estacado and thin, eroded patches of Cretaceous limestone, sandstone, and shale are present over the west half of the area. Rocks of Jurassic age occur only in a thin remnant in the northwest part of the basin. The Triassic rocks consist entirely of continental redbeds; nevertheless, a few oil showings have been reported by drillers in old wildcats, and asphalt occurs at the surface near Santa Rosa, New Mexico.
Permian rocks cover the whole area, and constitute more than half