White squares in Texas
May 25, 2021 6:13 AM   Subscribe

I was reading something about Freestone County in Texas the other day and ended up looking it up in Google Maps. In the satellite view, the whole area is covered with white squares which seem to be some sort of agricultural thing -- just out of curiosity, anyone know what these are? Maybe some kind of grain storage? Maybe the type of soil there?
posted by iamsuper to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think it’s oil. Pump jacks and tanks on multiple sites.
posted by nathaole at 6:23 AM on May 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Those look like gravel pads for oil well drills. Once the well is made, only a few small items remain.
posted by nickggully at 6:23 AM on May 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

I suspect that they're natural gas rather than oil, given recent trends in Freestone County, but definitely some kind of fossil-fuel extraction.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:26 AM on May 25, 2021 [5 favorites]

Seconding natural gas. Finding ones near highways shows you the pipework. Can't quite make out the security signs on each gate, though
posted by scruss at 6:40 AM on May 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

I spend a lot of time in Freestone County, TX. It's definitely gas wells.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 7:29 AM on May 25, 2021 [6 favorites]

Check the area around I45 and 75, I guess near Buffalo TX. You can see the giant sand pit the sand from the white squares come from.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:39 AM on May 25, 2021

scruss, the gate labels usually identify the gas well lease so the trucks know which fence gate to go through.

The white is what we call around here "caliche". Not sure if it is actually caliche, but that's what it is called. It's what Ed Tom's dad was talking about.
posted by tayknight at 9:24 AM on May 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is an older article but talks about what was referred to as the Freestone Trend, discussing oil & gas explorations in East Texas. https://www.hartenergy.com/exclusives/east-texas-basin-14639 Johnny Assay had it!
posted by nathaole at 12:17 PM on May 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

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