Mount Bonnell is now part of a fun and interactive way to learn about the geologic history of Texas.
The Texas GeoSign project planted several of these GeoSigns across the state – including one here installed on May 5th.
Standing 785 ft. above sea level, Mount Bonnell is one of the highest points in Austin.
It lies at the beginning of the Balcones Escarpment, where the land elevation changes drastically over just a short distance. This boundary separates the hill country from our coastal plains. “The location of Austin was really dictated by this”, Charles Woodruff says. Charles Woodruff has been a geologist in Austin for almost 50 years. “You have farmland out to the east, range land out to the west. Originally that’s why Austin was here, it was drawing on both economies… they meet right here at the foot of Mt Bonnel.”
He lists a few other things we can learn from the sign: “The break in topography is shown there. You’re cutting through a section of the Earth so you see what the fault looks like.. it talks about the uplifting of the faulting and erosion and sculpturing of the landscape you see today.”
The site also offers panoramic views of Austin, the Penny Backer Bridge and the Colorado river… which helped sculpt the landscape we see today over the course of the last few millions of years.