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Big Spring is located northeast of Odessa between Midland and Colorado City along I-20 near Lake Colorado and the Champion Creek Reservoir. It is the seat of Howard County.

The city is in a rocky gorge between two high foothills of the Caprock escarpment in West Texas. It derives its name from the nearby "big spring" in Sulphur Draw, which was a watering place for coyotes, wolves, and herds of buffalo, antelope, and mustangs; the spring was a source of conflict between Comanche and Shawnee Indians and a campsite used by early expeditions across West Texas.

Nearby Webb Air Force Base was deactivated in 1977, and its site became part of Big Spring Industrial Park. In the 1990s the community remained an important agribusiness and petrochemical center.

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