Minnesota Geography

Minnesota Geography

Minnesota is the northernmost state outside of Alaska, and its isolated northwest corner at Lake of the Woods is the only part of the 48 contiguous states that lie north of the 49th parallel. Minnesota is in the US region., known as the Upper Midwest. The state shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and Wisconsin in the northeast, and the remainder of the eastern border is with Wisconsin. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota they lie to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba lie to the north. At 87.014 square miles (225,365 km²), or about 2.25% of the United States, it is ranked 12th in land area. According to CountryAAH.com, Saint Paul is the capital of the U.S. state of Minnesota.


According to Abbreviationfinder, Minnesota contains some of the oldest rocks found on earth, dating back about 3.6 million years. About 2.7 million years ago, basalt lava gushed from cracks in the floor of the primeval ocean, the remnants of this volcanic rock forming the Canadian Shield in northeastern Minnesota.

The roots of these volcanic mountains and the action of the Precambrian seas formed the Iron Mountain Range in northern Minnesota. Following a period of volcanic activity 1.1 million years ago, Minnesota’s geologic activity has been more moderate, with no volcanism or mountain formation, but with repeated incursions from the sea that left multiple layers of sedimentary rock.

In more recent times, sheets of ice masses at least one kilometer thick ravaged the state’s landscape and sculpted its present terrain. The glaciation left Wisconsin 12,000 years ago. These glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the southeast, an area characterized by steep hills and gullies that cut through the bedrock. This area is known as the Driftless Zone because of its absence of glacial drift. Much of the rest of the state outside of the Northeast is 50 feet (15 m) or more. 13,000 years ago the gigantic Lake Agassiz formed in the northwest; The lake’s outlet, the Warren River Glacier, carved out the Minnesota River Valley, and its bottom created the fertile lands of the Red River Valley. Minnesota is geologically quiet these days, even though it experiences earthquakes frequently,

Flora and fauna

The native fauna of the state: martens, deer, lynx and reindeer, has been considerably affected by the loss of their habitat, however the region has the largest population of gray wolves without counting Alaska, also harboring quite large populations of elk and white-tailed deer. Being on the Mississippi migration route, the state has populations of waterfowl such as geese and ducks, as well as other migratory birds, examples of which are the Uruguayan, pheasant and turkey. To the southeast can be found trout brook, brown trout and rainbow trout.


Minnesota is one of the most water-covered states in the United States. It makes good use of its nickname, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, counts: it has 11,842 lakes of more than 40,500 m². [3] The largest lake located within Minnesota is Red Lake, with 1,100 km². Counting the percentage of Lake Superior that belongs to Minnesota, the percentage of the area occupied by water in the state is about 8.4% of the total surface of the state.

Minnesota has 6,564 natural rivers and streams, totaling 111,000 kilometers in length. The longest river in the United States and the third largest in the world, the Mississippi, begins its 6,270 km journey at Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota. It joins the Minnesota River at the height of Fort Snelling, and to the southeast with many trout streams. The Red River of the North, on the bed of Lake Agassiz, drains the northwestern part of the state to the north, to flow into Lake Winnipeg in Canada.

The Mississippi River watershed covers about 57% of the state’s surface, followed by the Red River with 30%. For their part, the rivers that flow into Lake Superior, all located in the extreme northeast of Minnesota, cover the remaining 13% of the State.

Protected areas

Minnesota is home to a wide variety of wildlife, parks, and other open spaces. Minnesota’s first state park, Itasca State Park, was established in 1891, and is the source of the Mississippi River. Today Minnesota has 72 state parks and recreation areas, 58 state forests covering nearly four million acres (16,000 km²), and conserving state-like wildlife, all managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. To the west is the Voyageurs National Park, the only national park in the state.


The state has a temperate continental climate, with very cold winters and warm summers, and relatively unstable, where climatic conditions can change suddenly in a short period. Minnesota’s climate is typical of its continental location, high latitudes, and mild terrain, which allows rapid movement of air currents from any direction throughout the state. In general, the state’s temperatures rise as you travel south. However, most of the northeast of the State has lower temperatures than the northwest, due to its higher average altitude. For its part, the Minnesota coastline along Lake Superior has milder winters and summers than the other regions of the state.

Minnesota’s annual mean rainfall rate increases as you travel eastward. The western region of Minnesota receives less than 50 centimeters of annual rainfall per year, while the eastern region receives more than 80 centimeters. The snowfall rate, meanwhile, increases as one travels northward. Southern Minnesota receives about 50 inches of snow annually per year, while the north receives about 180 inches annually.

Minnesota Geography

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