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Minnesota Essay

2265 words - 10 pages

Minnesota is the northernmost U.S. state apart from Alaska; its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th Parallel. The state is part of the U.S. region known as the Upper Midwest. The state shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and Wisconsin on the northeast; the remainder of the eastern border is with Wisconsin. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba to the north. With 86,943 square miles (225,181 km²) or approximately 2.25% of the United States, Minnesota is the twelfth-largest state.
Minnesota contains some of the oldest rocks ...view middle of the document...

Its bed created the fertile Red River valley, and its outflow, glacial River Warren, carved the valley of the Minnesota River. Minnesota is geologically quiet today; it experiences earthquakes infrequently, and most of them are minor. The state's high point is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet (701 m), which is only 13 miles (20.9 km) away from the low of 602 feet (183 m) at the shore of Lake Superior. Not with standing dramatic local differences in elevation, much of the state is a gently rolling pen plain. Two major drainage divides meet in the northeastern part of Minnesota in rural Hibbing, forming a triple watershed. Precipitation can follow the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico, the Saint Lawrence Seaway east to the Atlantic Ocean, or the Hudson Bay watershed to the Arctic Ocean.
The state's nickname is The Land of 10,000 Lakes; there are 11,842 Minnesota lakes and over 10 acres (.04 km²) in size. The Minnesota portion of Lake Superior is the largest at 962,700 acres (3,896 km²) and deepest (at 1,290 ft. (390 m)) body of water in the state. Minnesota has 6,564 natural rivers and streams that cumulatively flow for 69,000 miles (111,000 km). The Mississippi River begins its journey from its headwaters at Lake Itasca and crosses the Iowa border 680 miles (1,090 km) downstream. It is joined by the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling, by the St. Croix River near Hastings, by the Chippewa River at Wabasha, and by many smaller streams. The Red River, in the bed of glacial Lake Agassiz, drains the northwest part of the state northward toward Canada's Hudson Bay. Approximately 10.6 million acres (42,900 km²) of wetlands are contained within Minnesota's borders, the most of any state except Alaska.
Minnesota endures extreme temperature characteristic of its continental climate; with cold winters and hot summers. The record high and low span is 174 degrees Fahrenheit (from −60 °F (−51 °C) at Tower on February 2, 1996 to 114 °F (46 °C) at Moorhead on July 6, 1936) Fahrenheit (span of 96C°; from -51 °C to 45 °C).[25] Meteorological events include rain, snow, blizzards, thunderstorms, hail, drenches, tornadoes, and high-velocity straight-line winds. The growing season varies from 90 days per year in the Iron Range to 160 days in southeast Minnesota near the Mississippi River, and mean average temperatures range from 37 °F (2 °C) to 49 °F (9 °C). Average summer dew points range from about 58 °F (14.4 °C) in the south to about 48 °F (8.9 °C) in the north. Depending on location, average annual precipitation ranges from 19 in (48.3 cm) to 35 in (88.9 cm), and droughts occur every 10 to 50 years.
Before European settlement, Minnesota was populated by the Anishinaabe, the Dakota, and other Native Americans. The first Europeans were French fur traders that arrived in the 17th century. Late that century, Ojibwe Indians migrated westward to Minnesota, causing tensions with the Sioux.[30] Explorers such as Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, Father Louis...

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