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Minnesota State Flag Minnesota

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The Geography of Minnesota

Click here  for a few definitions.

Longitude / Latitude Longitude: 89° 34'W to 97° 12'W
Latitude: 43° 34'N to 49° 23'N
Minnesota map
Minnesota base and elevation maps
Greatest Dimensions Minnesota is about 360 miles from east to west and about 407 miles from north to south.  
Geographic Center
Explanation
The geographic center of Minnesota is located in Crow Wing County, 10 miles SW of Brainerd.
Longitude: 95° 19.6'W
Latitude: 46° 1.5'N
 
Borders Minnesota is bordered by Canada on the north and by Iowa on the south. On the east, Minnesota is bordered by Lake Superior and by Wisconsin. On the west is North and South Dakota.
Total Area Minnesota covers 86,943 square miles, making it the 12th largest of the 50 states.
Land Area 83,574 square miles of Minnesota are land areas.
Water Area 7,326 square miles of Minnesota are covered by water.
Highest Point The highest point in Minnesota is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet above sea level.
Lowest Point The lowest point in Minnesota is at Lake Superior; 602 feet above sea level.
Mean Elevation The Mean Elevation of the state of Minnesota is 1,200 feet above sea level.
Major Rivers Minnesota River, Mississippi River, Rainy River, Red River of the North, St. Croix River
Major Lakes Upper Red Lake, Lower Red Lake, Mille Lacs Lake, Vermillion Lake, Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, Lake Superior, Leech Lake, Winnibigoshish Lake, Lake Pepin

The Land

Most of Minnesota is comprised of gently rolling plains formed when glaciers moved over the area.

The northern part of Minnesota is the most rugged. The northeast section of the state has many rocky ridges and deep lakes and the area north of Lake Superior is the roughest and most isolated. Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota, is located north of Lake Superior. In the far northeast, the Minnesota border resembles an arrowhead. This area is called the Arrowhead Country.

About half of Minnesota is covered by the rolling plains left by the ice age. These areas are covered by fertile topsoil. Though some sections are sandy and stony, this area has some of the richest farmland in the United States.

Along the Mississippi River, in the southeastern section of the state, the land is relatively flat, cut by deep valleys created by fast flowing rivers and streams.

In southwestern Minnesota, glaciers left thick deposits of sand, gravel, and clay. This area is criss-crossed by many streams. The few flat areas make good farmland.

( Minnesota Close-up )

Climate (All temperatures Fahrenheit)
Highest Temperature The highest temperature recorded in Minnesota is 114°, Fahrenheit. This record high was recorded on July 6, 1936 at Moorhead.
Lowest Temperature The lowest temperature in Minnesota, -60°, was recorded on February 2, 1996 at Tower.
Average Temperature Monthly average temperatures range from a high of 83.4 degrees to a low of -2.9 degrees.
Climate Average yearly precipitation for Minnesota, from 1971 to 2000, is shown on this chart from Oregon State University.
Sources:
The World Almanac of the U.S.A. by Allan Carpenter and Carl Provorse, Copyright © 1998
Gordon L. Levine and William E. Lass, "Minnesota," World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbPage/na/ar/co/363640, August 15, 2001.
The United States Geological Survey Website
Maps.com http://www.maps.com
To Michigan geography. To Mississippi geography.

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