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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Central North Dakota Watersheds                               Discovery Farms USGS Project

Landform characteristics dictate water movement, water storage, and water retention. The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is characterized by numerous catchment basins that provide water retention, wildlife habitat, and water quality functions. Understanding how water moves across PPR landforms within and among watersheds is needed for functional assessment of PPR agricultural wetland landscapes.

New watershed data are now available for the central North Dakota PPR, located between Bismarck and Minot along the Missouri Coteau.

Landform topographic features indicate where surface waters potentially flow and eventually drain to major rivers. For our area-of-interest, there are three major river outlets:the Missouri, the Souris, and the Sheyenne. These drainage points can be used to model the area contributing water to each point—this area is defined as the watershed. Within each watershed are thousands of drainage networks and catchments basins that are used to characterize water movement, storage and retention. A topographic map detailing the elevation of the area is shown below and it also displays the outlets for all the subwatershed mapped.

Learn more about watersheds in this region, including quantification of watershed characteristics and individual catchment basins. A summary of the watershed characterization work is available here as a presentation.

You will need Google Earth to view the maps and read the data

If you do not have the Google Earth software, please download it here.  Performance of Google Earth improves if you clear the "Temporary Places" files you do not need or large files stored in your "My Places" folder.

Last Modified: 4/18/2013
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