Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
|46j. Glacial Outwash||Level IV Ecoregion|
|The Northern Glaciated Plains
ecoregion is characterized by a flat to gently rolling landscape
composed of glacial drift. The subhumid conditions foster a grassland
transitional between the tall and shortgrass prairie. High concentrations
of temporary and seasonal wetlands create favorable conditions for duck
nesting and migration. Though the till soil is very fertile, agricultural
success is subject to annual climatic fluctuations.
The disjunct areas of Glacial Outwash differ from outwash areas on the Missouri Coteau (42a) in that they generally have a smoother topography. The soils are highly permeable with low water holding capacity. Areas of excessive soil permeability have a poor to fair potential for dryland crop production. Some areas are used for irrigated agriculture. The risk for blowing soil in droughty areas is reduced by retaining native range grasses like little bluestem, needleandthread, and green needlegrass.
Area (square miles): 890
Surficial Material and Bedrock
Order (Great Groups)
Precipitation - Mean annual (inches)
Potential Natural Vegetation
Little bluestem, needleandthread, blue grama, prairie junegrass. Elm, ash, burr oak in river bottoms.
Land Use and Land Cover
Cattle grazing on droughtiest soils. Tilable land produces wheat, oats, barley, rye and alfalfa.