Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Wooded Islands in a Sea of Prairie
The Study Area (Fig. 2) lies in the Missouri Plateau physiographic region of Bluemle
(1977), in Williams, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, and Oliver counties. The Missouri
Plateau is a rolling-to-hilly plain with gentle slopes and local relief ranging
90-150 meters. The surface geology consists of glacial till made up of mixtures
of sand and gravel that vary primarily in relation to topography.
Click on the
to view the corresponding data for that census point or follow the links listed
1-3 -- 4-6 -- 7-9
-- 10 -- 14-15 -- 16-18
-- 19-21 -- 22-24 --
25-27 -- 28-30 -- 31-33
Figure 2. Geographic location of wooded draw study sites in western
North Dakota. Each dot represents the location of 13 census plots.
Much of the study area is underlain with coal reserves. These five counties contain
about 5.5 billion tons of strippable coal, or about 34.4% of the total strippable
reserves in North Dakota (Bluemle 1977). Major oil and natural gas reserves exist
in McKenzie, Dunn, and Williams counties.
The climate is continental, with hot dry summers and cold winters. Mean annual
precipitation and temperature vary little across the study area, but show gradual
changes along an east-west gradient (Table 1).
|Table 1. Differences in climatic variables along an
east to west gradient in western North Dakota.1 Temperatures
are in centigrade, precipitation in mm.
|Williston, Williams Co.
|Center, Oliver Co.
|1Source: U.S. Dept. of Commerce (1981). Climatological
data - North Dakota. Vol. 90 No. 13. Nat'l Climatic Center, Asheville,