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Encyclopedia > Geology of Minnesota
Northern hemisphere glaciation during the last ice ages. The set up of 3 to 4 km thick ice sheets caused a sea level lowering of about 120 m.
Northern hemisphere glaciation during the last ice ages. The set up of 3 to 4 km thick ice sheets caused a sea level lowering of about 120 m.

The geological history of Minnesota began 2.7 billion years ago, when the first pieces of land that would later form the U.S. state of Minnesota began to rise up out of an ancient ocean as a chain of volcanic islands. Much of the underlying gneiss rock of today's state had already been formed nearly a billion years earlier, but still laid underneath the sea. Except for the region where the islands appeared in what is now the northern part of the state, most of the region remained underwater. About two billion years ago, much of the water had drained away. Heavy mineral deposits containing iron collected on the shores of a receding sea to form the Mesabi, Cuyuna, Vermilion, and Gunflint iron ranges from the center of the state up into what is now Canada. These regions also showed the first signs of life as algae grew in the shallow waters. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2236x1640, 305 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Ice age Maps of the World Geological history of Minnesota ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (2236x1640, 305 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Ice age Maps of the World Geological history of Minnesota ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Minor parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries â€¢ Politics Portal • • A state of the United States is any one of the fifty subnational entities referred to... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Area  Ranked 12th  - Total 87,014 sq mi (225,365 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 8. ... The worlds oceans as seen from the South Pacific Ocean, before the definition of the Southern Ocean in 2000 Oceans (from Okeanos in Greek, the ancient Greeks noticing the strong current that flowed off Gibraltar and assuming it was a great river) cover almost three quarters (71%) of the... Volcano 1. ... Gneiss Gneiss is a common and widely distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from preexisting formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks. ... The rocky side of a mountain creek near Orosí, Costa Rica. ... Minerals are natural compounds formed through geological processes. ... General Name, Symbol, Number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Atomic mass 55. ... The Mesabi Iron Range is a vast deposit of iron ore and the largest of four major iron ranges in the region collectively known as the Iron Range of Minnesota. ... The Cuyuna Range is to the southwest of the Mesabi Range, largely within Crow Wing County, Minnesota. ... The Vermilion Range exists between Tower and Ely, Minnesota, and contains significant deposits of iron ore. ... The Gunflint Range is a mountain range in northern Minnesota in the United States and western Ontario, Canada. ... The Iron Range and Arrowhead are overlapping regions that make up the northeastern section of Minnesota in the United States. ... For other uses, see Life (disambiguation), Lives (disambiguation) or Living (disambiguation), Living Things (disambiguation) Look up life, living in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A seaweed (Laurencia) up close: the branches are multicellular and only about 1 mm thick. ...


1.1 billion years ago, a rift valley began to pull the state apart. Lava emerged from cracks along the edges. The rift extended from the current Lake Superior area through the state and down into what is now Kansas. However, the separation stopped before the land could become two separate continents. About 100 million years later, the last volcano in the area went quiet. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Rift (geology). ... Look up lava, Aa, pahoehoe in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Lake Superior (known as Gichigami in an Ojibwe language), bounded by Ontario and Minnesota to the north and Wisconsin and Michigan in the south, is the largest of North Americas Great Lakes. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


550 million years ago, the area found itself repeatedly inundated with water of a shallow sea that grew and receded through several cycles. At this point, the land mass of what is now North America ran along the equator. At that time, Minnesota had a tropical climate. Small marine creatures such as trilobites, coral, and snails float through the sea. The shells of the tiny animals sink to the bottom of the sea, eventually forming limestone and sandstone. When dinosaurs roamed the planet, Minnesota didn't have a remarkable population of thunder lizards. The region remained coastline for a long period, with creatures resembling crocodiles and sharks sliding through the nearby seas. Other land animals followed as the dinosaurs disappeared, but much of the historical record of this time was etched away as glaciers expanded and retreated across the region through several cycles starting about 2 million years ago. World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... The equator is an imaginary circle drawn around a planet (or other astronomical object) at a distance halfway between the poles. ... A tropical climate is a type of climate typical in the tropics. ... Orders Agnostida Redlichiida Corynexochida Lichida Phacopida Proetida Asaphida Harpetida Ptychopariida Nektaspida (doubtful order) Trilobites are extinct arthropods in the class Trilobita. ... Subclasses Alcyonaria Zoantharia See text for orders. ... The name snail applies to most members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells. ... Phyla Placozoa (trichoplax) Orthonectida (orthonectids) Rhombozoa (dicyemids) Subregnum Parazoa Porifera (sponges) Subregnum Eumetazoa Radiata (unranked) (radial symmetry) Ctenophora (comb jellies) Cnidaria (coral, jellyfish, anemones) Bilateria (unranked) (bilateral symmetry) Acoelomorpha (basal) Myxozoa (slime animals) Superphylum Deuterostomia (blastopore becomes anus) Chordata (vertebrates, etc. ... Limey shale overlaid by limestone. ... Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ... Orders & Suborders Saurischia Sauropodomorpha Theropoda Ornithischia Thyreophora Ornithopoda Marginocephalia Dinosaurs were vertebrate animals that dominated the terrestrial ecosystem for over 160 million years, first appearing approximately 230 million years ago. ... Genera Mecistops Crocodylus Osteolaemus See full taxonomy. ... Orders Carcharhiniformes Heterodontiformes Hexanchiformes Lamniformes Orectolobiformes Pristiophoriformes Squaliformes Squatiniformes Sharks (superorder Selachimorpha) are fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton[1] and a streamlined body. ... A glacier is a large, long-lasting river of ice that is formed on land and moves in response to gravity. ...


First human inhabitants

Ice ages come and go as humans develop in other parts of the world. The ice continued to retreat for the last time about 12,500 years before the present time. Melting glaciers filled the lakes and rivers of the state. Minnesota was on the southern edge of Lake Agassiz at this time, a massive lake with a volume rivaling that of the Great Lakes combined together. The River Warren was the southern outlet of the lake, and had an immense flow through the valleys now used by the Minnesota River and Mississippi River. Falls on the river were precursors to the Saint Anthony Falls. Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin for wise man or knowing man) under the family Hominidae (known as the great apes). ... A man-made lake in Keukenhof, Netherlands A lake is a body of water or other liquid of considerable size surrounded by land. ... River upstream of an Australian trout farm A river is a large natural waterway. ... A map of the extent of Lake Agassiz Lake Agassiz was an immense lake—bigger than all of the present-day Great Lakes combined—in the center of North America, which was fed by glacial runoff at the end of the last ice age. ... The Great Lakes from space The Great Lakes are a group of five large lakes on or near the United States-Canadian border. ... The Minnesota River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately 332 miles (534 km) long, in the state of Minnesota in the United States. ... The Mississippi River, derived from the old Ojibwe word misi-ziibi meaning great river (gichi-ziibi big river at its headwaters), is the second-longest river in the United States; the longest is the Missouri River, which flows into the Mississippi. ... Aerial view of Saint Anthony Falls with the upper dam Saint Anthony Falls, or the Falls of Saint Anthony, located near downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the only waterfall on the Mississippi River until it was replaced by a series of dams in the 1950s and 1960s. ...


At this time, a number of giant animals roamed the area. Beavers were the size of bears, and mammoths were 14 feet (4.3m) high at the shoulder and weighed 10 tons. Even buffalo were much larger than they are today. Glaciers continued to retreat and the climate became warmer in the next few millennia. The giant creatures eventually died out about 9,000 years ago. Species C. canadensis C. fiber Beavers are semi-aquatic rodents native to North America and Europe. ... For other meanings, see Bear (disambiguation). ... Species Mammuthus africanavus   African mammoth Mammuthus columbi   Columbian mammoth Mammuthus exilis   Pygmy mammoth Mammuthus jeffersonii   Jeffersonian mammoth Mammuthus trogontheri   Steppe mammoth Mammuthus meridionalis Mammuthus primigenius   Woolly mammoth Mammuthus lamarmorae   Sardinian Dwarf Mammoth A mammoth is any of a number of an extinct genus of elephant, often with long curved tusks... The human upper arm Grays Fig. ... The word ton or tonne is derived from the Old English tunne, and ultimately from the Old French tonne, and referred originally to a large cask with a capacity of 252 wine gallons, which holds approximately 2100 pounds of water. ... Binomial name Bison bison (Linnaeus, 1758) Subspecies B. b. ...


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