South Dakota's Landforms and Waterforms:
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Drift Prairie
  • The Drift Prairie covers most of the eastern part of South Dakota.
  • Low hills and glacial lakes make up the Drift Prairies.
  • French traders had referred to this land as Coteau des Prairies which means Prairie Hills.
  • The James River Basin borders the Prairie Hills to the north along with the Minnesota River Valley.
  • Following the flow of the James River through South Dakota from north to south and on mostly flat land is the James River Basin.
Dissected Till Plains
  • Lying in the southeastern corner of the state is the Dissected Tilll Plains region.
  • Rolling hills and being criss-crossed by many streams are in the area.
Great Plains
  • The Great Plains covers 2/3 of the western part of South Dakota.
  • Between the Missouri River and the James River Basin is the valleys and hills of the Coteau de Missouri.
  • This is rugged land that is made up of rolling hills, plains, canyons, and steep flat-topped hills called buttes.
  • It lies west of the Missouri River.
  • Buttes can sometimes, in the Great Plains area can rise up to 400 to 600 feet above the plains.
  • The Badlands National Park is also in this area.
Black Hills
  • The Black Hills are located in the southeastern part of South Dakota and extend into Wyoming.
  • Mountains that are 2,000 to 4,000 feet high covers 6,000 square miles.
  • The highest point in South Dakota is 7,242 feet above sea level and is located at Harney Peak which is in the Black Hills.
  • The Homestake Mine that is in the region is one of the largest gold mines in the United States.
  • Minerals such as gold, silver, copper, and lead can be found in the Black Hills.
  • Other national parks in the Black Hills are Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Wind Cave, and Custer National Park.

Water Forms:
  • There are a lot of rivers and lakes that are in South Dakota, and some are more famous than others.
  • One famous river that is in South Dakota is the Cheyenne River.
  • Other rivers are the Missouri River, the James River, and the White River.
  • There are also major lakes in the state.
  • Lake Oahe, Lake Francis Case, and the Lewis and Clark Lake.
  • The climate in South Dakota is interior continental.
  • It has hot summers and extremely cold winters.
  • Also the state has high winds and periodical droughts.
Natural Resources:
  • South Dakota's most valuable resource is it's fertile soil.
  • It also has rish mineral resources.
  • The Black Hills support state forest reserves.
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