NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY - FARGO, N D


CONTINENTAL DIVIDE
BARNES COUNTY, N.D.



Click on the photo for an enlarged image. (87K)

Visitors to North Dakota are often astonished to see this roadsign along Interstate 94 between Jamestown and Valley City. One generally associates "continental divide" signs with the highways crossing the Rocky Mountains --- not with highways crossing the gently-rolling grasslands of eastern North Dakota.

But a continental divide this truly is. Waters to the north and east of this sign enter into the Red River/Nelson River drainage, leading northeastward toward Hudson Bay. Waters to the south and west of this sign enter into the James River/Missouri River/Mississippi River drainage, leading southward toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Contrary to common belief, northward-flowing rivers are quite common. However, the Red River is one of the few rivers that rise in the contiguous 48-states whose waters ultimately feed northward into the Arctic Watershed.

(Photo by D.P. Schwert, North Dakota State University).



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