Home Archived December 11, 2018

The USGS Land Cover Institute (LCI)

  South Dakota Land Cover
Capital Pierre
Largest City Sioux Falls
Area Ranked 17th
Total 75,884.64 sq mi
Population Ranked 46th
Total (2000) 754,844
Density 9.9/sq mi
Highest point Harney Peak 7,242 ft (2,207 m)
Lowest point Big Stone Lake 966 ft (294 m)
South Dakota Land Cover

South Dakota is centrally located in the Great Plains of the United States. The state is naturally divided in half by the Missouri River, which flows north to south and into the Mississippi Drainage Basin. The Missouri River marks the historical extent of continental glaciers that shaped the current landscape. A majority of the eastern half of the state is covered by the Drift Prairie, an area that was glaciated in the past and is now characterized by fertile soils, low hills, and lakes. The Coteau Des Prairies, a major glacial landform, covers the northeastern part of the State. The Coteau is bounded on the east by the Minnesota River Valley and on the west by the James River Basin; each mark the path of ancient glacial flows. Steep valleys, canyons, and flat topped-buttes distinguish the west river landscape. The Black Hills, in southwestern South Dakota, cover 6,000 square miles and extend into Wyoming, with mountains that rise from 3,000 to over 7,000 feet.