Iowa Geography

Iowa State Geography

Iowa’s Statehood:

  • Iowa was announced to be the  29th state of the United States of America on 28th December, 1846.

  • Iowa is positioned in the middle of the western region of United States; that is why it is known as the American Heartland.

Iowa State Location:

  • The geography of Iowa is very diverse as it is surrounded by the Mississippi River on the eastern edge.

  • Missouri as well as the Big Sioux River surround it on the western side while the boundary to the south of the region is defined by the Des Moines River.

  • The state of Iowa has 99 counties in all. However, since Lee County has two county seats, the total number of counties sums up to a hundred. Situated in county of Polk, Des Moines is the Capital of the state of Iowa.

Iowa Geology

  • Excluding the 1968 Illinois earthquake, there have been no major earthquakes in the state of Iowa as the state is one of the most stable regions in United States of America.

  • The main reason for its stableness is its geographical position, which is not in proximity to any fault lines. However, earthquakes of minor intensities take place occasionally near Fremont County, Sioux City etc.

Iowa Mineral Resources

  • Iowa was a major coal manufacturer. Areas that were exploited for the same included The Des Moines River valley, Coalville and a large area of the City of Des Moines.

  • In the 20th century, a good number of key mines were located beyond the south of in the region of Centerville, Lucas and Oskaloosa. The coal from the state has a tendency to have large amounts of sulfur in them for new applications.

  • The state of Iowa has restricted production of oil and natural gas which is a disadvantage for them.

Iowa Terrain and Topography

  • Even though it is believed that Iowa is not flat, a large part of the state comprises of rolling hills. The geography of Iowa can be divided chiefly into landforms such as soil, topography, rivers and glaciers. Loess hills recline by the side of the west border. The Driftless Zone is a segment next to the Mississippi river in the northeastern part consisting of steep hills and valleys.

  • There are a number of natural lakes which make up the geography of Iowa such as the Spirit Lake, the East Okoboji Lake and the West Okoboji Lake which is situated in northwestern region of Iowa.

  • Clear Lake is situated in the eastern region of Iowa. Apart from the natural lakes of Iowa, several man-made lakes such as Lake Red Rock, Saylorville Lake, Lake MacBride and Lake Odessa are included in the geography of Iowa.

Iowa Ecology

  • The natural vegetation of the state of Iowa consists of tall grass prairie and savanna in highland areas.

  • In the northern prairie regions of Iowa there are dense forests and several wetlands along the floodplains and river valleys.

  • For the most part, Iowa’s geographical extent is being used for agricultural purposes.

  • Over 60% of the state is covered by crops with grasslands covering 30% and forests that cover 7% of the land.

  • Several plants such as Western Prairie Fringed Orchid, Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, Mead's Milkweed, Prairie Bush Clover, and Northern Wild Monkshood are diminishing in numbers but are unique to the geography of Iowa.

  • The rise in the quantity of high-density cattle facilities in state of Iowa has paved way for amplified hazards of rural water pollution as well as an apparent declining level of air quality. Supplementary issues that are harmfully disturbing to Iowa's geography comprise of the widespread use of coal-fired power plants which are very old. Also the fertilizer and pesticide overspill from crop production is a sore obstacle in the ecology of the state.

The diverse geography and ecology of Iowa consists of some of the following animals: Bald Eagle, Interior Least Tern, Indiana Bat, Pallid Sturgeon, the Iowa Pleistocene Land Snail, Higgins' Eye Pearly Mussel, and the Topeka Shiner. These animals are on a verge of being extinct and are hence in dire need of protection from the state as well as the federal government.

The Geography of Iowa

Longitude / Latitude Longitude: 89° 5' W to 96° 31' W
Latitude: 40° 36' N to 43° 30' N
Length x Width Iowa is 310 miles long and 200 miles wide.
Geographic Center
Explanation
The geographic center of Iowa is located in Story County, 5 miles NE of Ames.
Longitude: 93° 23.1'W
Latitude: 41° 57.7'N
Borders Iowa is north border - Minnesota , South - Missouri, East - Wisconsin and Illinois, West - South Dakota and Nebraska
Total Area Iowa covers 56,276 square miles, Iowa state is 26th largest state in USA
Land Area 55,875 square miles
Water Area 401 square miles
Highest Point The highest point in Iowa is on Sterler Farm, north of Sibley
Lowest Point The lowest point in Iowa is at the Mississippi River; 480 feet above sea level.
Mean Elevation The Mean Elevation of the state of Iowa is 1,100 feet above sea level.
Major Rivers Cedar River, Des Moines River, Iowa River, Mississippi River, Missouri River
Major Lakes Lake Red Rock

List of Rivers of Iowa

Upper Mississippi River Drainage Basin
  • Mississippi River
    • Fabius River (MO)
      • North Fabius River
    • Wyaconda River
    • Fox River
      • Little Fox River
    • Des Moines River
      • Competine Creek
      • White Breast Creek
      • South River
      • Middle River
      • North River
      • Raccoon River
        • North Raccoon River
        • South Raccoon River
          • Middle Raccoon River
      • Pea's Creek
        • Davis Creek
      • Beaver Creek
      • Boone River
        • Black Fox Creek
      • Lizard Creek
      • East Fork Des Moines River
    • Skunk River
      • Cedar Creek
      • North Skunk River
      • South Skunk River
        • Thunder Creek
        • Squaw Creek
    • Flint River
    • Iowa River
      • Cedar River
        • Wolf Creek
        • Beaver Creek
        • West Fork Cedar River
        • Shell Rock River
          • Winnebago River
        • Little Cedar River
      • English River
        • North English River
          • Middle English River
          • Deep River
        • South English River
      • South Fork Iowa River
      • East Branch Iowa River
      • West Branch Iowa River
    • Wapsipinicon River
      • Little Wapsipinicon River
      • Little Wapsipinicon River
    • Elk River
    • Maquoketa River
      • North Fork Maquoketa River
    • Catfish Creek
    • Little Maquoketa River
      • Cloie Branch
    • Turkey River
      • Little Turkey River
      • Volga River
      • Little Turkey River
    • Yellow River
      • Bear Creek
      • Norfolk Creek
    • Upper Iowa River
      • Bear Creek
        • Waterloo Creek
      • Canoe Creek
        • Pine Creek
      • Pine Creek
    • Minnesota River (MN)
      • Blue Earth River
Missouri River Drainage Basin
  • Missouri River
    • Chariton River
      • South Fork Chariton River
    • Grand River
      • Thompson River
        • Weldon River
          • Little River
    • Platte River
      • One Hundred and Two River
    • Nodaway River
      • East Nodaway River
        • East Fork East Nodaway River
      • West Nodaway River
        • Middle Nodaway River
        • West Fork Middle Nodaway River
          • Rutt Branch
    • Tarkio River
    • Nishnabotna River
      • East Nishnabotna River
      • West Nishnabotna River
        • Walnut Creek
        • Silver Creek
        • East Branch West Nishnabotna River
        • West Fork West Nishnabotna River
    • Keg Creek
    • Mosquito Creek
    • Boyer River
      • Willow River
      • East Boyer River
    • Soldier River
      • East Soldier River
        • Middle Soldier River
    • Little Sioux River
      • Maple River
      • Ocheyedan River
        • Little Ocheyedan River
      • West Fork Little Sioux River
    • Floyd River
      • West Branch Floyd River
        • Little Floyd River
    • Perry Creek
    • Big Sioux River
      • Broken Kettle Creek
      • Rock River
        • Little Rock River

Ordered Alphabetically

A - M
  • Blue Earth River
  • Boone River
  • Boyer River
  • Cedar River
  • Chariton River
  • Davis Creek
  • Deep River
  • Des Moines River
  • Elk River
  • English River
  • North Fabius River
  • Flint River
  • Floyd River
  • Fox River
  • Grand River
  • Iowa River
  • Little Cedar River
  • Little Fox River
  • Little Maquoketa River
  • Little Ocheyedan River
  • Little River
  • Little Rock River
  • Little Sioux River
  • Little Turkey River
  • Little Wapsipinicon River
  • Maple River
  • Middle River
  • Maquoketa River
  • Mosquito Creek
N - Z
  • Nishnabotna River
  • Nodaway River
  • North River
  • Ocheyedan River
  • One Hundred and Two River
  • Pea's Creek
  • Platte River
  • Raccoon River
  • Rock River
  • Rutt Branch
  • Shell Rock River
  • Skunk River
  • Grand river
  • Soldier River
  • South River
  • Squaw Creek
  • Tarkio River
  • Thompson River
  • Thunder Creek
  • Turkey River
  • Upper Iowa River
  • Volga River
  • Wapsipinicon River
  • Weldon River
  • West Fork of the Little Sioux River
  • Winnebago River
  • Wyaconda River
  • Yellow River
  • Zardonian creek