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Physical Features

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Physical Features and Resources

The topography of southwestern Grand Forks County is nearly level. The City of Northwood varies three feet in elevation, from one thousand one hundred fifteen (1,115) feet above sea level in its southeastern section to one thousand one hundred eighteen (1,118) feet above sea level in its northwestern section. The City is in the Red River Basin with the Goose River, a tributary of the Red River, being approximately two miles southwest of the community.

The climate in this part of North Dakota is a cool subhumid climate with warm sunny summers of 100-125 frost-free days. The August mean temperature is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are relatively long with cold air masses causing strong, gusty winds. The January mean temperature is 5 degrees Fahrenheit. The average annual precipitation is approximately 22 inches.

The soils within this area are of the glyndon series. The surface layer is a very dark gray, slightly calcareous silt loam approximately eight inches thick. Just beneath the surface layer is a gray silt loam that varies from 16-20 inches and contains a large amount of lime.

Groundwater levels in the Northwood area are relatively high. The depth of groundwater ranges from 5 feet to 15 feet. The quality of the groundwater differs greatly from one area to the next. Generally, the water in the areas of glacial origin is hard and mineralized, usually with a high saline content.

The geology of the Northwood area, as well as the entire Red River Valley, is a glacial lake bottom called Lake Agassiz. The only remaining remnant of Lake Agassiz is Lake Winnipeg near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

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