Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

J.R. Reid


Western Sheridan County, in central North Dakota, lies within three physiographic districts; The Missouri Coteau district, the Sheyenne River district, and the Martin subdistrict. The Missouri Coteau district is characterized by thick drift, knob and kettle topography, and non-integrated drainage. The Sheyenne River district and Martin sub-district are characterized by flat to gently rolling topography.

The surface deposits of western Sheridan County include the upper Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation, the Tertiary (Paleocene) Ludlow and Cannonball Formations, and the Burnstad and Martin Drifts of late Wisconsinan Age.

Landforms in the Missouri Coteau district include dead-ice moraine, end moraine, disintegration ridges, collapsed outwash topography, ice-walled-lake plains, eskers, and remnant ice-walled channels. Landforms of the Sheyenne River district and the Martin subdistrict include end moraine, ground moraine, washboard moraines, collapsed outwash topography, eskers, and remnant ice-walled channels.

The Streeter and Lincoln Valley end moraines, included in the Burnstad Drift, were deposited by a series of glacial advances from the northeast. The lobe that deposited the Lincoln Valley moraine advanced through the Lincoln Valley zag and overrode and truncated the pre-existing Streeter moraine. The active ice front then retreated northwestward leaving behind a mass of stagnant ice covering the Missouri Coteau district. Mollusk shells and fish remains found in ice-contact-lake sediments of the Burnstad Drift indicate that lakes and streams were developed in and on the stagnant ice and that the superglacial drift was thick enough to insulate these lakes from the ice.

The Martin moraine, the youngest moraine in western Sheridan County, was formed by ice advance from the northwest.

Subsequent erosion of these glacial features has been minimized by the lack of effective postglacial weathering.

Sherrod (309048 kB)

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