Lake Traverse

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Lake Traverse
FMIB 33463 Map Showing the Minnesota Valley.jpeg
The continental divide of Lake Traverse
LocationTraverse County, Minnesota / Roberts County, South Dakota, United States
Coordinates45°46′09″N 96°38′20″W / 45.76917°N 96.63889°W / 45.76917; -96.63889Coordinates: 45°46′09″N 96°38′20″W / 45.76917°N 96.63889°W / 45.76917; -96.63889
Primary inflowsMustinka River
Primary outflowsBois de Sioux River
Basin countriesUnited States
Surface elevation976 ft (297 m)

Lake Traverse is the southernmost body of water in the Hudson Bay watershed of North America. It lies along the border between the U.S. states of Minnesota and South Dakota. A low continental divide separates the land at the southern shore of Lake Traverse from Big Stone Lake, the headwaters of the south-flowing Little Minnesota River, which is part of the Mississippi River System. Both lakes lie within a mile of the town of Browns Valley, Minnesota with Wheaton, Minnesota (at the morth end of Lake Traverse); and Ortonville, Minnesota (at the south end of Big Stone Lake).

Lake Traverse is an Anglicization of Lac Traverse, a French name meaning "across the lake".[1]

Prehistorically, the south end of Lake Traverse was the southern outlet of glacial Lake Agassiz across the Traverse Gap into Glacial River Warren; that river carved the valley now occupied by the present-day Minnesota River.

Lake Traverse is drained at its north end by the northward-flowing Bois de Sioux River, a tributary of the Red River of the North. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dam at the outflow regulates the lake's level. The Mustinka River flows into the lake just above the dam.

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  1. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Government Printing Office. p. 178.