Le Sueur River

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Le Sueur River
Le Sueur River Red Jacket.jpg
The Le Sueur River near its mouth in South Bend Township in 2007
Country United States
State Minnesota
 - left Cobb River, Maple River
 - location Hartland Township, Freeborn County
 - elevation 1,279 ft (390 m) [1]
 - coordinates 43°46′03″N 93°28′13″W / 43.76750°N 93.47028°W / 43.76750; -93.47028 [2]
Mouth Blue Earth River
 - location South Bend Township, Blue Earth County
 - elevation 774 ft (236 m) [1]
 - coordinates 44°07′36″N 94°02′52″W / 44.12667°N 94.04778°W / 44.12667; -94.04778Coordinates: 44°07′36″N 94°02′52″W / 44.12667°N 94.04778°W / 44.12667; -94.04778 [2]
Length 110.9 mi (178 km) [3]
Basin 1,089 sq mi (2,820 km2) [4]
Discharge for near Rapidan
 - average 549 cu ft/s (16 m3/s) [5]
 - max 24,700 cu ft/s (699 m3/s)
 - min 1.6 cu ft/s (0 m3/s)
Map of the Blue Earth watershed that shows the Le Sueur River
The Le Sueur River in Blue Earth County in 1996

The Le Sueur River (lay-SEWER)[6] is a tributary of the Blue Earth River, 111 miles (178 km) long, in southern Minnesota in the United States. Via the Blue Earth and Minnesota Rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River, draining an area of 1,089 square miles (2,280 km²). It is the largest tributary of the Blue Earth River, draining 31% of its watershed.[4]

Le Sueur River was named for Pierre-Charles Le Sueur, a French explorer of North America.[7]


The Le Sueur River rises in Hartland Township in northwestern Freeborn County and flows initially northwardly, through the southwestern extremity of Steele County into Waseca County, then westwardly in a winding course into Blue Earth County, passing through St. Clair. It flows into the Blue Earth River southwest of Mankato, approximately three miles (5 km) upstream of the Blue Earth's mouth at the Minnesota River.[8][9] Its largest tributaries are the Cobb and Maple Rivers, which it collects from the south approximately six and eight miles (10 km/13 km) upstream of its mouth, respectively.[8][10][11] A minor tributary of the Le Sueur River in Waseca and Steele Counties is known as the Little Le Sueur River.[8][12]

The Le Sueur River flows in most of its course on till plains and on the plain of a former glacial lake, through deeply incised ravines in its lower course. Extensions of the Big Woods, a tract of hardwoods that has since been largely converted to agricultural use, historically followed the river's riparian corridor southward. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, approximately 84% of the larger watershed of the Blue Earth River is used for agricultural cultivation, primarily that of corn and soybeans.[4][10]

Flow rate[edit]

At the United States Geological Survey's stream gauge near the community of Rapidan, two miles (3 km) upstream from the river's mouth, the annual mean flow of the river between 1940 and 2005 was 549 cubic feet per second (16 m³/s). The highest recorded flow during the period was 24,700 ft³/s (699 m³/s) on April 8, 1965. The lowest recorded flow was 1.6 ft³/s (0 m³/s) on February 9, 1959.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Google Earth elevation for GNIS coordinates. Retrieved on 2007-06-10.
  2. ^ a b "Geographic Names Information System entry for Le Sueur River (Feature ID #646550)". Geographic Names Information System. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  3. ^ "Le Sueur River Major Watershed.". Minnesota River Basin Data Center. Minnesota State University, Mankato. 2000-06-06. pp. Streams within the Le Sueur River Major Watershed. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  4. ^ a b c "Watersheds of the Minnesota River Basin.". Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 2005-12-01. pp. Minnesota River Basin: Blue Earth, Watonwan, and Le Sueur River Watersheds. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  5. ^ a b Mitton, G. B.; K. G. Guttormson; G. W. Stratton; E. S. Wakeman. "Water Resources Data in Minnesota, Water Year 2005 Annual Report.". United States Geological Survey. pp. Le Sueur River near Rapidan, MN. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  6. ^ "The Columbia Gazetteer of North America.". Columbia University Press, bartleby.com. 2001 [2000]. pp. Le Sueur River. Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  7. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 566. 
  8. ^ a b c Minnesota Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Me.: DeLorme. 1994. pp. 23–24, 32. ISBN 0-89933-222-6. 
  9. ^ "National Assessment Database: Assessment Data for the State of Minnesota Year 2004.". United States Environmental Protection Agency. pp. Blue Earth Watershed. Retrieved 2007-06-10. [dead link]
  10. ^ a b Waters, Thomas F. (2006). "The Blue Earth: Fool's Copper". The Streams and Rivers of Minnesota. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 278–287. ISBN 0-8166-0960-8. 
  11. ^ "National Assessment Database: Assessment Data for the State of Minnesota Year 2004.". United States Environmental Protection Agency. pp. Le Sueur Watershed. Retrieved 2007-06-10. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Geographic Names Information System entry for Little Le Sueur River (Feature ID #646842)". Geographic Names Information System. Retrieved 2007-06-10.