Shell Rock River

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Shell Rock River
Shellrock River
Country US
State Iowa
Districts Black Hawk County, Iowa, Bremer County, Iowa, Butler County, Iowa, Floyd County, Iowa, Freeborn County, Minnesota
 - coordinates 43°36′42″N 93°17′37″W / 43.6116°N 93.2935°W / 43.6116; -93.2935
Source confluence
 - coordinates 42°38′03″N 92°30′05″W / 42.63414°N 92.5013°W / 42.63414; -92.5013
Mouth Cedar River (Minnesota)
 - elevation 873 ft (266 m)
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Shell Rock River

The Shell Rock River is a 113-mile-long (182 km)[1] tributary of the Cedar River in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa in the United States. Via the Cedar and Iowa rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River.


This river was named for the fossil shells found in outcroppings along its banks.[2] The United States Board on Geographic Names settled on "Shell Rock River" as the stream's name in 1931. According to the Geographic Names Information System, it has also been known by the spelling "Shellrock River".[3]


The Shell Rock River flows from Albert Lea Lake in Freeborn County, Minnesota,[4] and soon enters Iowa, flowing generally south-southeastwardly through eastern Worth, northeastern Cerro Gordo, western Floyd, northeastern Butler, southwestern Bremer and northwestern Black Hawk counties, past the town of Glenville in Minnesota and the towns of Northwood, Plymouth, Rock Falls, Nora Springs, Rockford, Marble Rock, Greene, Clarksville and Shell Rock in Iowa. It joins the West Fork of the Cedar River in Black Hawk County, about 6 miles (10 km) north-northwest of Cedar Falls. At Rockford, Iowa, it collects the Winnebago River from the west.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed May 13, 2011
  2. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 202. 
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Shell Rock River
  4. ^ DeLorme (1994). Minnesota Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-222-6.
  5. ^ DeLorme (1998). Iowa Atlas & Gazetteer. Yarmouth, Maine: DeLorme. ISBN 0-89933-214-5.