Seasonal variations in the composition of the Red River
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The Red River formerly known as the Red River of the North, is formed by the union of two branches, the Ottertail River which flows from a small lake in Minnesota, and the Bois des Sioux River, the outlet of Lake Traverse, on the boundary line between Minnesota and North Dakota. The two streams unite at Breckenridge, Minn., and from that point the Red River flows northward and enters Lake Winnipeg. The various tributaries as one descends the river have, for the most part, a drainage basin of from 40 to 75 miles in length, excepting the Red Lake, the Sheyenne, the Pembina, and the Assiniboine. The drainage basins of these four rivers are of considerable extent and the character of the water carried exerts a decided influence upon the Red River. In summer droughts, several of these tributaries excepting the four mentioned, are dried up along the greater part of their course. "The stage of rivers whether in partial flood or at the level of seasons of drought decides to a large extent whether the dissolved ingredients are little or much. The amount of fine sand or clayey mud borne along mechanically suspended in the water of the rivers is vastly increased by their rise and stronger currents in time of flood,...