About 35 percent of Manitoba consists of plains, called the Interior Plains. Two major subdivisions of them are recognized. Much the larger of the two is the First Prairie Level, or the Manitoba Lowland. Its elevation ranges from 180 to 270 m (600 to 900 ft). The Manitoba Lowland encompasses the Red River Valley and the area of three large lakes—Winnipeg, Winnipegosis, and Manitoba. During glacial times the Manitoba Lowland was for a very long period occupied by a vast lake, called Lake Agassiz. Surface features and soils of the lowland reflect the various levels attained by that ancient lake. Some areas, for example, have gravelly beach deposits or sandy delta materials or even old dune belts. Others have fine soils formed in the deeper lake basins.
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