Hydrologic Assessment with an Emphasis on Water Quality within the Lame Deer Creek Watershed, Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Montana

Science Center Objects

The Lame Deer Creek watershed of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in southeastern Montana encompasses about 82 square miles and is home to the community of Lame Deer. Local water resources within the Lame Deer Creek watershed include Lame Deer Creek and groundwater within unconsolidated sediments and bedrock aquifers. In 2017 the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Northern Cheyenne Environmental Office, began conducting a multi-phase study. The objectives of this study are to assess the surface-water and groundwater resources within the watershed with an emphasis on the occurrence of water-quality constituents of human-health concern.

Limited available information exists regarding local groundwater resources, surface-water dynamics, groundwater-surface water interaction, and water quality within the area. The unknown influence of sewage lagoons and private waste-water systems (septic systems) on the area’s water resources is of particular interest. 


Specific Objectives:

Conduct an assessment of the following to increase the scientific understanding of the hydrologic system:

  • Determine the potentiometric-surface configuration (potentiometric-surface mapping) and direction of groundwater flow within the aquifers in the Quaternary and Tertiary sediments of the Lame Deer Creek watershed.
  • Examine the hydraulic characteristics of the aquifers.
  • Quantify gains and losses of surface water from Lame Deer Creek and its tributaries during different streamflow conditions.
  • Collect and compile surface-water and groundwater quality data with an emphasis on the occurrence of water-quality constituents of human-health concern.
Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation study area