Metal-mining related wastes in the Boulder River basin study area in northern Jefferson County, Montana, have been evaluated for their environmental effects as a part of the U.S. Geological Survey Abandoned Mine Lands Project. Many mine and prospect waste dumps, and mill wastes are located in the drainage basins of Basin Creek, Cataract Creek, and High Ore Creek, the three major tributaries to the Boulder River in the study area. Throughout the study area, mine-waste material has been transported into and down streams, where it mixes with and becomes incorporated into the bed sediments. In some locations, waste material was placed by mine operators directly in stream channels, and has been transported downstream forming fluvial tailings deposits along the stream banks. Water quality and aquatic habitat have been affected by acid generation and toxic-metal mobility during snowmelt and storm water runoff events. Colloids formed by the raising of pH downstream from these mine sites sorb metals contributing to the high concentrations observed in both bed and suspended sediments within the watershed. This report presents geochemical data for bed sediments from 67 sites and lead isotope data for 59 sites. Also included are geochemical data for seven suspended-sediment samples, and one smelter slag sample.
|Title||Chemical data and lead isotopic compositions in stream-sediment samples from the Boulder River watershed, Jefferson County, Montana|
|Authors||David L. Fey, Dan M. Unruh, Stan E. Church|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Open-File Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative; Toxic Substances Hydrology Program|