A preliminary appraisal was conducted in and near the ancestral Missouri River valley in northeastern Montana to describe the groundwater resources and to establish a data base for the area. The data base then could be used for future evaluation of possible changes in water levels or water quality. In this area, consolidated aquifers are the Upper Cretaceous Fox Hills-lower Hell Creek aquifer and the overlying Paleocene Fort Union Formation. Unconsolidated aquifers are Pleistocene terrace gravel and glacial deposits and Holocene alluvial deposits. Aquifers are recharged by precipitation, infiltration of streamflow, and possibly leakage from lakes and potholes. Groundwater moves from topographically higher areas to the ancestral valley, then along the ancestral valley to the southwest. Water is discharged from aquifers by evapotranspiration, springs and seeps, movement directly into streams and lakes, and from pumping wells. Average well yields are greatest for irrigation wells completed in outwash gravel (886 gallons/min). Eighteen wells were completed in various aquifers to monitor potential long-term changes in water levels and water quality. Measured water levels declined about 2 ft. or less during the study (1982-85). Chemical analysis of groundwater samples indicated that concentrations of some dissolved constituents exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for drinking water.
|Title||Preliminary appraisal of ground water in and near the ancestral Missouri River Valley, northeastern Montana|
|Authors||G. W. Levings|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Water-Resources Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|