Regions

Montana

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Hydrologists from the USGS Wyoming, Montana, and Missisippi Water Science Centers are demonstrating the feasibility and utility of including groundwater level and temperature data from shallow streambank piezometers with existing suites of real-time data collected and transmitted at active gaging stations.

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News

Image of Dan Fagre.
April 11, 2018

Research Ecologist Dan Fagre is the recipient of the 2017 Eugene M. Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communications

Prairie dog and SPV bait
December 13, 2017

About 70 percent of wild prairie dogs successfully ingested baits containing an oral sylvatic plague vaccine, or SPV, that were distributed throughout their habitats, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Filtering water for eDNA sample collection in Yellowstone National Park between Lewis and Shoshone Lakes.
November 6, 2017

Western waters support some of the most intact aquatic ecosystems in North America, yet invasive species and emerging infectious diseases pose significant and immediate threats to these ecosystems. 

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Grinnell Glacier Ridge 2017
Date Published: June 15, 2018
Status: Active

Grinnell Ridge, Gem & Salamander Glaciers 1910 - 2017

In 1910, Morton Elrod documented how Grinnell Glacier’s mass filled the basin and how the glacier was then joined with the ice apron we now call the Salamander (right). Close inspection of Gem Glacier (top-center) reveals a loss of thickness / volume over the past 107 years as well.  To download images, select the Multimedia tab.

Contacts: Lisa McKeon
Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network Sites in 2018
Date Published: May 25, 2018
Status: Active

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network

The USGS monitors stream water quality in Wyoming and Montana in cooperation with State, County, local, and other Federal agencies. Water-quality data for these sites are available from the USGS National Water Information System Web Mapper application in the form of an interactive map. 

MT StreamStats Screenshot of Interactive Map
Date Published: May 15, 2018
Status: Active

StreamStats: a water-resources web application

StreamStats is a Web-based geographic information system application that provides users with access to basin and streamflow characteristics for gaged and ungaged streams.

Screenshot of the Land Treatment Planning Tool with proposed treatment drawn on screen.
Date Published: May 10, 2018
Status: Active

Land Treatment Planning Tool

The Land Treatment Planning Tool provides a practical resource for managers who are planning restoration and rehabilitation actions on public lands. The tool generates a variety of spatial products while being user friendly for all levels of GIS expertise, even to those with little or no experience.

Exposed tailings on Clark Fork floodplain near Galen, Montana
Date Published: May 9, 2018
Status: Active

Clark Fork Water-Quality Monitoring

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has collected water-quality samples from selected stream sites upstream from Missoula since 1985. Sampling was initiated in response to elevated trace-element concentrations and the designation of areas in the upper Clark Fork basin by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as National Priorities List...

Contacts: Tom Cleasby
Montana wetland
Date Published: May 6, 2018
Status: Active

Hydrologic Characterization of Potential Sites for Restored and Constructed Wetlands, Montana

Projects conducted by the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) sometimes result in unavoidable impacts to wetlands and other aquatic habitats. To compensate for these impacts, MDT mitigates the loss of wetlands by providing replacement wetlands within the watershed.

An oil well on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation
Date Published: May 5, 2018
Status: Active

Establishment of a baseline groundwater monitoring program in an area identified for energy development on the Blackfeet Reservation, Montana

As a result of energy development, the Blackfeet Environmental Office has developed a groundwater monitoring program specifically focused on the Cut Bank Creek watershed of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The addition of groundwater data to an existing surface-water monitoring program will help the Blackfeet Tribe develop a more complete understanding of the current conditions of their water...

Photo of Bird Bands in a Variety of Sizes and Types
Date Published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Bird Banding Laboratory

The Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) is an integrated scientific program established in 1920 supporting the collection, archiving, management and dissemination of information from banded and marked birds in North America.  This information is used to monitor the status and trends of resident and migratory bird populations. Because birds are good indicators of the health of the environment, the...

East Poplar oil well
Date Published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Delineation of brine contamination in and near the East Poplar oil field, Fort Peck Indian Reservation, northeastern Montana

Brine is a byproduct of crude oil production. Handling and disposal of brine during the last 50 years in the East Poplar oil field has resulted in contamination of not only the shallow Quaternary aquifers, but also the Poplar River. Previous investigations have documented and partially delineated the extent of brine contamination in the East Poplar oil field during the early 1990s...

Contacts: Joanna Thamke
Aerial view of the Williston Basin
Date Published: April 30, 2018
Status: Active

Williston and Powder River Basins Groundwater Availability Study

The development of two nationally important energy-producing areas, the Williston structural basin (containing the Bakken Formation) and Powder River structural basin, provide a critical opportunity to study the water-energy nexus within a groundwater context. Large volumes of water are needed for energy development in these basins. The hydraulically connected aquifers in the...

Establishing a survey base station in Lame Deer, Montana
Date Published: April 29, 2018
Status: Active

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

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...

Groundwater/surface water monitoring network at the Smith River above Mud Springs Creek
Date Published: April 29, 2018
Status: Active

Smith River Watershed Investigations

The Smith River watershed is an important recreational and agricultural area in Meagher and Cascade counties in west-central Montana. Thousands of visitors travel to the area annually to float and fish the Smith River. Additionally, most of the water used to irrigate 36,000 acres of the upper Smith River watershed is withdrawn from the Smith River or its tributaries. During a...

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Web Application
/data-tools/land-treatment-planning-tool

Land Treatment Planning Tool

Screenshot of the Land Treatment Planning Tool with proposed treatment drawn on screen.
May 3, 2018

The Land Treatment Planning Tool is designed for resource managers to use when planning land treatments. The tool provides useful summaries of environmental characteristics of planned treatment areas and facilitates adaptive management practices by comparing those characteristics to other similar treatments within a specified distance or area of interest.  Provisional Software.

Water
/data-tools/yellowstone-river-basin-water-quality-assessment-data-tables-0

Yellowstone River Basin Water-Quality Assessment data tables

Yellowstone River Basin Water-Quality Assessment data tables
April 23, 2018

Data collected in the Yellowstone River basin since 1998 are available from this link. Data from the Yellowstone River Basin NAWQA study unit and other study units that overlap into Wyoming, such as the Upper Snake River, the Great Salt Lake Basins, and the South Platte River study units, also are available from the NAWQA Data Warehouse. 

Water
/data-tools/montana-crest-stage-gage-network

Montana Crest-Stage Gage Network

Montana Crest-Stage Gage Network
April 20, 2018

The purpose of the crest-stage gage network is to inventory and monitor peak discharges throughout the state of Montana, with special emphasis on streams that may damage transportation infrastructure.  Recorded data documenting peak streamflow at various sites within the state will be used by the Montana Department of Transportation to support assessments of culvert size, bridge construction, and

Water
/data-tools/wyoming-montana-stream-water-quality-network

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network Sites in 2018
April 19, 2018

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network

Water
/data-tools/water-quality-sampling-sites-upper-clark-fork-basin-montana

Water-quality sampling sites in the upper Clark fork Basin, Montana

Water-quality sampling sites in the upper Clark Fork Basin, Montana
April 19, 2018

Mining in the upper Clark Fork Basin has resulted in substantial effects on water quality from large amounts of waste materials enriched with metallic contaminants. The U.S. Geological Survey has collected data since 1985 to document changes in water quality that might have resulted from remediation activities. 

/data-tools/droughtwatch-view-drought-conditions

DroughtWatch - View drought conditions

USA DroughtWatch
March 28, 2018
  • The USGS DroughtWatch website is a map-based resource from USGS WaterWatch that gives users hourly visual updates for drought conditions at over 3000 locations across the United States (Wyoming or Montana). Learn how to use FloodWatch.

Water
/data-tools/surface-water-data-montana

Surface-water data for Montana

Surface-water data for Montana
March 7, 2018

Real-time, daily, peak-flow, field measurements, and statistics of current and historical data that describe stream levels, streamflow (discharge), reservoir and lake levels, surface-water quality, and rainfall in Montana. Surface-water data are collected and stored as either discrete field-water-level measurements or as continuous time-series data from automated recorders.

Water
/data-tools/groundwater-data-montana

Groundwater data for Montana

Groundwater data for Montana
March 7, 2018

Data from wells in Montana; well location data includes information such as latitude and longitude, well depth, and aquifer. Groundwater level data are collected and stored as either discrete field-water-level measurements or as continuous time-series data from automated recorders.

Water
/data-tools/water-quality-data-montana

Water-quality data for Montana

Water-quality data for Montana
March 7, 2018

Chemical, physical, and biological properties of water, sediment, and tissue samples from Montana. Water-quality data are collected as either discrete field measurements or as continuous time-series data from automated recorders that continuously record physical and chemical characteristics including pH, specific conductance, temperature, and dissolved oxygen.

Water
/data-tools/bozeman-wetland-sites-montana

Bozeman wetland sites in Montana

Bozeman wetland sites in Montana
February 25, 2018

Bozeman wetland sites in Montana

Water
/data-tools/johnson-wetland-sites-montana

Johnson wetland sites in Montana

Johnson wetland sites in Montana
February 25, 2018

Johnson wetland sites in Montana

Water
/data-tools/kindsfater-wetland-sites-montana

Kindsfater wetland sites in Montana

Kindsfater wetland sites in Montana
February 25, 2018

Kindsfater wetland sites in Montana

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Screen capture of Montana StreamStats application
February 13, 2018

StreamStats is a Web-based geographic information system application that was created by the USGS to provide users with access to an assortment of analytical tools that are useful for water-resource planning and management.

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

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Year Published: 2018

Conceptual model to assess water use associated with the life cycle of unconventional oil and gas development

As the demand for energy increases in the United States, so does the demand for water used to produce many forms of that energy. Technological advances, limited access to conventional oil and gas accumulations, and the rise of oil and gas prices resulted in increased development of unconventional oil and gas (UOG) accumulations. Unconventional oil...

Valder, Joshua F.; McShane, Ryan R.; Barnhart, Theodore B.; Sando, Roy; Carter, Janet M.; Lundgren, Robert F.
Valder, J.F., McShane, R.R., Barnhart, T.B., Sando, R., Carter, J.M., and Lundgren, R.F., 2018, Conceptual model to assess water use associated with the life cycle of unconventional oil and gas development: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5027, 22 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185027.

Year Published: 2016

Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974

The Defense Minerals Administration (DMA), Defense Minerals Exploration Administration (DMEA), and Office of Minerals Exploration (OME) mineral exploration programs were active over the period 1950–1974. Under these programs, the Federal Government contributed financial assistance in the exploration for certain strategic and critical minerals. The...

Frank, David G.
Frank, D.G., 2016, Historical files from Federal Government mineral exploration-assistance programs, 1950 to 1974: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1004, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ds1004.

Year Published: 2012

Preparation and characterization of "Libby Amphibole" toxicological testing material

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) began work in Libby, Mont. in 1999 when an Emergency Response Team was sent to investigate local concern and media reports regarding asbestos-contaminated vermiculite. Since that time, the site has been granted Superfund status and site remediation to a safe level of asbestos has been ongoing. The...

Lowers, Heather; Wilson, Stephen A.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Benzel, William M.; Meeker, Gregory P.
Preparation and characterization of "Libby Amphibole" toxicological testing material; 2012; OFR; 2012-1012; Lowers, Heather A.; Wilson, Stephen A.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Benzel, William M.; Meeker, Gregory P.

Year Published: 2011

The dispersion of fibrous amphiboles by glacial processes in the area surrounding Libby, Montana, USA

Mining operations began at a world-class vermiculite deposit at Vermiculite Mountain near Libby, Montana, circa 1920 and ended in 1990. Fibrous and asbestiform amphiboles intergrown with vermiculite ore are suspected to be a causative factor in an abnormally high number of cases of respiratory diseases in former mine and mill workers, and in...

Langer, William H.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Adams, David T.; Hoefen, Todd M.
The dispersion of fibrous amphiboles by glacial processes in the area surrounding Libby, Montana, USA; 2011; Article; Journal; Environmental Earth Sciences; Langer, William H.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Adams, David T.; Hoefen, Todd M.

Year Published: 2010

Examination of Libby, Montana, Fill Material for Background Levels of Amphibole from the Rainy Creek Complex Using Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis

Natural background levels of Libby-type amphibole in the sediment of the Libby valley in Montana have not, up to this point, been determined. The purpose of this report is to provide the preliminary findings of a study designed by both the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and performed by the U.S. Geological...

Adams, David T.; Langer, William H.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Meeker, Gregory P.
Examination of Libby, Montana, Fill Material for Background Levels of Amphibole from the Rainy Creek Complex Using Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-Ray Microanalysis; 2010; OFR; 2010-1056; Adams, David T.; Langer, William H.; Hoefen, Todd M.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Meeker, Gregory P.

Year Published: 2009

Particle Size Characterization of Water-Elutriated Libby Amphibole 2000 and RTI International Amosite

This report presents data on particle characterization analyzed by scanning electron microscopy on Libby amphibole collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2000 (LA2000) and amosite material collected by RTI International (RTI amosite). The particle characterization data were generated to support a portion of the Libby Action Plan. Prior to...

Lowers, Heather; Bern, Amy M.
Particle Size Characterization of Water-Elutriated Libby Amphibole 2000 and RTI International Amosite; 2009; OFR; 2009-1242; Lowers, Heather A.; Bern, Amy M.

Year Published: 2003

The composition and morphology of amphiboles from the Rainy Creek complex, near Libby, Montana

Thirty samples of amphibole-rich rock from the largest mined vermiculite deposit in the world in the Rainy Creek alkaline-ultramafic complex near Libby, Montana, were collected and analyzed. The amphibole-rich rock is the suspected cause of an abnormally high number of asbestos-related diseases reported in the residents of Libby, and in former...

Meeker, G.P.; Bern, A.M.; Brownfield, I.K.; Lowers, H.A.; Sutley, S.J.; Hoefen, T.M.; Vance, J.S.
The composition and morphology of amphiboles from the Rainy Creek complex, near Libby, Montana; 2003; Article; Journal; American Mineralogist; Meeker, G. P.; Bern, A. M.; Brownfield, I. K.; Lowers, H. A.; Sutley, S. J.; Hoefen, T. M.; Vance, J. S.

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MT StreamStats Screenshot of Interactive Map
January 30, 2018

StreamStats is a Web application that incorporates a Geographic Information System (GIS) to provide users with access to an assortment of analytical tools that are useful for a variety of water-resources planning and management purposes, and for engineering and design purposes.

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Canada lynx
June 21, 2018

Canada Lynx

– Scientists at the USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and
Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, in
collaboration with The Rockefeller University’s Vertebrate Genome Laboratory,
New York, are releasing to a public repository at the vertebrate lab, for use by
geneticists, conservationists and other researchers around the world, the first-
...

Measuring streamflow on St.Regis River at St Regis
May 9, 2018

Measuring streamflow on St.Regis River at St Regis

Measuring streamflow on St.Regis River at St Regis

Streamflow measurement on Flathead River at Flathead, B.C.
May 9, 2018

Streamflow measurement on Flathead River at Flathead, B.C.

Streamflow measurement on Flathead River at Flathead, B.C.

USGS hydrographer on cableway at USGS 12304500, Yaak River near Troy,
April 30, 2018

USGS hydrographer on cableway, USGS 12304500, Yaak River near Troy, MT

USGS hydrologic technician Kevin Kirlin on the cableway over the Yaak River near Troy, Montana

Measuring flood flow at Milk River near Harlem, MT
April 24, 2018

Measuring flood flow at Milk River near Harlem, MT

Measuring flood flow at Milk River near Harlem, MT

Flooding Milk River nr Harlem streamgage, 06154100
April 24, 2018

Flooding Milk River nr Harlem streamgage, 06154100

Flooding Milk River nr Harlem streamgage, 06154100

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network site map
April 19, 2018

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network site map

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network site map

Water-quality sampling sites in the upper Clark Fork Basin, Montana
April 19, 2018

Water-quality sampling sites in the upper Clark Fork Basin, Montana

Water-quality sampling sites in the upper Clark Fork Basin, Montana

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network Sites in 2018
April 19, 2018

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network Sites in 2018

NWISMapper screenshot of Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network Sites in 2018

Milk River at Havre at NWS flood stage
April 19, 2018

Milk River at Havre at NWS flood stage

Milk River at Havre at NWS flood stage

March 22, 2018

PubTalk 3/2018 - Snow & Avalanche Science

Title: Snow and Avalanche Science - Highlights of applied avalanche research and forecasting

  • Avalanches impact transportation corridors, with subsequent economic ramifications, including the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
  • Large magnitude avalanches affect the landscape creating new habitat for flora and fauna.
  • Dendrochronology (study of tree-rings
  • ...
Flow over road on way to Teton Riv nr Dutton streamgage
March 21, 2018

Flow over road on way to Teton Riv nr Dutton streamgage

Flow over road on way to Teton Riv nr Dutton streamgage

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Image of Dan Fagre.
April 11, 2018

Research Ecologist Dan Fagre is the recipient of the 2017 Eugene M. Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communications

Prairie dog and SPV bait
December 13, 2017

About 70 percent of wild prairie dogs successfully ingested baits containing an oral sylvatic plague vaccine, or SPV, that were distributed throughout their habitats, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Filtering water for eDNA sample collection in Yellowstone National Park between Lewis and Shoshone Lakes.
November 6, 2017

Western waters support some of the most intact aquatic ecosystems in North America, yet invasive species and emerging infectious diseases pose significant and immediate threats to these ecosystems. 

Image shows coal being loaded into trucks at a coal mine
October 26, 2017

It is difficult to overstate the importance of energy to the American economy.  Managing this vital sector depends on knowing how many energy resources we have, how many we use and need, and how these resources are transported

Image shows a view of Libby Dam and Lake Koocanusa
October 25, 2017

Resource managers, regulators, and stakeholders of Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa now have a new approach for understanding the implications of different levels of selenium, and to explore alternative selenium criteria for waters in the Lake.

A wildfire in a forest
September 7, 2017

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image shows a geologic map of the Lower 48
August 21, 2017

A carbonatite here, a glacial moraine there, a zig-zagging fault or two, even a behemoth of a batholith. The geology of the 50 States is an enormous patchwork of varied forms, beautiful in their variance but challenging to present as a single map.

illustration
July 6, 2017

The USGS has up-to-date details on the July 6, 2017 event.

A mother grizzly bear and her cub in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
July 5, 2017

From the journals of Lewis & Clark, April 13, 1805 (in the vicinity of Pouch Point Recreation Area - 16 miles south of New Town, North Dakota):

Photo of a red dye-tracer study in June 2016 on the Missouri River near Fort Peck Dam, Montana.
June 21, 2017

Reporters: If interested in being notified when the study date is chosen, please contact Jennifer or Susannah.

Dubois Badlands Wilderness Study Area, Wyoming
January 19, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Land Management today released a collaborative report with new information and tools to support effective management of millions of acres of BLM public lands.  The report underscores the value of a landscape approach to management, and shows that the BLM manages some of the largest areas of intact public lands in the west. 

Christian Schmidt
November 28, 2016

Former Montana Water Quality Administrator Begins Work in Boise