Unified Interior Regions

Montana

Welcome to the Midwest Region! Our region includes 18 Science Centers in 11 States from the Great Lakes to the Dakotas, south to Missouri and Kentucky. Our streamgage network is used to monitor and assess water resources across the region. Other research focuses on fisheries and aquatic ecosystems, midcontinental plant/animal species, invasive species, wildlife disease, and energy and mining.

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Scientists from the Center work in the northern Rocky Mountains and across the U.S. Many work throughout the world on issues as diverse as global climate change, aquatic ecology, wildlife diseases, bison ecology, and large carnivores.

Go to NOROCK

Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's hydrologists, engineers, geospatial analysts, hydrologic technicians, geologists, and support staff work to provide hydrologic data and interpretive studies.

Go to Center

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 196
Date published: November 8, 2017
Status: Active

Grinnell Glacier 1911 - 2016

The historic image shows how the upper bench of ice flowed into the main body of Grinnell Glacier.  By the early 1920s, the glacier’s volume had been reduced to the point that the two pieces became disconnected.  The upper bench, considered a separate glacier, was later renamed The Salamander Glacier for its salamander-like profile against the headwall.  The Continental Divide runs along the...

Contacts: Lisa McKeon
Date published: November 8, 2017
Status: Active

Grinnell Glacier, circa 1888-2016

This historic image is one of the oldest images re-photographed among the collection.  The massive wall of ice that constituted the terminus of Grinnell Glacier has receded beyond view from this point.  Each summer thousands of hikers take the well-worn trail to be rewarded with the sight of the remnant Grinnell Glacier and Upper Grinnell Lake.

 

Image Use...

Contacts: Lisa McKeon
Date published: September 20, 2017

Land Treatment Digital Library

The LTDL was created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to catalog information about land treatments on Federal lands in the western United States for all interested parties. The flexible framework of the library allows for the storage of a wide variety of data in different formats. The LTDL currently stores previously established land treatments or what often are called legacy data. The...

Date published: September 13, 2017
Status: Active

Science in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park (GNP) is considered a stronghold for a large diversity of plant and animal species and harbors some of the last remaining populations of threatened and endangered species such as grizzly bear and bull trout, as well as non threatened keystone species such as bighorn sheep and black bear. The mountain ecosystems of GNP that support these species are dynamic and influenced...

Date published: August 30, 2017

Reconstructing Flow History From Riparian Tree Rings

Aquatic Systems Branch scientists analyze rings of riparian trees relating tree growth and establishment to historical flow. We then use the tree rings to reconstruct the flow in past centuries. Flow reconstructions discover the frequency and magnitude of past droughts and floods—information that is essential for management of rivers and water supplies. We also use downscaled climate...

Date published: May 16, 2017
Status: Completed

Watershed Contamination from Hard Rock Mining

Since 1986, the USGS Hard-Rock Mining Toxic-Substances Hydrology Project has focused on metal transport in streams affected by mining. Tracer-injection studies in St. Kevin Gulch, near Leadville, Colorado, helped the USGS design methods to characterize loading from mining activities on a watershed scale. Tracer-injection studies were done in 1995, in support of the planning needs of ederal...

Date published: May 9, 2017

Time Series of Glacier Retreat

The retreat of glaciers in Glacier National Park, Montana, has received widespread attention by the media, the public, and scientists because it is a clear and poignant indicator of change in the northern Rocky Mountains of the USA.  In 2017 the...

Date published: May 9, 2017
Status: Active

GLACIER SIMULATION

NOTICE:  Updated glacier projections are now available for Glacier National Park's glaciers in this 2019 publication 

The simulation reflects the predicted exponential rise in atmospheric CO2...

Date published: January 25, 2017
Status: Active

Rocky Mountain Regional Snowpack Chemistry Monitoring Study

Snowpacks collect atmospheric deposition throughout the snowfall season and offer a unique opportunity to obtain a composite sample of the chemistry of most of the annual precipitation at high elevations [> 1,800 meters]. The purpose of the snowpack network is to determine annual concentrations and depositional amounts of selected nutrients and other constituents in snow resulting from...

Contacts: Graham Sexstone
Date published: January 25, 2017

Long Term Research in northwest Montana

The Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDE) in northwest Montana is one of the last strongholds of the grizzly bear in the lower 48 states. Of the six established grizzly bear recovery zones, the NCDE is the third largest in area, potentially harboring the greatest number of grizzly bears, and is the only zone contiguous to a strong Canadian population. However, little information exists...

Contacts: Tabitha Graves, Ph.D., Kate Kendall
Date published: December 1, 2016
Status: Active

Riparian Ecology

Riparian ecologists in the AS Branch study interactions among flow, channel change, and vegetation along rivers across the western United States and worldwide. Our work focuses on issues relevant to the management of water and public lands, including dam operation, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. Investigations take place on a range of scales. For example,...

Date published: November 18, 2016

Wetland State-and-Transition Model Project

The Wetland STM project is creating a state-and-transition model to inform management of semi-permanently flooded wetlands in the Intermountain West and western Prairie Pothole Region, as well as designing a monitoring scheme to allow determination of current wetland condition.

Contacts: Kathi Irvine, Ph.D., Jeff Warren
Filter Total Items: 267
This image shows the perimeter of Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park in 1966,1998, 2005, and 2015.
December 31, 2017

Sperry Glacier perimeter: 1966,1998, 2005, 2015.

This image shows the perimeter of Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park in 1966,1998, 2005, and 2015. 

Map of Lake Koocanusa, Montana, U.S.A., and British Columbia, Canada
December 31, 2017

Map of Lake Koocanusa, Montana, U.S.A., and British Columbia, Canada

Map of Lake Koocanusa, Montana, U.S.A., and British Columbia, Canada

This image shows the perimeter of Chaney Glacier in Glacier National Park in 1966, 1998, 2005, and 2015.
December 31, 2017

Chaney Glacier perimeter: 1966, 1998, 2005, 2015.

This image shows the perimeter of Chaney Glacier in Glacier National Park in 1966, 1998, 2005, and 2015.

Rainbow Glacier perimeter: 1966, 1998, 2005, 2015.
December 31, 2017

Rainbow Glacier perimeter: 1966, 1998, 2005, 2015.

This image shows the perimeter of Rainbow Glacier in Glacier National Park: 1966, 1998, 2005, 2015. 

Siyeh Glacier (upper – 2015 satellite photo,  lower - 2005 aerial photo)
December 31, 2017

Siyeh Glacier: upper - 2015 satellite photo, lower - 2005 aerial photo

Siyeh Glacier (upper – 2015 satellite photo,  lower - 2005 aerial photo). The glacier margin is more clearly identified in the 2015 image  because seasonal snow is persisting on the ice and rock debris atop the ice can be more clearly seen than in the heavily shaded 2005 image.  

Measuring streamflow in slushy Sun River at Simms, MT
December 20, 2017

Measuring streamflow in slushy Sun River at Simms, MT, station 0608580

Measuring streamflow in slushy Sun River at Simms, MT, station 06085800

Measuring streamflow on the Yaak River near Troy, MT, station 12304500
December 19, 2017

Measuring streamflow on the Yaak River near Troy, MT, station 12304500

Measuring streamflow on the Yaak River near Troy, MT, station 12304500

Channel measurement section locations for Ruby River above Reservoir
October 12, 2017

Channel measurement section locations for Ruby River above Reservoir

Channel measurement section locations for Ruby River above Reservoir.

Surveying water surface along with other methods to describe scour
September 20, 2017

Surveying water surface along with other methods to describe scour

Surveying water surface to tie into bathymetry measurments on Bitterroot River near Hamilton, MT to describe scour near the bridge.

Panoramic image from Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park showing smoke from forest fires.
September 12, 2017

Panoramic image from Sperry Glacier in Glacier NP showing fire smoke.

Panoramic image from Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park showing smoke from forest fires. Information gathered by the USGS managed Sperry Weather Station are being used by regional fire managers to forecast fire weather and future fire behavior.

USGS scientist doing weather station repairs in Glacier National Park.
September 12, 2017

USGS scientist doing weather station repairs in Glacier National Park.

USGS scientist Erich Peitzsch does repair on the Sperry Weather Station in Glacier National Park. Information gathered by the USGS managed Sperry Weather Station are being used by regional fire managers to forecast fire weather and future fire behavior during the 2017 fire season. 

Filter Total Items: 126
USGS
September 12, 2013

Land-use in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the northern Great Plains has been shifting at an extraordinary rate, including changes in agriculture practices, the recent boom in petroleum production, and rising tourism, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey report. 

USGS
July 23, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey's Wyoming and Montana water science centers will merge in October, improving science capacity and capabilities by integrating scientists in the two centers and allowing them to share equipment and expertise.

USGS
May 13, 2013

Warmer spring temperatures since 1980 are causing an estimated 20 percent loss of snow cover across the Rocky Mountains of western North America, according to new research from the U.S. Geological Survey. 

USGS
November 6, 2012

Ken Pierce, U.S. Geological Survey Geologist Emeritus, has been selected as the recipient of the Distinguished Career Award of the Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division of the Geological Society of America, to be presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting in Charlotte, N.C.  

USGS
February 16, 2012

U.S. Geological Survey scientist Joanna Thamke will receive the National Level Silver Medal Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today at a ceremony in Denver, Colo.  

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 9, 2011

A non-toxic dye, rhodamine WT, will be injected into Tenmile Creek near Rimini, Mont., downstream from the City of Helena’s municipal water intake on Sept. 13 and 14.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists will continually inject a small stream of the dye as part of a metal-loading study being conducted by the USGS, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 26, 2011

Recent heavy rainfall in southeastern Montana has resulted in record streamflows in many rivers and streams, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. 

In Montana, there are more than 210 USGS-operated streamgages that measure water levels and streamflow. Twenty streamgage stations have reached flood stage, and six are above record levels.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 4, 2011

Loss of glaciers and snowpack due to climate warming in alpine regions is putting pressure on a rare aquatic insect, the meltwater stonefly, according to a study recently released in Climatic Change Letters.

USGS
September 8, 2010

The Missouri River will be dyed red today for a water flow study being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

USGS
August 31, 2010

The Missouri River will be dyed red for a water flow study being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

USGS
August 26, 2010

The Missouri River will be dyed red for a water flow study being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

USGS
August 17, 2010

A distinguished award from The Wildlife Society will be granted to local scientists for their research on grizzly bear populations in northwestern Montana. 

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Scientists from the Center work in the northern Rocky Mountains and across the U.S. Many work throughout the world on issues as diverse as global climate change, aquatic ecology, wildlife diseases, bison ecology, and large carnivores.

Go to NOROCK

Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's hydrologists, engineers, geospatial analysts, hydrologic technicians, geologists, and support staff work to provide hydrologic data and interpretive studies.

Go to Center