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: 192
Date published: November 19, 2018
Status: Active

North-Central Montana Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the North-Central Montana and Williston Basin Provinces 5028 of central Montana and western North Dakota:

Date published: November 19, 2018
Status: Active

Montana Thrust Belt Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the Montana Thrust Belt Province 5027 of northwestern Montana:

  • 2002 Conventional and Continuous Assessment (Fact Sheet 148-02)
  • 1995 Assessment (
  • ...
Date published: November 19, 2018
Status: Active

Yellowstone River Compact Commission

The Yellowstone River Compact was ratified in 1950 and became effective in 1951. The Yellowstone River Compact Commission (YRCC) is a three member commission charged with apportioning the waters of the Yellowstone River and its tributaries.

Date published: November 8, 2018
Status: Active

Williston Basin Oil and Gas Assessments

The U.S. Geological Survey completed the following assessments of conventional and continuous oil and gas resources of the Devonian Three Forks Formation and Devonian and Mississippian Bakken Formation in the Williston Basin Province 5031 of North Dakota, Montana, and South Dakota:

  • 2013 Conventional and Continuous Assessment (
  • ...
Date published: October 23, 2018
Status: Active

Evaluating best practices for genetic sampling of bear populations- Tabitha Graves

Work with quantitative spatial wildlife ecologists to identify best practices for sampling rare and threatened carnivores using cutting edge statistical techniques.   The results will be useful for sampling carnivore populations across the world. You will be stationed in beautiful northwest Montana in Glacier National Park.

Date published: October 4, 2018
Status: Active

Water Use in Montana

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has compiled estimates of water use in Montana and the rest of the United States at 5-year intervals since 1950.

Date published: September 27, 2018
Status: Completed

Early Detection Monitoring May Not Be Sufficient for Invasive Mussels in the Columbia River Basin

The ecological and economic costs of an invasive quagga or zebra mussel infestation in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. would be significant. The development of invasive mussel monitoring programs in the Pacific Northwest provides a unique opportunity to evaluate a regional invasive species detection effort early in its development. Although efforts are underway to monitor for the presence of...

Contacts: Timothy Counihan, Stephen M. Bollens
Date published: September 26, 2018
Status: Active

EcoFlows: Understanding Streamflow Dynamics in Small Mountain Streams

The WY-MT WSC is collaborating with the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center to understand the dynamics of streamflows in small, mountain streams during the course of the year, and to describe the amount of variability associated with those measurments. These findings will assist fisheries biologists who are researching...

Date published: August 7, 2018
Status: Completed

Upper Arkansas River Basin Toxics and Synoptic Studies

From 1986 to 2001, the Upper Arkansas Toxics Project focused on metal transport in streams affected by mining. Studies were conducted to quantify the physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting trace metal fate and transport.

Date published: July 5, 2018
Status: Active

Grinnell Glacier from Mount Gould, 1938 - 1981 - 1998 - 2015

Oblique view of Grinnell Glacier taken from the summit of Mount Gould, Glacier National Park. The relative sensitivity of glaciers to climate change is illustrated by the dramatic recession of Grinnell Glacier while surrounding vegetation patterns remain stable. 

Image Use

Most of the repeat photography images available on this website are in the...

Contacts: Lisa McKeon
Date published: June 18, 2018
Status: Active

Critical Commodity Studies, Stillwater Complex, Montana

Scientific research can make our resource assessments of critical minerals more effective. This project focuses on the Stillwater Complex, Montana, which has rocks enriched in platinum-group elements (PGE), chromium, cobalt, and nickel. Project objectives are to update databases, evaluate new mapping techniques, document new styles of mineralization, and document and support research on the...

Date published: June 18, 2018
Status: Active

Glaciers and Climate Project

Scientists with the Glaciers and Climate Project study many of the pertinent impacts that glaciers present to society, such as altering hydrologic cycles, contributing to sea-level rise, and creating environmental hazards. 

Contacts: Louis Sass, III
Filter Total Items: 71
Date published: April 23, 2018

Yellowstone River Basin Water-Quality Assessment data tables

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...

Date published: April 20, 2018

Montana Crest-Stage Gage Network

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,...

Date published: April 19, 2018

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network

Date published: April 19, 2018

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

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. 

Date published: March 28, 2018

DroughtWatch - View drought conditions

  • 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 (

  • ...
Date published: March 7, 2018

Surface-water data for Montana

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...

Date published: March 7, 2018

Groundwater data for Montana

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.

Date published: March 7, 2018

Water-quality data for Montana

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.

Date published: February 25, 2018

Bozeman wetland sites in Montana

Bozeman wetland sites in Montana

Date published: February 25, 2018

Johnson wetland sites in Montana

Johnson wetland sites in Montana

Date published: February 25, 2018

Kindsfater wetland sites in Montana

Kindsfater wetland sites in Montana

Date published: February 25, 2018

Kleinschmidt wetland sites in Montana

Kleinschmidt wetland sites in Montana

Filter Total Items: 30
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Year Published: 2004

Integrated investigations of environmental effects of historical mining in the Basin and Boulder Mining Districts, Boulder River watershed, Jefferson County, Montana

The Boulder River watershed is one of many watersheds in the western United States where historical mining has left a legacy of acid mine drainage and elevated concentrations of potentially toxic trace elements. Abandoned mine lands commonly are located on or affect Federal land. Cleaning up these Federal lands will require substantial investment...

Nimick, David A.; Church, Stan E.; Finger, Susan E.
Integrated investigations of environmental effects of historical mining in the Basin and Boulder Mining Districts, Boulder River watershed, Jefferson County, Montana; 2004; PP; 1652; edited by Nimick, D. A.; Church, S. E.; Finger, S. E.

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Year Published: 2003

Rocky Mountain snowpack chemistry at selected sites for 2001

Because regional-scale atmospheric deposition data in the Rocky Mountains are sparse, a program was designed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and other agencies, to more thoroughly determine the chemical composition of precipitation and to identify sources...

Ingersoll, George P.; Mast, Alisa; Clow, David W.; Nanus, Leora; Campbell, Donald H.; Handran, Heather
Rocky Mountain snowpack chemistry at selected sites for 2001; 2003; OFR; 2003-48; Ingersoll, George P.; Mast, M. Alisa; Clow, David W.; Nanus, Leora; Campbell, Donald H.; Handran, Heather

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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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Year Published: 1992

Streamflow for irrigation in the upper Pryor Creek basin, Montana, base period water years 1937-86

Johnson, D.R.
Streamflow for irrigation in the upper Pryor Creek basin, Montana, base period water years 1937-86; 1992; WRI; 92-4015; Johnson, D. R.

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Year Published: 1990

National water summary 1987: Hydrologic events and water supply and use

Water use in the United States, as measured by freshwater withdrawals in 1985, averaged 338,000 Mgal/d (million gallons per day), which is enough water to cover the 48 conterminous States to a depth of about 2.4 inches. Only 92,300 Mgal/d, or 27.3 percent of the water withdrawn, was consumptive use and thus lost to immediate further use; the...

Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.
Attribution: Water, Central Midwest Water Science Center, Dakota Water Science Center, , , Kansas Water Science Center, Minnesota Water Science Center, Pennsylvania Water Science Center, Texas Water Science Center, Utah Water Science Center, , Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, Upper Midwest Water Science Center, Water Resources, Water Availability and Use Science Program, , , Region 4: Mississippi Basin, Region 6: Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas-Gulf, , Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin, Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, United States of America
National water summary 1987: hydrologic events and water supply and use; 1990; WSP; 2350; Carr, Jerry E.; Chase, Edith B.; Paulson, Richard W.; Moody, David W.

Filter Total Items: 259
August 1, 2019

Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Monthly Update: August 1, 2019

Mike Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, describes activity at Yellowstone during the month of July 2019.

Collecting Field Parameters During the 2019 Well Inventory at a Farm and Ranch on the Fort Peck Reservation
July 24, 2019

Collecting Field Parameters During the 2019 Well Inventory

USGS hydrologic technician collecting field parameters during the 2019 well inventory at a farm and ranch in the north central portion of the Fort Peck reservation.

Abandoned Farm on the Northwest Corner of the Fort Peck Reservation
July 22, 2019

Abandoned Farm on the Northwest Corner of the Fort Peck Reservation

Abandoned Farm on the Northwest Corner of the Fort Peck Reservation

 Fallow field on the left and dryland wheat on the right. Northwestern corner of the Fort Peck Reservation (near Larslan, MT)
July 22, 2019

Fallow Field (Left) and Dryland Wheat (Right) near Larslan, MT

Fallow field on the left and dryland wheat on the right, northwestern corner of the Fort Peck Reservation (near Larslan, MT)

June 2018 flooding along Elk Creek in Augusta, Montana
April 2, 2019

June 2018 flooding along Elk Creek in Augusta, Montana

June 2018 flooding along Elk Creek in Augusta, Montana

March 26, 2019

Broken Ice Jam in Milk River

Ice jam was holding on upstream side of bridge an suddenly broke lose while in the process of making a streamflow measurement. Equipment pulled to safety, and this video taken about 5 minutes later.
 

 Melting snow near Miles City created measurable flow in Reservation Creek. This site is only visited when there are high flows,
March 19, 2019

Melting snow created measurable flow in Reservation Creek

 Melting snow near Miles City created measurable flow in Reservation Creek. This site is only visited when there are high flows,

Location of Study Area (Includes Flaxville Aquifer and Lustre Oil Fields) and Sampling Sites From Previous USGS Studies
December 31, 2018

Location of Study Area (Includes Flaxville Aquifer)

Location of Study Area (Includes Flaxville Aquifer and Lustre Oil Fields) and Sampling Sites From Previous USGS Studies

Image from an application that navigates users through USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment Provinces
November 14, 2018

National Oil and Gas Assessment Provinces

This is a graphic from the USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment Explorer application, which allows user to drill into 70 oil and gas assessment provinces throughout the United States.

Map of study area
September 27, 2018

Map of study area that includes the states of ID, MT, OR, WA

Map of the study area that includes the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The Columbia and Snake rivers are the two largest rivers in the Columbia River Basin which is shown as a shaded area on the map.

Hallowat Creek abv Kletomus Ck, nr Olney (12355342) streamgage
September 11, 2018

Hallowat Creek abv Kletomus Ck, nr Olney (12355342) streamgage

Hallowat Creek abv Kletomus Ck, nr Olney (12355342) streamgage

Filter Total Items: 125
Image: Prairie Pothole Dragonfly
October 18, 2016

A new study by the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center and the NPS Greater Yellowstone Network has shown that contamination of wetlands by brine had negative effects on plant productivity and macroinvertebrate communities.  

Mother grizzly and cub at Gibbon River, Yellowstone National Park.
September 21, 2016

Grizzly bears in the southern portion of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem experienced a rapid increase in genetic diversity, according to a new study led by the USGS.

Bull trout in the Flathead River.
August 15, 2016

Bull trout populations are lower, more variable, and declining where stream habitat is limited, invasive species and land-use (i.e., roads) are prevalent, and stream temperatures are highest, according to a new study led by the USGS.

Claudia Regan
August 3, 2016

New Center Director to sustain NOROCK’s tradition of productivity and partnership in generating ground-breaking science relevant to resource managers in the Northern Rocky Mountains and beyond.

An American bullfrog.
June 30, 2016

Bozeman - A new U.S. Geological Survey study illustrates the usefulness of genetic approaches to track invasive bullfrog introductions. Results will inform management actions for identifying and controlling importation and secondary spread of invasive bullfrogs in Montana.  

Fish swim along the gravel bed bottom of the North Fork of the Flathead River.
June 24, 2016

MISSOULA – Gravel-bed river floodplains are some of the most ecologically important habitats in North America, according to a new study by scientists from the U.S. and Canada. Their research shows how broad valleys coming out of glaciated mountains provide highly productive and important habitat for a large diversity of aquatic, avian and terrestrial species.

 Losing a Legacy: A photographic story of disappearing glaciers
April 7, 2016

What began as an effort to document and analyze the retreat of glaciers in Glacier National Park, has become a collection of striking photographs displayed on museum walls.

Image: Warmth From the Sun
March 29, 2016

During winter, wolves infected with mange can suffer a substantial amount of heat loss compared to those without the disease, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners.

Filter Total Items: 47

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