Groundwater Data Description

Well locations from NRIS (with link to MBMG GWIC)

Restoration Planning:  The information is useful for identifying areas of good and poor water quality, and as a long term database for monitoring remediation and restoration progress.

Data Description:  The NRIS Mapper allows the user to zoom in and choose a well location from a map, and then link to on-line information about the well from GWIC (see description below).  This saves time if the legal description of the well is not known. The mapper color-codes wells with and without water quality data, and also shows locations of public water supply wells.    Data and Reports on this site include a well summary list, wells yearly summary and well average depth for all wells in the hydrologic unit.  It is also possible to download a GWIC well data shape file for GIS use from this site.  Information at the NRIS site may be slightly out of date; it is updated quarterly from GWIC.

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MBMG Groundwater Information Center

Restoration Planning:   The information is useful for identifying areas of good and poor water quality, and as a long term database for monitoring remediation and restoration progress.

Data Description: Full metadata for the GWIC groundwater database is available through the NRIS Mapper by clicking "identify"  metadata on the GWIC page (see above).  All groundwater information collected by the MBMG is stored in this database and is web-accessible in many different formats.  This is thought to represent 50-60% of the water wells in the state.  Data products include:

  • Summary statistics on well number, depth and use by county
  • On-line "on-the-fly" hydrographs for wells in the statewide monitoring network, accessible from a clickable map
  • Reports retrievable by township/range location that include well locations, lithology, summary of measured water levels, tabular listing of measured water levels, water quality data, field inventory and chemistry data
  • Reports (as above) retrievable by owner name and county
  • One page site/well report by GWIC ID number
  • One page static water level summary by GWIC ID number
  • One page water quality report by GWIC ID number
  • Current water levels in  wells from a clickable map. Data include hydrograph, location, ownership, total depth and period of record statistics
  • Characterization program data for Deer Lodge, Granite, Powell and Silver Bow Counties including driller-reported data, inventory data ( location, elevation, date, total depth, static water level, pumping water level and volume, well and water condition, field temperature, specific conductivity, pH alkalinity, redox, nitrate and chloride), and lab water quality data (dissolved major ions, nutrients and dissolved metals)  On this list it is also possible to click on an individual well ID and receive the same information for a single well.
  • Other MBMG project data including well driller data, site visit data and water quality data for  various MBMG projects.  In the Upper Clark Fork basin, these projects include Butte Mine Flooding, Public Water Supply Wells, Statewide Monitoring Network, Streamside tailings Operable Unit - subarea 2, and Abandoned/Inactive Mines

Other:  The site provides on-line help, and a lat/long calculator for converting from township/range

Location of sample sites/areas assessed: All of Montana

Nature of location information in database:  Well locations are located by township/range/section and by lat/long.  Lat/long  were determined using Nav-GPS 1927 Datum (unverified).  Most well locations were reported by owners or drillers and are approximate.  They are appropriately mapped at a scale of 1:250,000.

Duration and Frequency of Sampling:  Data collected from 1860 to present.  The database is active with thousands of data corrections and new well logs added annually.  Wells on the statewide monitoring program are sampled at various intervals, but most are measured quarterly.  The statewide monitoring program is about 10 years old.

Quality of data: Varies depending on type of information.  Data collected by MBMG personnel is generally good.  Data reported from driller's logs varies from good to poor.  

Contact information:  Questions to:       Database manager: Luke Buckley, 1300 West Park St. - Main Hall 322, Butte, MT  59701-8997    phone: 406-496-4336

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Printed References - MBMG Publications Database

The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology publications database includes all Bureau publications as well as USGS publications related to Montana geology and hydrogeology.  (Currently, not all USGS material is included.)  The database is searchable by author, keyword, county, or publication type.  References include geological, hydrogeological, geophysical and geochemical reports and maps.  Links on the displayed references describe where the reference can be purchased, and purchase price.  Most publications are also available in the Montana Tech library.  Contact information: or 406/496-4174

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Other printed references (USGS Reports and UM theses):

Nimick, D.A., Brooks, Tom, Dodge, K.A., and Tuck, L.K., 1993, Hydrology and water chemistry of shallow aquifers along
the upper Clark Fork, western Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 93-4052, 63 p.

Benner, S. 1994. Geochemical Processes in a transition zone between surface water and acidic, metal-rich groundwater. M.S. Thesis, University of Montana.

Castro, J. 1998. Pit lakes: their geochemistry and the potential for their remediation. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Montana.

Nagorski, S. 1997. Impacts by acidic, metals-rich groundwater on the hyporheic zone of an intermontane stream. M.S. Thesis, University of Montana.

Shay, Devin T., 1997. An investigation of the hydrogeology and geochemistry of a floodplain aquifer system impacted by mine tailings, Silver Bow Creek, Montana. M.S. Thesis, University of Montana.

Smart, Eric W., 1995. Surface water and groundwater interaction in a shallow unconfined alluvial aquifer and small mountain stream, Silver Bow Creek, Montana. M.S. Thesis, University of Montana.

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