Hydrology of the Prairie Dog Creek drainage basin, Rosebud and Big Horn Counties, Montana

Water-Resources Investigations Report 81-37


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The Prairie Dog Creek drainage basin in southeastern Montana was investigated during 1978-79 to establish a basic understanding of its surface-water and ground-water resources and the quality of water in an area having coal-mining potential. The principal minable coal is the 40-to 60-foot-thick Wall and lower Wall coal beds near the middle part of the Tongue River Member of the Fort Union Formation (Paleocene age). Prairie Dog Creek, which originates from springs and seeps from coal and sandstone layers , maintained perennial flow in its upstream and middle reaches then lost flow until the channel near its mouth had only standing water or was dry. The dissolved-solids concentration of streamwater during periods of high flow (1 cubic foot per second) ranged from 700 to about 1,000 milligrams per liter and during periods of lesser flow (0.5 cubic foot per second) ranged from about 1,300 to 1,600 milligrams per liter. Relatively clean sandstone aquifers had transmissivities of about 15 feet squared per day and water of the magnesium sulfate or sodium sulfate type, with dissolved-solids concentrations ranging from about 2 ,200 to 3,000 milligrams per liter; the water was of a sodium sulfate type and ranged from 1,820 to 4,190 milligrams per liter. The Brewster-Arnold coal aquifer had transmissivities similar to the Wall coal but its water was of a different type, sodium bicarbonate; it also contained large concentration of fluoride (more than 10 milligrams per liter) and had a very high sodium-adsorption ratio (more than 60). (USGS)

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Hydrology of the Prairie Dog Creek drainage basin, Rosebud and Big Horn Counties, Montana
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 81-37
DOI 10.3133/wri8137
Edition -
Year Published 1982
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,
Description vii, 64 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.