The Gallatin Valley is part of an intermontane basin in southwestern Montana with an area of about 540 mi2. The valley is drained by the Gallatin River and its tributaries. After formation of the Three Forks structural basin, the Gallatin Valley was filled with as much as 6,000 feet of Tertiary and Quaternary sediments. Depth to water in the study area generally ranges from about 3 feet to about 460 feet below land surface. The median specific capacity of 26 wells completed in alluvium was 4.6 gallons per minute per foot. The median specific capacity of 21 wells completed in Quaternary and Tertiary alluvial-fan deposits in the southern and eastern part of the area was 1.6 gallons per minute per foot. The median specific capacity of 16 wells completed in Tertiary sediments was 0.78 gallon per minute per foot. Water from 38 wells sampled for water-quality analyses generally was a calcium bicarbonate type containing dissolved-solids concentrations ranging from 113 to 551 milligrams per liter. Radon-222 concentrations in water from 16 samples wells ranged from 170 to 1,565 picocuries per liter. Water samples collected from 6 wells were analyzed for a total of 54 pesticides and pesticide- degradation products. No pesticides or related analytes were detected in any of the samples. Agriculture is the primary land use in the Gallatin Valley; however, population growth has resulted in the establishment of numerous rural subdivisions. Water-level measurements made during this study coupled with long-term water-level trends do not indicate any significant water-level changes resulting from increased ground-water withdrawals. The occurrence of larger nitrate concentrations (maximum of 4.5 milligrams per liter) in ground water in more densely developed areas indicates a possible influence of subdivision development on ground-water quality.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Geohydrologic conditions and land use in the Gallatin Valley, southwestern Montana, 1992-93
Water-Resources Investigations Report
2 maps on 2 sheets ; 56 x 45 cm., sheets 98 x 111 cm. and 92 x 83 cm., folded in envelope 30 x 24 cm.