CREWS Blog

Powder River Basin

Text by Liddi Meredith and Madison Boone

Photo Credits: Madison Boone, Stephanie Ewing, Madeline Gotkowitz, Liddi Meredith, Don Sasse, and Rob Walker

The CREWS-Powder River Basin team continued sampling at their field sites over the course of the summer. The sampling efforts, led by Liddi Meredith and her team, focused on collecting groundwater samples from the NSF monitoring wells and Rosebud Creek. In May, they were able to collect eight groundwater samples and four samples from Rosebud Creek.

Liddi Meredith's field rig, ready to go

Student Allie Wolverton helps with sampling

Liddi works with samples

A groundwater sampling well at a PRB field site

The sampling team also measured the flow rate of Rosebud Creek above and below the field site at this point. 

Allie measures flow rates on Rosebud Creek

In June, members of the CREWS-PRB team and staff from the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology (MBMG) visited and toured the Rosebud Mine outside of Colstrip, MT. Field trip attendees, with the help of Rosebud employees, were able to learn about the history of the mine, view its active, on-the-ground operations, and see and discuss the various reclamation efforts of the mine.

Field trip participants at the Rosebud Mine

The field trip culminated with a visit to the team’s research sites located in the area and around Rosebud Creek.

At a field site in the PRB

Liddi Meredith and Rob Walker look at a map of the area

Field trip participants find a groundwater well!

Liddi planned to repeat her May sampling and measurements in early August, but her fieldwork was disrupted by the Richard Spring fire, which completely burned through the field site. Three of the NSF groundwater wells were located in the Richard Spring fire area, but thankfully all made it through okay. She was able to go back out in late August, and once again collected eight groundwater samples and four Rosebud Creek samples as well as measured the flow of Rosebud Creek at two locations and conducted level surveys at the Creek wells. 

The research site after the Richard Spring fire