A 5.6 magnitude earthquake centered near Dillon on July 25, 2005 did not affect the Berkeley Pit. There was no Pit wall sloughing or change in the water levels in the Berkeley Pit, the underground mine shafts, the alluvial aquifer wells, or the majority of the bedrock monitoring wells. However, two bedrock monitoring wells (A&B) showed changes. Well A showed […]

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Can the Pit Withstand an Earthquake?


PitWatch Issue Volume 10, Number 1 Tsunamis, volcanoes and earthquakes in recent months have created an increased interest in seismic activity. Many readers have written, called, or stopped by questioning what will happen to the Berkeley Pit if an earthquake occurs in Butte, Montana. To help answer these questions, local experts were asked to explain the likelihood of an earthquake […]

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When the Horseshoe Bend Water Treatment Plant starts operating later this year, the contaminated waters from the Berkeley Pit and underground mines should be managed safely for years to come. In the meantime, another cleanup project – called the Butte Priority Soils Operable Unit – is just now reaching its critical decision point (i.e., the Record of Decision, scheduled by […]

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Two Butte students – Alexandra Antonioli and Kels Phelps – have taken their school science projects to the highest levels of success. After claiming local awards from the Pit Committee, their impressive work has earned national awards and scholarships for their continuing education. Alexandra, a Butte High senior, has spent most of her educational career working on science fair projects […]

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Ongoing Research Projects at the Pit

PitWatch Issue Volume 5, Number 1 The Berkeley Pit is one of the most high-profile examples of the adverse impacts of mining. Although the Berkeley Pit Superfund site is currently in a simple monitoring mode, an extensive amount of work is performed locally related to the understanding and remediation of the Pit and similar systems. Ongoing projects include: •    treatability […]

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