Study details slope stability

The rate of rise of water levels in the Berkeley Pit and connected monitoring points is affected by many factors, including rain and snowfall and occasional ‘sloughs’ or ‘slumps’ of material from the Pit’s sidewall slopes. The most recent slough occurred on February 8, 2013. An estimated 820,000 tons of material from the southeast wall collapsed into the Pit. Montana […]

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The water level at the Berkeley Pit has been recorded every month for more than 23 years. In addition to that monitoring, scientists at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology have been sampling and analyzing water from the Berkeley Pit twice a year for its chemical composition and physical properties. In the Berkeley Pit, samples are taken from anywhere […]

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What if an earthquake were to strike?

There are several reasons why we don’t need to be overly concerned about the Pit in the event of an earthquake, including the fact that there has been no significant seismic activity in nearby faults during the 28 years that the Earthquake Studies Office has been monitoring the area. In the mining region, the recorded seismic activity is mainly caused […]

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Yes. Wet weather may have also played a role in the 1998 Pit wall slough that sent about 3 million tons of rock and dirt into the water. Rising groundwater saturated and gradually weakened that section of the southeast wall, eventually causing it to break away. Montana Resources, Inc. (MR) is taking steps to stabilize the piles of waste rock […]

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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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