- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A helicopter with a large wire hoop hanging beneath it will be making low-level flights over northeast Montana as part of a groundwater survey.

Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey said people who see the flights in the Poplar River Valley should not be alarmed. The flights will begin Tuesday and continue for five to ten days.

The agency is working with the Fort Peck Office of Environmental Protection to study groundwater contamination from the East Poplar oil field.

The helicopter flown by a contractor will tow the wire hoop back and forth over an area of roughly 200-square-miles to measure the electrical properties of the earth.

Scientists will use the information to map a layer of shale that limits the underground movement of water beneath the Poplar River Valley.

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