Faculty Mentor

Dr. Chad Pritchard

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2022




Located in Eastern Washington in the West Plains Region sits a plateau of Columbia River Basalts between Deep Creek, Hangman Creek, and south of the Spokane River. Primarily in Airway Heights, the amount of drinking water as well as the quality of the water has affected residents in the area. The most recent issue is PFAS contamination, which is thought to negatively affect human health and is found in drinking water wells across the West Plains. We can interpret subsurface geology using new well logs from Fairchild Air Force Base and in the Palisades area. When using ArcGIS PRO, well information can then be interpreted and projected as various data points. After this, it can be interpolated to predict multiple geological horizons and can be used to estimate the flow direction of groundwater. We will also use real PFAS results from across the West Plains to estimate if contamination can be linked to possible sources, including airports, fire stations, car washing facilities, or dumps. These models can help residences in the West Plains Region understand the possible sources of contamination as well as create a safer environment for them and their families. This research could put worried residents at ease and help them find clarity in this difficult situation.