“Geology of the Cheney-Palouse Falls Fracture Zones”
The Ice Age Floods Institute, Cheney-Spokane Chapter, is co-sponsoring this free public lecture with the EWU Department of Geology. Chad Pritchard will discuss fracture zones in the Columbia River basalts that have been recognized on geologic and topographic maps for the last century, yet little descriptions or analysis are present in the geologic literature. Glacial outburst floods during the last Ice Age preferentially plucked out fractured material and exposed the fracture zones resulting in unique lake forms and river channels. If fractures extend to the underlying basement they may also act as hydraulic conduits for infiltration to aquifers as well as mixing of aquifers between basalt flows. Pritchard teaches geology at Eastern Washington University, focusing on structural geology. Doctoral research was in Yellowstone National Park focusing on relationships between volcanic eruptions and crustal deformation.