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 PBAC manages a central clearinghouse of technical documents related to basin hydrogeology. Below is a short list of the most data and research produced regarding the Palouse Basin Aquifer System. Additional documentation can be provided by contacting PBAC.

Palouse Basin Research Database

In 2016, an effort to organize and catalog the hundreds of geologic and hydrogeologic studies regarding the Palouse Basin Aquifer System took place, called the Palouse Ground Water Basin Framework Project. The Framework Project entailed four major tasks:

1. assembling Palouse Basin geologic and hydrogeologic documents and developing a metadata database,

2. reviewing and synthesizing the documents,

3. identifying areas of deficiency in the hydrogeologic literature and outlining potential projects, and

4. final conclusions and recommendations.

Bringing Together the Research



In this continuous lecture series, John H. Bush, emeritus faculty for the Department of Earth and Spatial Sciences at University of Idaho, summarizes relevant Palouse Groundwater Basin research to create a generalized model of the aquifers. This ten-part series covers our current understanding of the complex groundwater system including geologic history, groundwater movement, and aquifer recharge.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Visits the Palouse Basin!

A team of researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) visited the Palouse Groundwater Basin on May 8-12, 2023. The effort is being led by geochemist Alan Seltzer, Assistant Scientist at WHOI in the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department, who runs the Seltzer Lab: Seltzer Lab @ WHOI. The Lab specializes in applications of inert gases as quantitative tracers of physical processes in nature. Their current research spans a wide range in both space and time: from using noble gases tracers in the deep ocean to better understand large-scale changes in ocean ventilation in the past, present, and future, to constraining groundwater recharge and flow pathways, to simulating picosecond- and angstrom-scale interactions between dissolved gas atoms and water molecules that give rise to the isotopic signals we observe in nature.

WHOI is interested in understanding the physical properties of groundwater recharge, mixing, flow, and residence time in the Columbia River Basalt aquifers.  WHOI had two research teams collecting up to 20 well samples from across the Palouse Basin measuring geochemical tracers of groundwater age, flow, and environmental parameters like temperature and water table depth. The research will build on earlier work done under the direction of University of Idaho Earth and Spatial Science Professor Jeff Langman.

|| Read the Press Release

Recent Research Projects

2022, in progressMonitoring the Ambient Seismic Field to Track Groundwater at a Mountain-Front Recharge Zone in the Columbia River Basalt ProvinceQuinn Buzzard, Jeff B. Langman, David Behrens, Timothy C. Bartholomaus, and James G. MoberlyProposal, in progress for publication and M.S. thesis
2022Review of Research from 2009 to the Present about Miocene Aquifers in the Moscow-Pullman Area and Basic Facts about the AquifersJohn BushReport to PBAC
2022Palouse Groundwater Basin Water Supply Alternatives ReportAlta Science & Engineering, Inc, Jacobs, SPF Water Engineering, McCormick Water StrategiesSummary/Full Report to PBAC
2022Digital Data Sets for Pumping Wells and Observation Wells Used in the Long-Term, Palouse Basin Aquifer Test Initiated in November 2009 (t=0 to 372 days)Attlia Folnagy, Jim OsienskyReport to PBAC
2022Boundaries of the "Palouse Basin" Aquifer System in the Moscow- Pullman Area, Idaho and WashingtonJohn H. Bush, Steve Robischon, and Pamela DunlapReport to PBAC, find more maps on the Information page
2022Critical Assessment and Recommendations for Future Research from the 2021 Moscow-Pullman Basin Aquifer Groundwater ModelNicholas B. EngdahlProposal, final report not received
2021A Basin-Scale Groundwater Flow Model of the Columbia Plateau Regional Aquifer System in the Palouse (USA): Insights for Aquifer Vulnerability AssessmentGiacomo Medici, Nicholas B. Engdahl and Jeffery B. Langmanpublication
2021Tracing δ18O and δ2H in Source Waters and Recharge Pathways of a Fractured-Basalt and Interbedded-Sediment Aquifer, Columbia River Flood Basalt ProvinceDavid BehrensM.S. thesis
2021Tracing δ18O and δ2H in Source Waters and Recharge Pathways of a Fractured-Basalt and Interbedded-Sediment Aquifer, Columbia River Flood Basalt ProvinceDavid Behrens, Jeff B. Langman, Erin S. Brooks, Jan Boll, Kristopher Waynant, James G. Moberly, Jennifer K. Dodd and John W. Doddpublication
2019Isotopic Discrimination of Aquifer Recharge Sources, Subsystem Connectivity and Flow Patterns in the South Fork Palouse River Basin, Idaho and Washington, USAKyle A. Duckett, Jeff B. Langman, John H. Bush, Erin S. Brooks, Pamela Dunlap and Jeffrey M. WelkerProposal, Publication
2019Isotopic Discrimination of Aquifer Recharge Sources, Subsystem Connectivity and Flow Patterns in the South Fork Palouse River Basin, Idaho and Washington, USAKyle A. DuckettM.S. thesis
2019Noble Gases, Dead Carbon, and Reinterpretation of Groundwater Ages and Travel Time in Local Aquifers of the Columbia River Basalt GroupKyle A. Duckett, Jeff B. Langman, John H. Bush, Erin S. Brooks, Pamela Dunlap and Jessica R. Stanleypublication
2019A Collection of Geologic Maps, Cross Sections, and Schematic Diagrams that Illustrate the Subsurface Geology of the Moscow- Pullman Basin and VicinityJohn H. Bush, Pamela Dunlap, and Daisuke KobayashiReport to PBAC
2018Structure Contours on the Top of the Grande Ronde Basalt in the Moscow-Pullman Basin and Vicinity, Idaho and WashingtonJohn H. Bush and Pamela Dunlappublication
2018Geologic Cross Sections Across the Moscow-Pullman Basin, Idaho and WashingtonJohn H. Bush, Pamela Dunlap, Stephen P. Reidel, and Daisuke Kobayashipublication
2018Miocene Evolution of the Moscow-Pullman Basin, Idaho and WashingtonJohn H. Bush, Pamela Dunlap and Stephen P. ReidelPublication
2018Geologic Interpretations of Wells and Important Rock Outcrops in the Moscow-Pullman Basin and Vicinity, Idaho and WashingtonJohn H. Bush and Pamela DunlapPublication, ArcGIS Map
2017Palouse Groundwater Basin Water Supply Alternatives Analysis ReportAnchor QEA, HRD, EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBCSummary / Final Report
2016Identifying Groundwater Recharge Pathways in the Moscow Sub- basinE.S. Brooks, J. Candel, E. Verhoeff, M. Dobre, R. Sanchez-Murillo, G.W. Grader and R. DijksmaPDF slide show presentation
2016Geology and Geologic History of the Moscow-Pullman Basin, Idaho and Washington, from Late Grande Ronde to Late Saddle Mountains TimeJohn H. Bush, Dean L. Garwood and Pamela Dunlappublication
2016Identifying Groundwater Recharge Connections in the Moscow (USA) Sub-basin Using Isotopic Tracers and a Soil Moisture Routing ModelJasper Candel, Erin Brooks, Ricardo Sánchez- Murillo, George Grader and Roel DijksmaM.S. Thesis
2016Framework Project Bibliography, updatedReport to PBAC
2015A Columbia River Basalt Group Aquifer in Sustained Drought: Insight from Geophysical Methods [Revised May 2016]Mark W. Piersol and Kenneth F. SprenkePublication
2014Properties of the Grande Ronde Aquifer in the vicinity of Moscow, Idaho from the Synthesis of Aquifer Test Results with Seismic Groundwater ResponseScott DucarSenior Thesis
2014Generating Aquifer Specific Storage Properties from Groundwater Responses to Seismic Rayleigh WavesAttila J.B. Folnagy, Kenneth F. Sprenke, James L. Osiensky and Daisuke KobayashiPoster
2014Grande Ronde Basalt across the Kamiak Gap: the Gravity Model Revisited using Constraints from the DOE Butte Gap Monitoring WellMark W. Piersol and Kenneth F. SprenkeReport to PBAC
2014Identifying Hydrologic Recharge Connections in the Moscow Sub- basin Using Isotopic and Caffeine TracersErin Brooks, Jasper Candel, Roel Dijksma, Ricardo Sánchez-Murillo, Todd Anderson and Craig WoodruffProgress Report to PBAC
2014Basalt Stratigraphy of the Moscow #9 and UI #4 wells; Evidence for the Moscow FaultRick Conrey and Kyler CrowPDF Slide Show
2014The Clear Creek Fault at Glenwood Springs, WAKyler Crow and Rick ConreyPDF Slide Show
2014Seasonal Evolution of Hydrologic Connectivity in a Tile-drained Agricultural Catchment; An Environmental Tracer StudyBryan J. DonaldsonM.S. thesis
2013Geology of the Palouse Basin DOE test wellsRick Conrey, Chris Beard and John WolffPDF Slide Show
2013Columbia River Basalt Flow Stratigraphy in the Palouse Basin Department of Ecology Test WellsRichard Conrey, Chris Beard and John WolffReport to PBAC
2013Specific Storage from Sparse Records of Groundwater Response to Seismic WavesAttila J.B. Folnagy, James L. Osiensky, Daisuke Kobayashi and Kenneth F. SprenkePublication
2013WDOE Monitoring Well Installation ResultsDale Ralston, Robin Nimmer, and Chris BeardPDF Slide Show
2013Draft Palouse Basin Monitor Well Construction ProgramTerraGraphics Environmental Engineering, Inc., and Ralston Hydrologic Servicesreport to PBAC
2013Framework Database BibliographyReport to PBAC
2012Long-Term Grande Ronde Aquifer Stress Testing to Delineate Aquifer Compartmentalization and Water Level Responses in the Palouse Groundwater BasinAttila Jonathan Bela FolnagyM.S. Thesis
2012Stable Isotope Analysis of Surface Water and Precipitation in the Palouse Basin: Hydrologic Tracers of Aquifer RechargeNathan MoxleyM.S. Thesis
2012Well Siting for Proposed Washington Department of Ecology Monitoring Wells in the Palouse BasinTerraGraphics Environmental Engineering, Inc., and Ralston Hydrologic Servicesreport to PBAC
2012Modeling Semi-Permeable Boundaries in the Palouse Groundwater BasinAndrew SpencerSenior Thesis
2011Sustainable Water Resource Management and Participatory System Dynamics. Case Study: Developing the Palouse Basin Participatory ModelAllyson Beall, Fritz Fiedler, Jan Boll and Barbara Cosenspublication
2011Evaluation of Oxygen and Hydrogen Isotopes in Groundwater of the Palouse Basin and Moscow Sub-basinLauren R. CareyM.S. Thesis
2011Groundwater Recharge in Pleistocene Sediments Overlying Basalt Aquifers in the Palouse Basin, USA: Modeling of Distributed Recharge Potential and Identification of Water PathwaysRoel Dijksma, Erin S. Brooks and Jan Bollpublication and M.S. thesis
2011Aquifer Storage Properties from Groundwater Fluctuations induced by Seismic Rayleigh WavesAttila J.B. Folnagy, Kenneth F. Sprenke and James L. OsienskyPoster
2011Miocene Latah Formation and Subsurface Geology Along the Moscow Subbasin Margin: "Recharge from the East" RevisitedGeorge Graderreport to PBAC
2011Evaluation of the relationship between pumping and water level
declines in the Grande Ronde Aquifer of the Palouse Basin
Kathryn MoranReport to PBAC
2011Interpretation of Long-Term Grande Ronde Aquifer Testing in the Palouse Basin of Idaho and WashingtonKathryn MoranM.S. Thesis
2011Opportunities for Collaboration: A Situational Assessment of the Palouse BasinSaundra RichartzPowerpoint Slide Show
2011Evaluation of the Relationship Between Pumping and Water Level Declines in the Grande Ronde Aquifer of the Palouse BasinKathryn Moranreport to PBAC
2011Palouse Ground Water Basin Framework Project Final ReportTerraGraphics Environmental Engineering, Inc., and Ralston Hydrologic ServicesFinal Report / Appendices
2010Basalt lava stratigraphy beneath Pullman and Moscow: implications for the flow of groundwaterR. M. Conrey and J. A. WolffPoster
2010Relative Age Dating of Groundwater in the Palouse Aquifer and Moscow Subbasin using Tritium and 0-18 ConcentrationsLauren CareyPowerpoint Slide Show
2009Strategically Designed Pumping to Maximize Induced Ground Water Recharge to the Wanapum Aquifer System in the Moscow, Idaho AreaBrad Bennett and Jim OsienskyPoster
2009Recharge Implications of Strategic Pumping of the Wanapum Aquifer System in the Moscow Sub-basinBrad BennettM.S. Thesis
2009Using Tritium Concentrations to Age Date Groundwater in the Palouse BasinLauren Carey and Jim OsienskyPoster
2009Well Interference Effects in the Grande Ronde Aquifer System in the Moscow-Pullman Area of Idaho and WashingtonAaren FiedlerM.S. Thesis, PDF Slide Show Presentation
2009Long-Term, Basin-Wide Grande Ronde Aquifer TestKatie MoranPoster
2009Estimating Recharge Uncertainty using Bayesian Model Averaging and Expert Elicitation with Social ImplicationsMatthew ReevesM.S. Thesis
2009Surface-water/Groundwater Interactions and Near-stream Groundwater Quality along the Palouse River, South Fork Palouse River, and Paradise CreekKirk Sinclair and James KardouniPublication
2008Residential Landscape Water Use and ConservationBarbara Jane AndersenPh.D Thesis
2007Implementation of a groundwater monitoring program and aquifer testing in the wanapum aquifer system, latah county, idahoNicole M. BadonM.S. Thesis
2007Observations of recharge to the Wanapum Aquifer system in the Moscow area, Latah County, IdahoHannah P. HernandezM.S. Thesis
2007Grande Ronde Aquifer characterization in the Palouse BasinMike McVayM.S. Thesis
2007Evaluation of Cleaning and Rehabilitation of University of Idaho Well #2 on the Local Groundwater Systems, in the Moscow, Idaho AreaChad C. OpatzM.S. Thesis
2007Stretch Potential of Data Logger Reel MaterialJon JacobsonPoster
2007Boundary Conditions Between Moscow and PullmanChelsea ShermanPoster
2007Summary of Well Completion and Geologic Information from the Construction of Four Test Wells near the City of Moscow, IdahoDale Ralston, RHSMemorandum
2006Geologic Report on Moscow Monitoring WellsJohn BushReport to PBAC
2006Groundwater flow conditions related to the pre-basalt basement geometry delineated by gravity measurements near Kamiak Butte, eastern WashingtonDerek HolomM.S. Thesis
2006Latah county hydrologic characterization projectJerry P. Fairley, Mark D. Solomon, Jennifer J. Hinds, George W. Grader, John H. Bush, and Amber L. RandReport to IDWR
2006Hydrogeological characterization of the Palouse basin basalt aquifer system, Washington and IdahoFarida LeekM.S. Thesis
2005Electrical characterization of a three-phase, tracer, injection testRobin E. NimmerPh.D Thesis
2004Radiocarbon dating as a tool for hydrogeological investigations in the Palouse basinAlyssa A. DouglasM.S. Thesis
2003A Recession Analysis on Springs and Streams in the Moscow-Pullman BasinDiane HopsterM.S. Thesis
2003Characterization of grande ronde aquifers in the palouse basin using large scale aquifer testsDennis OwsleyM.S. Thesis
2002Assessment of Hydrologic Processes across multiple scales in soil/paleosol sequences using environmental tracersAnothony Tobin O’GeenPh.D Thesis
2001Estimate of seasonal water runoff from the Moscow mountain front, Moscow IdahoJuliet McKennaReport to PBAC
1999Geological and Hydrogeological References: Palouse RegionJohn Bush, Steve Gill, Christian Petrich and Jack PierceReport to PBAC
1999Summary of Research Completed on the Moscow-Pullman Basin HydrologyBill BelknapReport to PBAC
1999Water Conservation Opportunities for the PalousePalouse Clearwater Environmental InstituteReport to PBAC
1994The Relation between streams and groundwater flow systems within the Pullman-Moscow area of Washington and IdahoRonald HeinemannM.S. Thesis
1966Interpretation of Short Term Water Fluctuations in the Moscow Basin Latah County, IdahoDaniel SokolIdaho Bureau of Mines & Geology Pamphlet
1960Groundwater Problems in the Vicinity of Moscow, Latah County, IdahoP.R. StevensUSGS Report