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DETERMINATION OF AQUIFER PARAMETERS IN THE ISHIAGU EBONYI STATE USING GEOELECTRIC METHOD

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Abstract

An investigation was carried out on the groundwater potentials and aquifer protective capacity of Ishiagu area, southeastern Nigeria. The study area lies within the lower Benue trough of Nigeria and is underlain by the Albian Asu River Group and the Turonian Ezeaku Shales.The methodologies employed in the study include measurements of static water levels of 15 hand dug wells, pumping tests carried out on 4 boreholes and vertical electrical sounding (VES) of 20 stations. Groundwater potentials of the area was thoroughly characterizedusing aquifer parameters of hydraulic conductivity and transmissivity within unit cells.These parameters were supplemented with those determined from empirical relationships.The hydraulic conductivity and transmissivity determined from the pumping test data range from 0.6m/day to 3.04m/day and 4.86m2/day to 34.93m2/day respectively while those from empirical relationships range from 0.04m/day to 4.34m/day and 0.07m2/day to 61.69m2/day respectively.Three groundwater potential ratings were defined based on the aquifers’ hydraulic conductivity and transmissivity data; poor (45%), fairly good (35%) and good (20%). The hydraulic head map reveals two divergence and two convergence zones. The computed hydraulic heads range from 58.2m to 84.5m.Vertical electrical sounding reveals that the area is characterized by 4-, 5- and 6- subsurface geo-electric layers with the 6-layer type being the dominant type. Longitudinal unit conductance of the 20 VES stations was estimated from the layers’ resistivity and thickness data.Longitudinal unit conductance of the overburden units ranged from 0.07mhos to 2.22mhos. Based on the estimated longitudinal unit conductance, three aquifer protective capacity types were defined namely, weak (25%), moderate (40%) and good (35%). It was observed that areas of good groundwater potentials also have good aquifer protective capacity. Groundwater development should therefore be concentrated more in areas of good groundwater potential for continuous/steady supply of potable water.