A Hydrochemical Study of the Brine Fields of Awe, Keana and Giza Areas : Current School News

A Hydrochemical Study of the Brine Fields of Awe, Keana and Giza Areas, Middle Benue Trough, Nigeria

Filed in Current Projects, Geology Project Topics by on October 12, 2020



A Hydrochemical Study of the Brine Fields of Awe, Keana and Giza Areas, Middle Benue Trough, Nigeria.


This research work presents findings of the extent and distributions of saline zone and the hydrochemical characteristics of the groundwater of Awe, Keana and Giza areas in the Middle Benue Trough of Nigeria.

Static water levels(swl) of hand dug wells were measured andthe results used to generate hydraulic head data and hydraulic head map. The static water levels range from 1.0m to 13.5m at Awe, 1.0m to 4.5m at Keana and 2.2m to 9.2m at Giza.

The hydraulic head maps for the three areas show different patterns/directions of groundwater flow for each area. Geophysical investigations, mainly vertical electrical sounding (VES) using Schlumberger electrode configuration array were performed at 47 locations spread across the entire study areas.

Results of the VES revealed that the study areas are characterized by3, 4 and 5geo-electrical layers with 9 different curve type signatures.

Also, results of the VES show that Awe area has the highest occurrence of saline zone, followed by Keana and Giza respectively. Multi-layer saline zones were observed only at Awe.

Thirty (30) groundwater samples (10 each from the 3 areas) were analyzed for physiochemical parameters (rare earth elements, heavy metals, major cations and major anions).

Results of hydrochemical analysis revealed five (5) hydrochemical facies namely,Ca-HCO3, NaCl, NaHCO3, Ca-Na-HCO3 and Ca-Mg-Cl facies.

Principal component analysis of the hydrochemical data revealed that the groundwater chemistry of the areas is controlled by the mineralization of the host rocks, weathering of galena, uranite, felsdspathic minerals and dissolution of limestone and dolomite.

The spatial distribution pattern of the rare earth elements of groundwater of the study areas showed a strong positive correlation exists between brine and the elements.

Uranium, however, showed a district distribution pattern which may indicate a distinct source from the other elements. Of the three areas studied, Keana has the most potable water supply.  Awe and Giza groundwater have chloride (Cl), nitrate (NO3) and lead (Pb) contaminations.

It was observed that the groundwater quality of the study areas is not only salinity dependent, but also influenced by anthropogenic activities such agricultural wastes and domestic waste released into the environment.

Based on the irrigation water quality indexes employed, groundwater of the areasrange from unsuitable to suitable for irrigation purposes.


Title Page             i

Certification        ii

Dedication    iii

Acknowledgement           iv

Abstract   v

Table of Content              vi

List of Tables    viii

List of Figures     ix

List of Appendices      xi


1.0       Introduction         1

  • Background to Study             1
  • Statement of the problem 4
  • Objective of the study 4
  • Study area description 4
  • Location             4
  • Climate                         6
  • Geomorphology                         6
  • Geology 6
  • Regional geology 6
  • Local geology 9
  • Hydrogeology


2.0       Literature review        14


3.0       Research methodology        17

3.1       Geological Method        17

3.2       Geophysical Method          17

3.3       Hydrogeological Method          20

3.4       Descriptive Statistics             20

3.5       Data Analysis                 20


4.0       Results and discussion           22

4.1       Hydraulic head and groundwater flow direction            22

4.2       Correlation of VES data and lithologies obtained from boreholes.     22

4.3       Geo-electric distribution of saline zone  38

4.4       Hydrochemical characteristics    42

4.4.1    Origin of the ions   42

4.4.2    Water types        42

4.4.3    Heavy metals and rare earth elements (RREs) characteristics     49

4.4.4    Spatial distribution of rare earth elements   54

4.4.5    Water quality for drinking purposes    86

4.4.6    Water quality for irrigation purposes      90

4.5       Groundwater quality management     97


5.1       Conclusion and    103

5.2       Recommendation      104

5.3       References      105


1.1       Background of Study

The Benue Trough of Nigeria is one of the most prominent geologic features in West Africa. It extends over a length of 800km trending NNE-SSW from the Niger Delta to the south-west of Lake Chad basin and ranges in width from 130 to 250 km (Figure 1.1).

Due to the large regional extent, studies in the Trough are often divided geographically (though arbitrarily) into upper, middle and lower regions (the approximate boundaries of these regions are given in Figure 1.1.

No concrete line of subdivision can be drawn to demarcate the individual regions, but major localities (towns/settlements) that constitute the depocenters of the different regions have been well documented (Obaje et al., 1999).

The depocenters of the Lower Benue Trough comprise mainly the areas around Nkalagu and Abakaliki, while those of Middle Benue Trough comprise the areas around Makurdi through Yandev, Lafia, Obi, Awe, Keana, Giza, Jangwa to Wukari.

In the Upper Benue Trough, the depocenters comprise Pindiga, Gombe, Nafada, Ashaka (in the Gongolaarm) and Bambam, Tula, Jessu, Lakun and Numan in the Yola arm.

The origin of the Trough (which is still controversial in details) has long been associated with the breakup of Gondwana – the separation of Africa from South America and the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean.

Occurrences of saline groundwaters as springs, ponds or in dug wells and boreholes are common in parts of the Trough.


Adekunle, A.A. (2008): Delineation of Saltwater intrusion into the freshwater aquifer of Lekki                   Peninsula, Lagos, Nigeria. 3rd International Conference on Water Resources and Arid Environments.

Adeoti, L Alile, O.M. and Uchegbulam.O. (2010): Geophysical investigation of saline water intrusion into freshwater aquifers: A case study of Oniru, Lagos State, SRE Academic Journal Vol. 5(3) pp 248-259.

Adiat, K. A. N; Olayanju, G. M;Omosuyi G.O. And Ako B.D. (2009): Electromagnetic Profiling and Electrical Resistivity Soundings in Groundwater Investigation of a  Typical Basement Complex- A case Study of Oda Town Southwestern Nigeria. Ozean Journal of Applied Science, 2(4), 2009 pp333-353.

Akande, S. O., Horn, E. E. &Reutel, C. (1988):Mineralogy, fluid inclusion and genesis of the Arufuand AkwanaPb-Zn-F mineralization, Middle Benue Trough, Nigeria. Journal of  African EarthSciences, 7, 167–180.

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