Sediment Delivery into the Kubanni Reservoir, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

 – Sediment Delivery into the Kubanni Reservoir, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria –

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In an attempt to assess the sediment delivery into the Kubanni reservoir, a continuous monitoring of the four tributaries contributing sediments into the Kubanni reservoir, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 2011 to 2012 was carried out.

The monitoring was done by measuring their discharges using the 1200 and 900 v-notch weirs for the Malmo
and Tukurwa streams and the velocity-cross-sectional area method for Maigamo and Goruba streams.

Water samples were collected for onward analysis in the laboratory to derive the suspended and dissolved sediment concentrations.

Products of the sediment concentrations and discharges gave the sediment loads and a rating relation between sediment loads and discharges was used to determine the sediment yield of the contributory tributaries.

A February 2009 NIGERIASAT imagery was used for the classification and characterization of the Land use/Land cover of each sub-basin by supervised classification with maximum likelihood algorithm taking advantage of
spectral signatures using ILWIS 3.7 software.

The summary statistics including the channel suspended sediment yields of the four tributaries is increasing progressively with the Malmo stream having the least (248.29 tons/yr) and the Goruba stream having the highest (12880.55 tons/yr).

The situation is not much dissimilar in the derived dissolved loads where the Malmo stream has the least
value of 89.99 tons/yr and the Goruba stream has the highest value of 8654.77 tons/yr.

The research revealed that the suspended sediment yield of the Malmo tributary has reduced almost by half tribute to the efforts of the University administration in their afforestation and reduction of farming activities within the sub-basin.

There is a significant difference between the suspended sediment yields of the four tributaries. There is also a significant difference between their respective dissolved sediment yields and comparing the suspended and dissolved loads of each of the tributaries also revealed a significant difference except for the Goruba stream.

It was concluded that there exists significant relationship between land use and sediment yields of the tributaries with the scattered cultivation, apart from increasing progressively, making up the significant part of the LULC subsets for each of the sub-basins.

The implication of this is that apart from the Malmo sub-basin, farming is prevalent, and is therefore the major contributor to their sediment yields. This signifies the overwhelming importance of LULC in determining sediment yield of rivers as inferred by previous works.

This conclusion is further corroborated with the anomaly observed in the Maigamo sub-basin having the highest Specific Sediment Yield (SSY) as a result of man’s influence farming very close to its gauging station thereby affecting the consecutive increase in the SSY of the sub-basins.

Based on the findings, recommendations were made to the Ahmadu Bello University administration among which are enforcement of the ban on farming, grazing and mining strengthened with a legal backing, acquisition of more lands, encouraging annual tree planting, building low check-dams, mounting sediment traps at strategic locations, long term monitoring of the tributaries and dredging of the reservoir.


Title Page i
Declaration ii
Certification iii
Dedication iv
Acknowledgement v
Abstract vii
Table of Contents ix
List of Tables xiii
List of Figures xv
List of Plates xvii


1.1 Background to the Study 1
1.2 Statement of Research Problem 4
1.3 Research Aim and Objectives 9
1.4 Hypotheses 9
1.5 Scope of the Study 10
1.6 Justification of the Study 11
1.7 Organization of the Study 11


2.0 Introduction 13
2.1 The Concept of Sediment Yield 14
2.2.1 Factors Affecting Sediment Yield 17
2.2.1 Rainfall and Temperature 17
2.2.2 Relief and Slope 21
2.2.3 Geology 23
2.2.4 Soil and Mantle 26
2.2.5 Vegetation 27
2.2.6 Drainage Basin Characteristics 30
2.2.7 Time 33
2.2.8 Land use 34
2.3 Previous Studies on Sediment Yield in Nigeria 38
2.3.1 Louis Peltier’s Model of estimating Sediment Yield 38
2.3.2 Lee Wilson’s Model of estimating Sediment Yield 39
2.3.3 S.A Schumm’s Model of estimating Sediment Yield 41
2.3.4. Fournier’s Model of estimating Sediment Yield 44
2.3.5. Comparison of the Models for estimating Sediment Yield 45
2.3.6. The Models and Measured Data 46
2.4. Methods of Measuring Sediment Yield of a River. 54
2.4.1 Reservoir Sedimentation Studies 54
2.4.2 Fraction Collectors 56
2.4.3 Sediment Sampling Procedures 58


3.1 Location, Position and Size 62
3.2 Climate 63
3.3 Geology 70
3.4 Topography 71
3.5 Soils 74
3.6 Vegetation 76
3.7 Land use 77


4.1 Types of Sources of Data 79
4.2 Techniques of Data Collection 79
4.2.1 Stream Discharge 79
4.2.2 Sediment Concentration 83
4.3 Data Analyses 87
4.3.1 Estimation of Suspended Sediment Yield 87
4.3.2 Estimation of Dissolved Sediment Yield 89
4.3.3 Classification and Characterization of Land Use and Land Cover 89
4.3.4 Statistical Analyses 91


5.1 Discharges of Studied Streams 92
5.2 Suspended and Dissolved Sediment Load 96
5.3 Suspended and Dissolved Sediment Load-Discharge Relationship 97
5.4 Suspended and Dissolved Sediment Yields 105
5.5 Sediment Yields Hypotheses Testing 112
5.5.1 Suspended Sediment Yield 112
5.5.2 Dissolved Sediment Yield 112
5.5.3 Suspended and Dissolved Sediment Yields 113
5.6 Land Use-Land Cover (LULC) Classification and Characterization 114
5.7 LULC-Sediment Yield Relationship 118
5.8 Implications of the Study for Reservoir Management 124


6.1 Summary 126
6.2 Conclusion 129
6.3 Recommendations 130


1.1 Background to the Study

Water is essential to life and its distribution and availability are closely associated with the development of human society. Apart from air, water is the most important resource to man. He can survive longer without food than without water.

So, without it, life is impossible. Indeed it is a foundation for human prosperity and adequate quality water supply provides basis for its development (Ward, 1975; Young, 2006). The demand for water doubles every 20 years which is more than twice the rate of the world’s population growth (USAID, 2003).

New water sources are becoming scarcer and to treat and remediate existing sources more expensive (Clothier et al., 2008).

Inevitably, modern man needs water for various purposes: agriculture, industry, domestic and municipal use and he depends largely on the rivers, lakes and aquifers to meet his water needs.

Its inadequacy in supply to households and its contamination can cause offensive odour and thereby precipitate severe health problems like water related illness.


Abu, R.D, Iguisi, E.O., and Bello, A.L. (2011) An Assessment of the Effect of Land use/Landcover Change on the rate of sedimentation on an Earth Dam, Zaria Northern Nigeria. Journal of Geography, Planning and Environment, 7,2, pp. 95-100 (2012) Zaria at a Glance. (Assessed September, 2012)

Abubakar, B. (1966) “The Morphology of the Kubanni Drainage Basin” Unpublished B.A. Dissertation, Department of Geography, A.B.U., Zaria.

Adedeji, A. Jeje, L.K. (2004) Channel erosion in the Opa basin, Southwestern Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Hydrology. 12, 10. pp. 1-11.

Ahmed, M.I. (1989) “Assessment of Gully Density in relation to Landuse in Upper Kubanni Drainage Basin, Zaria” Unpublished B.Sc. Dissertation, Department of Geography, A.B.U., Zaria.

Akintola, J.O. (1986) Rainfall Distribution in Nigeria (1982 – 1988). Ibadan: Impact Publishers.

Ameh, P.I. (1966) “Slope Analysis of Kubanni River Drainage Basin” Unpublished B.A. Dissertation, Department of Geography, A.B.U., Zaria.

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