Spatial variability of groundwater parameters in Southeastern Nigeria


Toloruwa Onyitaremi Kenne

Abortive boreholes and parched wells, ascribed to the difficulty in understanding the hydrogeology of the aquifer by water borehole drillers, pose great concern to the people of the region. Mapping the spatial variability of water table depth (WTD) (m) and aquifer thickness H (m) is a vital step in optimal utilization of groundwater resources. Thus, the aim of this paper is to investigate the spatial variability of the groundwater parameters, H (m) and WTD (m) in the study area located in Nigeria, using geostatistical method of Ordinary Kriging, based on data estimated from interpreted results of fifty (50) Schlumberger Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) curves. To attain this aim, the spatial variability of the groundwater parameters was analyzed. The result shows that the difference in directional behavior is not significant. Thus, the WTD and H were assumed as isotropic, and experimental semivariograms of logH and log(WTD) were calculated and modeled with the GS+ software. It was found that, H and (WTD) data are moderately spatially correlated over the study area, and the spatial structures follow exponential model for H and spherical model for (WTD). According to the generated maps of kriged estimates of logH and log(WTD), the southern part of the study area with higher prolific aquiferous zone, shows higher kriged H-values, relative to the northern zone. The variation in the distribution of kriged WTD-values in the study region is asymmetrical. These results compare favorably in the trend patterns of distribution of the parameter values, with contour maps of a previous study in the region that indicates the distribution of H and WTD parameters. The parameters of the semivariogram models used for the analysis of the data, give insight into the spatial pattern of the groundwater parameters, H and WTD. This knowledge has improved the ability to understand the hydrogeology of the aquifer. The generated spatial variability maps of H and WTD will assist water resource managers and policymakers in the development of guidelines in judicious management of groundwater resources for drinking purposes in the study area.


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