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IJRRAS 12 (3) September 2012

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INVESTIGATION OF SUBSURFACE LITHOLOGY AND PROLIFIC


AQUIFER USING VES IN EDJEKOTA, DELTA STATE NIGERIA
Emmanuel Chukwuemeka Okolie* & Ogheneovo Akpoyibo
Department of Physics Delta State University Abraka, Nigeria
E-mail: okoliepeace@yahoo.com
ABSTRACT
Geophysical investigation of subsurface lithology and aquifer distribution was done using Schlumberger array in
Edjekota, Ughelli North LGA of Delta State This community is prone to annual flooding resulting in massive
deposition of materials over many years thereby creating problem of potable water. This problem of potable water
has increased in recent time due to increase in population density, petroleum exploration activities and spillages
along the creeks. Thus, ten Vertical Electrical Soundings (VES) were made using Schlumberger array in Edjekota
Delta State to obtain geophysical field data in order to investigate the occurrence of groundwater in relation to the
depth and thickness of viable aquifer. The field data measured from SAS 1000 terrameter were plotted in a bi-log
graph to obtain sounding curves. The curves were analyzed and iterated. The qualitative results showed that
Edjekota has homogeneous subsurface stratification with AAK, KHAA, AKHA and KQHQ curve types. The
generated geoelectric sections have five to six sub-layers to a depth of over 70 m with hugh loose sand deposits
beneath in Edjekota. Although water seems to be everywhere in Edjekota, prolific aquifer is within 30 50 metres.
Keywords: Schlumberger, Stratification, Lithology, Geolectric section, Prolific aquifers, Delta State.
1. INTRODUCTION
Water is one of the essential natural resources that necessitated the existence of life on earth. It is for this reason that
the world celebrates Worlds Water Day on 22 nd March every year. Many cities, towns and communities rely on
borehole source since it is one major renewable fresh water sources. Unfortunately, potable water is not available to
many a people because most water supply sources are either contaminated or extinct after a short period of supply
and sometimes are totally non-existing. Although, Edjekota town experiences yearly seasonal over flooding, potable
water is not within the reach of many due to lack of proper empirical sub-surface investigation to depth of borehole
before drilling [1]. This has led to supply from false aquifer and development of various health problems by users
[2]. Here, the Vertical Electrical Sounding method was used in investigating depth of overburden to delineate the
subsurface stratification and groundwater distribution in Edjekota in Ughelli North L.G.A of Delta State Nigeria.
Ten Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) sites were studied using the Schlumberger Array. The obtained field data
were plotted in bi-log graphs and analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively by curve matching and computer iteration
using the Win RESIST software to obtain the formation strata and the actual depth of viable aquifer in the study
area. The results from the analysis of the field data were interpreted to obtain the geoelectric sections of the town
from which the subsurface lithology and hydrogeology were stratified for effective citing of reliable boreholes for
optimal harnessing of groundwater from prolific aquifer in Edjekota.
2. LOCATION AND GEOLOGY OF STUDY AREA
Edjekota is located in Ughelli South L.G.A of Delta State. The area lies within latitude N05o22.225/ and N05o 26.47/
and longitude E006o 00.143/ and E006o 00.165/. It has a flat topography with an elevation of 26 10 m from sea
level (obtained from GPS). Edjekota is within the three major depositional structures typical of most deltaic
environments represented by the Benin, Agbada and Akata formations which consist of a mix of marine and
continental deposits [3]. It is underlain by the continental sands of Ughelli formation and has appreciable rainfall for
up to seven months in the year. It is therefore thickly forested and prone to over flooding.

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IJRRAS 12 (3) September 2012

Okolie & Akpoyibo Subsurface Lithology and Prolific Aquifer

Patani Road

Ughelli/Patani Road
N 050 26.479/
E 0060 00.164/
15 9 m

Deeper
Life Camp

N 050 26.474/
E 0060 00.165/
16 9 m

Hospital

Water Board
Kingdom Hall
Jehovahs Witnesses

Iyeye Pri. Sch. Edjekota

Community Town Hall

Catholic Church

Evwreni Road

Evwreni Road

Oviri Road

IITA
N 050 25.2551
E 0060 00.1431
25 11 m

Ogberakan Qtr.

Edjekota
Secondary School

Edutase
Qtr.

To Ewu in Ogor
Kingdom

Fig 1. Base Map of Edjekota

469

N 050 25.2521
E 0060 00.1451
26 10 m

IJRRAS 12 (3) September 2012

Okolie & Akpoyibo Subsurface Lithology and Prolific Aquifer

3. METHODOLOGY
Vertical Electrical Sounding was carried out using ABEM SAS 1000 Terrameter and Schlumberger electrode
configuration was employed for reasons of logistics of manpower and its characteristic deep penetrations into the
subsurface [4]. The Schlumberger array requires that four steel electrodes are arranged and pinned collinearly into
the earth with the current electrodes spacing much greater than the potential electrodes and ensuring that AB/2 5MN/2
where AB is current electrodes separation and MN is potential electrodes separation (Fig.2). This implies that
for MN = a, AB = na+a from which their values on table 1 were generated and approximated for convenience. The
electrodes were connected appropriately to their respective terminals on the terrameter through cables and
hammered to make good contact with the earth.

1
V
Source
Electrode

r3= na+a
r1= na

C1

P1

P2
N

r4= na

Sink
Electrode

r2 =na+a

C2
B

Fig 2. Schlumberger configuration for which (AB/2 5MN/2); n 2 and is sounding number in a site
On sounding, the digital SAS 1000 terrameter sends down direct current into the earth subsurface through the pair of
steel current electrodes, while the established subsurface potential difference across the subsurface under
investigation is measured by the terrameter through the steel potential electrodes. For each sounding, the terrameter
computes and displays a mean digital value of the apparent resistivity of the subsurface under investigation using the
theory that the measured potential difference as given by [5] and [6] is

dV (Vc Vd )
Hence,

I
2

1 1 1 1
{ }...............................................................1
r1 r2 r3 r4

V
1

..........................................................................2
I

1
1
and
1 1


r1
r2

r3 r4

2 R
.........................................................3
1
1

( 1 1

na a na a na

na

na(na a)
2 R
...............................................................................................4
2a

a Rn{n 1)a........................................................................................................5
Where the Geometric Factor is given by

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IJRRAS 12 (3) September 2012

Okolie & Akpoyibo Subsurface Lithology and Prolific Aquifer

G n{n 1)a....................................................................................................................6
Which required that AB = 2(n+1)a with n > 2 to ensure that AB/2 > 5MN/2 at all times
Where r1 = r4 = na and r2 = r3 = na+a

These apparent resistivity values obtained from the field measurements (eqn 5) were plotted against half current
electrodes spacing on a log-log graph [7]. The resulting curves were analyzed and interpreted qualitatively by
inspection and quantitatively by partial curve matching [8] which required matching small segments of the field
curves with an appropriate two-layer model resistivity-depth variation curve and its corresponding auxiliary curve to
obtain the apparent resistivity and thickness of the first layer as well as the assumed resistivities and depth
replacements of the other layers and the respective reflection coefficient k and Depth Index (DI) between two
successive layers [9]. The results from the modeling were finally iterated to the lowest Root Mean Square (RMS)
percentage error using computer software, the Win RESIST version 1.0 based on [10] models to determine the
smoothed resistivities and thicknesses of other layers (Figs: 3-6) and (Table 1). From these, the subsurface lithology
is obtained and the geoelectric section of the study sites was drawn.
Table 1. Sample Field Data from Stations in Edjekota town
Electrodes Spacing
AB

( /2)
(m)

Resistivity values
MN

/2)
(m)

VES 1
a m

VES 2
a m

VES 3
a m

VES 4
a m

1
2
3
4
6
6
8
12
15
15
20
25
32
40
40
50
65
80
100
100
120
150
200

0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
0.5
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
5
5
5
5
5
10
10
10
10

103
112
145
153
176
188
198
212
241
256
298
320
346
321
376
401
457
484
412
396

167
197
242
276
321
300
354
389
345
334
322
278
253
225
288
324
347
378
401
424

198
212
254
267
298
301
367
399
441
422
455
456
421
387
390
354
343
311
292
267
301
342
340

221
247
278
311
365
355
380
412
427
432
376
334
321
292
286
263
300
318
339
368
400
422
435

200
225
250
300

20
20
20
20

370
397
426

470
491
523
542

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IJRRAS 12 (3) September 2012

Okolie & Akpoyibo Subsurface Lithology and Prolific Aquifer

Fig 3. Field sounding curves for Stations 1 in Edjekota

Fig 4. Field sounding curves for Station 2 in Edjekota

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IJRRAS 12 (3) September 2012

Okolie & Akpoyibo Subsurface Lithology and Prolific Aquifer

Fig 5. Field sounding curve for Station 3 in Edjekota

Fig 6. Field sounding curves for Station 4 in Edjekota

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IJRRAS 12 (3) September 2012

Okolie & Akpoyibo Subsurface Lithology and Prolific Aquifer

4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION


The qualitative results showed that Edjekota consists predominantly of AAK, KHAA, AKHA and KQHQ curve
types [11] which imply that Edjekota has fairly homogenous subsurface stratification [12] and [5]. The qualitative
and quantitative analyses delineate five to six distinct subsurface layers to depth above 70 m.
The first subsurface layer (top soil) consists mainly of loose sand with resistivity values ranging from 92 200 m
and thickness of 0.5 m to 1.4 m. The second layer is mainly clay and sandy clay with resistivity values of 236 m to
447 m to thickness of 4 m to 6.2 m. The third layer consists of clayey sand and sandy clay and shale formations
with resistivity ranging from 213 m to 555 m with thickness from 7 to 2.1m to a depth of 18 m. This layer is
diagnostic of brackish water which is not suitable for groundwater development. The fourth subsurface layer
consists of fine grain sand with thickness of about 14.7 m to 20 m and resistivity ranges from 230 m to 700 m
consisting of fine sand embedded in water (False aquifer). The fifth layer consists of medium to coarse grain sand
with resistivity values are between 113.0 m to 432.8 m and thickness ranging from 7 m to 15.7 m to a depth of
about 32 m. This is the second aquifer but not too encouraging for prospect for groundwater exploration in the area.
The sixth subsurface layer consists of coarse grain sand and gravelly stones with resistivity values from 430 and
790 m to an undefined thickness. This is the prolific aquifer in Edjekota as it contains appreciable quantity
groundwater.
The strata reveal that false aquifers exist at about 15 m to 18 m. The sand deposit delineated Edjekota is of
commercial value. The geoelectric section was then drawn from these results (Fig 7) and they are in agreement with
sampled direct borehole logs from the study area. The existence of some shallow wells within the community is
traceable to the delineated near surface thick clay formation which preserves peculating surface water. These handdug wells have good quantity of water but it is not fit for domestic and industrial use without further purification
processes. Although water seems to be everywhere for most parts of the year in Edjekota, prolific aquifer is within
32 50 metres with appreciable loose sand deposits beneath which implies that the aquifer is unconfined.
Table 2. Summary of Smoothened Iterated Results in Edjekota
VES

Edjekota 1

Edjekota 2

Edjekota 3

Edjekota 4

LAYER
No

RESISTIVITY
(m)

1
2
3
4
5
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
6

92.7
236.5
369.4
699.2
432.7
146.8
422.2
213.5
245.6
413.1
561.0
175.4
415.8
554.6
229.0
238.4
581.7
198.7
446.7
295.5
234.0
321.5
790.8

LAYER
THICKNESS
(m)
1.2
6.9
26.0
26.3
-----1.0
8.2
13.3
23.7
25.2
-----1.2
6.6
14.3
32.6
39.9
-----1.1
7.5
13.2
25.9
32.3
-------

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DEPTH
(m)
1.2
8.1
34.1
60.4
-----1.0
9.2
22.5
46.2
79.4
-----1.2
7.8
22.1
54.7
94.6
-----1.1
8.6
21.8
47.7
80.0
-----

CURVE TYPE

AAK
<
<

<

>

KHAA
1

<

>

3<

4<

5<

AKHA
1

<

<

>

<

4<

KQHA
1

<

>

>

4<

<

IJRRAS 12 (3) September 2012

VES 1

Okolie & Akpoyibo Subsurface Lithology and Prolific Aquifer

VES 2

VES 3

VES 4

0m
236.5 m

5
10

VES 5

415.5 m
422.2 m

369.4 m

VES 7 446.7 m

554.6 m

295.5 m

213.5 m

15
20
699.2 m

229.0 m

234.0 m

245.6 m

25
30

413.1 m

35

321.5 m

432.7 m

238.4 m

40
45

561.0 m

581.7 m

790.8 m

50
55
60
LEGEND

65

Top Soil
Clay

70

Sandy Clay
Fine Sand (False aquifer)
Medium to coarse grain Sand
Coarse grain/stones (Aquifer)
Fig 7. Geoelectric Section of Edjekota

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IJRRAS 12 (3) September 2012

Okolie & Akpoyibo Subsurface Lithology and Prolific Aquifer

5. CONCLUSION
The result of the investigation revealed that Edjekota has five to six layers with AAK, KHAA, AKHA and KQHA
type curves indicating near homogeneous terrain. However, the study delineates six geolectric layers. The first
subsurface layer (top soil) consists mainly of loose sand with thickness of 0.5 m to 1.4 m. The second layer is
mainly clay and clayey sand to a depth of about 8 m. The existence of some shallow wells within the community is
traceable to this delineated thick clay layer. The third layer consists of clayey sand and sandy clay and shale
formations to a depth of 18 m. This layer is diagnostic of brackish water which is not suitable for groundwater
development. The fourth subsurface layer consists of fine grain sand embedded in water (False aquifer) to about 22
m. The sand deposit delineated Edjekota is large and of commercial value. The fifth layer consists of medium to
coarse grain sand to a depth of about 30 m. This is the second aquifer but not too encouraging for prospect for
groundwater exploration in the area. The sixth subsurface layer consists of coarse grain sand and gravelly stones
from 30 m to far depth with appreciable loose sand deposits beneath [13]. The aquifer performance is best at about
45 m. It is therefore recommended that boreholes for sustainable water supply in Edejekota boreholes should be
drilled to about 45 m to hit prolific aquifer. It is also recommended that other geophysical exploration methods such
as seismic refraction method may be employed to further investigate this area for economic purposes.
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