Hydrochemistry of surface water and groundwater in the shale bedrock, Cross River Basin and Niger Delta Region, Nigeria

Therese Nganje, Andrew Hursthouse, Aniekan Edet, David Stirling, C.I. Adamu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Water chemistry in the shale bedrock of the Cretaceous-Tertiary of the Cross River and Niger Delta hydrological basins has been investigated using major ions. To carry out a characterization of the water bearing units, 30 and 16 representatives surface and groundwater samples were collected. The evolution of the water is characterized by enhanced content of sodium, calcium and sulphate as a result of leaching of shale rock. The spatial changes in groundwater quality of the area shows an anomalous concentrations of ions in the central parts, while lower values characterize the eastern part of the basin covering Ogoja, Ikom and Odukpani areas. The values of total dissolved solids (TDS) and ions increases down gradient in the direction of groundwater flow. The dissolution of halite and gypsum explains part of the contained Na+, Ca2+, Cl− and SO4 2−, but other processes such as ion exchange, silicate weathering and pyrite oxidation also contribute to water composition. The assessment with contamination indicators such as TDS, hardness, chloride, nitrate and sulphate indicates that the water in area is suitable for human consumption in some locations. Modelling using MINTEQA2 program shows that the water from all the shale water bearing units are under saturated with respect to gypsum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-985
Number of pages25
JournalApplied Water Science
Issue number2
Early online date16 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Geochemistry
  • Shale terrain
  • Surface water
  • Groundwater
  • Southeastern
  • Nigeria


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