British Journal of Earth Sciences Research (BJESR)

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Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) of Groundwater Prospect and Vulnerability Index Mapping from Second-Order Geo-Electric Indices: A Case Study of Coastal Environments


Exploration, management, and conservation of groundwater resources are critical stages toward potable water supply, driven by an expanding populace and the threat of a new norm posed by the distinctive coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. An in-depth assessment of the potential of groundwater reserves and susceptibility, using a multi-criteria evaluation, is required to aid in the planning of exploration programs for groundwater well location. Thirty (30) vertical electrical soundings (VES) were collected in Okerenkoko, Warri-Southwest, Delta State, to assess groundwater potential and vulnerability indicators. The VES data were used to obtain the first-order geoelectric variables, which were further exploited to calculate the geo-hydraulic parameters (hydraulic conductivity and transmissivity) and the vulnerability indices of the aquifer. For aquifer vulnerability appraisal, the AVI (aquifer vulnerability index), GOD (groundwater occurrence, overlying lithology, and depth to the aquifer), and GLSI (geoelectric layer susceptibility index) models were used. The groundwater characteristics in the area were evaluated using the aquifer resistivity, thickness, transmissivity and coefficient of anisotropy values of the aquifer layers defined from VES 1-30. The results show that aquifer layers with low resistivity favor more saturation due to immense porosity and therefore have greater groundwater potential than aquifers with high resistivity. The geoelectric structures defined by VES 1, 2 and 4 were consistent in their groundwater potential and yield judging from the multi-criteria assessments. The estimation of AVI, GOD, and GLSI models for aquifer threat assessment was facilitated by the multi-criteria evaluation of vulnerability indices utilizing hydro-geophysical parameters and index-based approaches. The models depend on the symbiotic effects of geologic array and thickness as the basis for the magnitude of conservation imparted to any particular aquifer involved. The AVI model map depicts that most of the VES locations were rated high (C between 1 and 2) to extremely high (C < 1), indicating that the aquifers at these locations are vulnerable to pollution. However, the extent of vulnerability observed in the GOD model is less than in the AVI model, as GOD accords much more inclination to the inherent properties of geologic entities. The GOD model map categorized the vulnerability index ratings in the area as negligible (0.0-0.1), low (0.1-0.3) and moderate (0.3-0.5), with most VES locations ranked low to moderate, which indicates that these locations are susceptible to vulnerability. In the GLSI model, individual overlying layer thicknesses were prioritized. The GLSI model map shows that the vulnerability index ratings in the area are ranked as moderate (2.00-2.99), high (3.00-3.99) and extremely high (≥ 4.00) with most of the VES locations ranked moderate to high with the exception of VES 27, which ranked extremely high in both AVI and GLSI indices. By correlating the results of vulnerability index valuation for the AVI, GOD and GLSI models, more correlation was observed between the AVI and GLSI models. These findings validate the adoption of a multi-criteria evaluation methodology for groundwater potential and aquifer vulnerability studies and are strongly recommended as practical criteria for locating subsurface aquifers and their protective measures for groundwater prospect development planning and management.


Keywords: aquifer protection, avi, god and Glsi, groundwater pollution, vulnerability indices

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Impact Factor: 6.95
Print ISSN: 2055-0111
Online ISSN: 2055-012X

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