Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 157, Issue 1–4, pp 243–258 | Cite as

Monitoring of the physical parameters and evaluation of the chemical composition of river and groundwater in Calabar (Southeastern Nigeria)



A 12-month study was carried to assess the seasonal and tidal effects on the physical parameters of river and groundwater, which constitute the major potable water sources in Calabar (Nigeria). The study also included an evaluation of the chemical composition of the different water bodies and their relationship. The results show that there was a significant seasonal effect on dissolved oxygen (DO) and nitrate in groundwater on one hand, and on temperature, redox potential (Eh), and DO in river water on the other. Also, a significant tidal influence exists on DO in both river-and groundwater. Comparison between groundwater and river water show statistically significant difference in EC, TDS, Eh, DO, Na, Cl and NO3. The significant differences in EC, TDS, Na and Cl are due to tidal flushing. The difference in Eh is due to geology of the area while, NO3 is as a result of anthropogenic pollution. The concentrations of ions in the river and groundwater for the different seasons and tidal cycles show an inverse relationship, while the river water is generally more concentrated than the groundwater. Using a binary mixing model, estimates show that the degree of mixing of river water and groundwater is low, with values of between 1.93% and 2.76% respectively, in the western and eastern parts of the study area. The study concludes that tidal flushing, anthropogenic effects and oxygen supply during recharge contribute to the shaping of water chemistry in the area.


Season Tide Coastal aquifer Physical properties Chemical composition River Groundwater Drinking water quality Calabar 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Ocean SciencesUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of CalabarCalabarNigeria

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