Pollution status of arable soils and stream sediments in mining areas of Abakaliki, Lower Benue Trough, Nigeria

  • P. N. ObasiEmail author
  • B. E. B. Akudinobi
Original Paper


Geochemical assessment to determine the pollution status of arable soils and stream sediments of the lead–zinc mining areas of Abakaliki, Lower Benue Trough, was carried out. Major communities covered include Enyigba, Mkpuma Akpatakpa, Ameka, Amorie, Amanchara and Alibaruhu where active and abandoned mines are located, covering a total area of about 794.2 km2. One hundred and sixteen soil/stream sediments were collected in two seasons and analysed using Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric method, and pedologic safety analytical tools including effect range low, effect range median, Multiple contamination, geoaccumulation index (Igeo), contamination factor (Cf), pollution load index and contamination degree were used to assess the impact level of mining activities in soils and sediments. Geological mapping and studies of rock types show that the area is underlain by shales, mudstone and thin beds of sandstone and limestone. Geochemical assessment shows high concentration of Cd, As, Pd, Cu and Zn especially in the mining sites, while pollution indices showed high pollution status for Ag < As < Pb < Hg < Cd in the area. Assessment of contamination degree shows a higher contamination degree for the Mkpuma Akpatakpa and Ameka areas than the for Enyigba and Amanchara areas. Arable soils around the mine sites and stream sediments of rivers which serve as disposal channels are not suitable for food crop production as biomagnification can occur in the food chain.


Geochemical Pollution status Stream sediments Soils Mining 



The authors are grateful to Springboard Research Laboratory, Awka Nigeria, for analysing the samples. We are also grateful to Professors E. A. Edet and A.U. Okoro for their contributions towards the success of the work. We also wish to acknowledge with thanks all the suggestions and comments from the anonymous reviewers. We thank Professor Onuegbu and Dr E. N Anakwuba for their early reviews. We are grateful to Victor Obasi, Gideon Chukwu, Ovu Samuel and other students whose contributions aided the success of this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

I declare that I do not have any conflict.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyEbonyi State UniversityAbakalikiNigeria
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesNnamdi Azikiwe UniversityAwkaNigeria

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