Application of electrical resistivity method in estimating geohydraulic properties of a sandy hydrolithofacies: a case study of Ajali Sandstone in Ninth Mile, Enugu State, Nigeria

  • Chikwado G. Aleke
  • Johnson C. IbuotEmail author
  • Daniel N. Obiora
Original Paper


Geoelectric investigation using vertical electrical sounding (VES) (Schlumberger electrode configuration) was carried out in 14 locations at Ninth Mile area, southeastern Nigeria to determine the variations and interrelationship of some geoelectric and geohydraulic parameters of a sandstone hydrolithofacies. The measured resistivity data were interpreted using manual and computer software packages, which gave the resistivity, depth, and thickness for each layer within the maximum current electrodes separation. The aquifer resistivity values range from 86.56 to 4753.0 Ωm with 1669.40 Ωm average value. The values of water resistivity from borehole locations close to the sounding points range from 79.49 to 454 .55 Ωm and averaging about 264.7 Ωm. Porosity values of the sandy aquifer range from 30.19 to 34.20%. Fractional porosity values range from 0.3019 to 0.3292, while the tortuosity values vary between 2.91 and 22.85. The geohydraulic parameters estimated vary across the study area. Formation factor ranges from 0.28 to 15.29, hydraulic conductivity ranges from 1.21 to 66.54 m/day which, however, influences the natural flow of water in the aquifer while tortuosity values range from 2.91 to 23.27. The contour maps clearly show the variation of these parameters in the subsurface and the plots show their relationship and high correlation coefficients with one another. The results of this study have revealed the geological characteristics of the subsurface aquifer, established the influence on the amount of groundwater, and proposed a strategy for the management and exploitation of groundwater resources in the area and other aquiferous formations.


Ajali Sandstone Nigeria Aquifer Groundwater exploration Hydraulic properties Porosity 



The authors are grateful to their families for their support and encouragement. The editor and reviewers are also acknowledged.


  1. Agagu OK, Fayose EA, Petters SW (1985) Stratigraphy and Sedimentation in the Senonian Anambra Basin of Eastern Nigeria. Journ Mining and Geology 22: 25-36Google Scholar
  2. Akpan AE, Ugbaja AN, George NJ (2013) Integrated geophysical, geochemical and hydrogeological investigation of shallow groundwater resources in parts of the Ikom-Mamfe Embayment and the adjoining areas in Cross River State, Nigeria. Environmental Earth Sciences 70(3):1435–1456CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Akudinobi BEB, Egboka BCE (1996) Aspects of hydrogeological studies of the escarpment regions of southeastern Nigeria. Water Resources Journal NAH 7(1–2):12–25Google Scholar
  4. Aleke CG, Okogbue CO, Aghamelu OP, Nnaji NJ (2016) Hydrogeological potential and qualitative assessment of groundwater from the Ajali Sandstone at Ninth mile area, southeastern Nigeria. Environmental Earth Sciences 75:290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andrade R (2014) Delineation of fractured aquifer using numerical analysis (factor) of resistivity data in a granite terrain. International Journal of Geophysics 2014:1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Archie GE (1942) The electrical resistivity logs as an aid in determining some reservoir characteristics. Transactions of the American Institute of Mineralogical and Metallurgical Engineers 146:54–62Google Scholar
  7. Atkins ER Jr, Smith GH (1961) The significance of particle shape in formation factor–porosity relationships. J Pet Technol 13:285–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Christensen NB, Sorensen KI (1998) Surface and borehole electric and electromagnetic methods for hydrogeological investigations. Eur J Environ Eng Geophys 31:75–90Google Scholar
  9. Clennell MB (1997) Tortuosity: A guide through the maze. In: MA Lovell and PK Harvey, editors, Developments in petrophysics. Geol Soc London pp 299–344Google Scholar
  10. Cosentino L (2001) Integrated reservoir studies, Editions. Technip, Paris, p 310Google Scholar
  11. Ebong DE, Akpan AE, Onwuegbuche AA (2014) Estimation of geohydraulic parameters from fractured shales and sandstone aquifers of Abi (Nigeria) using electrical resistivity and hydrogeologic measurements. J Afr Earth Sci 96:99–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Egboka BCE (1983) Analysis of groundwater resources of Nsukka area and environs, Anambra State, Nigeria. J Min Geol 20(1):1–16Google Scholar
  13. Egboka BCE, Onyebueke FO (1990) Acute hydrogeological problems vis-s-vis planning and management of a developing economy: a case study of Enugu area, Nigeria. Water Resources Journal NAH 2(1):43–55Google Scholar
  14. Egesi N (2007) Structural features of Ajali Sandstone in the Western and Eastern parts of River Niger, Southern Nigeria. Journal of Geography Environment and Earth Science 11(2):1–12Google Scholar
  15. Freeze RA, Cheery JA (1979) Groundwater. Prentice-Hall, Inc, Englewood cliffs, p 604Google Scholar
  16. Gemail KS, El-Shishtawy AM, El-Alfy M, Ghoneim MF, Abd el-bary MH (2011) Assesment of aquifer vulnerability to industrial waste water using resistivity measurements. A case study, along El-Gharbyia main drain, Nile Delta, Egypt. J Appl Geophys 75(2011):140–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. George JN, Ibuot JC, Obiora DN (2015a) Geoelectrohydraulic of shallow sandy in Itu, Akwa Ibom State (Nigeria) using geoelectric and hydrogeological measurements. J Afr Earth Sci 110:52–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. George NJ, Emah JB, Ekong UN (2015b) Geohydrodynamic properties of hydrogeological units in parts of Niger Delta, Southern Nigeria. J Afr Earth Sci 105(2015):55–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. George NJ, Akpan AE, Ekanem AM (2016) Assessment of textural variation pattern and electrical conduction of economic and accessible quaternary hydrolithofacies via geoelectric and laboratory methods in SE Nigeria: a case study of select locations in Akwa Ibom State. J Geol Soc India 88:517–520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Heigold PC, Gilkeson RH, Cartwright K, Reed PC (1979) Aquifer transmissivity from surficial electrical methods. Ground Water 17(4):338–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ibanga JI, George NJ (2016) Estimating geohydraulic parameters, protective strength, and corrosivity of hydrogeological units: a case study of ALSCON, Ikot Abasi southern Nigeria. Arab J Geosci 9(5):1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ibuot JC, Akpabio GT, George J (2013) A survey of the repositories of groundwater potential and distribution using geoelectrical resistivity method in Itu Local Government Area (L.G.A), Akwa Ibom State, Southern Nigeria. Central European Journal of Geosciences 5(4):538–547Google Scholar
  23. Jackson PD, Taylor-Smith D, Stanford PN (1978) Resistivity-porosity particles shape relationships for marine sands. Geophysics 43:1250–1268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lowrie W (1997) Fundamentals of geophysics. Cambridge University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. Marotz G (1968) Technische Grundlagen einer wasserspeicherung im naturlichen untergrund. Verlag Wasser Und Boden, HamburgGoogle Scholar
  26. Martínez AG, Takahashi K, Núñez E, Silva Y, Trasmonte G, Mosquera K, Lagos P (2008) A multi-institutional and interdisciplinary approach to the assessment of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in the Peruvian Central Andes: problems and prospects. Adv Geosci 14:257–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Matyka MA, Khalili, Koza Z (2008) Tortuosity–porosity relation in porous media flow. Phys Rev E 78:026306.
  28. Mauro M, Silvia I, Mauro G, Riccardo B (2014) Relating electrical conductivity of alluvial sediments to textural properties and pore-fluid conductivity. Geophys Prospect 62(3):1–15Google Scholar
  29. Mbonu PDC, Ebeniro JO, Ofoegbu CO, Ekine AS (1991) Geoelectric sounding for the determination of aquifer characteristics in parts of the Umuahia Area of Nigeria. Geophysics 56(2):284–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mazac OC, Kelly WE, Landa I, Venhodora D (1990) Determination of hydraulic conductivities by surface geoelectrical methods. Geotechnical and Environmental Geophysics. 2:125–132Google Scholar
  31. Niwas S, Singhal DC (1981) Estimation of aquifer transmissivity from Da-Zarrouk parameters in porous media. J Hydrol 50:393–399CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Niwas S, Tezkan B, Israil M (2011) Aquifer hydraulic conductivity estimation from surface geoelectrical measurements for Krauthausen test site, Germany. Hydrogeol J 19:307–315CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nwajide CS (2006) Anambra Basin of Nigeria: synoptic basin analysis as a basin for evaluating its hydrocarbon prospectivity. In: Okogbue CO (ed) Hydrocarbon potentials of the Anambra Basin. Great AP Express Pub. Ltd., Nsukka, pp 1–34Google Scholar
  34. Obiora DN, Ajala AE, Ibuot JC (2015) Evaluation of aquifer protective capacity of overburden unit and soil corrosivity in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria, using electrical resistivity method. Journal of Earth System Science 124(1):125–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Obiora DN, Ibuot JC, George NJ (2016) Evaluation of aquifer potential, geoelectric and hydraulic parameters in Ezza North, southeastern Nigeria, using geoelectric sounding. International Journal Environmental Science Technology 13:435–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Onuoha KM, Mbazi FCC (1988) Aquifer transmissivity from electrical sounding data: the case of Ajali Sandstone aquifers Southeastern of Enugu, Nigeria. In: Ofoegbu CO (ed) Groundwater and Mineral Resources of Nigeria. Vieweg – Verlag, pp 17–30Google Scholar
  37. Reyment RA (1965) Aspects of the geology of Nigeria. Ibadan University Press, Ibadan, p 145Google Scholar
  38. Riddell ES, Lorentz SA, Kotze DC (2010) A geophysical analysis of hydro-geomorphic controls within a headwater wetland in a granitic landscape, through ERI and IP. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 14:1697–1713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Singh KP (2005) Nonlinear estimation of aquifer parameters from surficial resistivity measurements. Hydrol Earth Syst Sci 2:917–930CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Soupios PM, Kouli M, Vallianatos F, Vafidis A, Stavroulakis G (2007) Estimation of aquifer hydraulic parameters from surficial geophysical methods. A case study of Keritis Basin in Chania (Crete-Greece). J Hydrol 338:122–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Telford WM, Geldart LP, Sherif RE (1990) Applied geophysics. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. TNO (1976) Geophysical well logging for geohydrological purposes in unconsolidated formations. Groundwater Survey TNO, The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, DelftGoogle Scholar
  43. Zhody AR (1989) A new method for the automatic interpretation of Schlumberger and Wenner sounding curves. Geophysics 54(2):245–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chikwado G. Aleke
    • 1
    • 2
  • Johnson C. Ibuot
    • 3
    Email author
  • Daniel N. Obiora
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geology and Exploration GeophysicsEbonyi State UniversityAbakalikiNigeria
  2. 2.Geophysics Unit-Geological Services DepartmentNational Steel Raw Materials Exploration AgencyKadunaNigeria
  3. 3.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria

Personalised recommendations