Examining Potentially Toxic Element Concentrations in Groundwater within Bariki and Surrounding Areas, North Central Nigeria.

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Examining Potentially Toxic Element Concentrations in Groundwater within Bariki and Surrounding Areas, North Central Nigeria.

Abstract:

This study presents an integrated investigation of the concentrations of potentially toxic elements in groundwater within Bariki and its surroundings in North Central Nigeria, with a focus on assessing the impact of mining on water quality. The research involved geological mapping of the area at a scale of 1:12,500, groundwater level mapping, and the determination of toxic element concentrations using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) along with geo-electrical sounding.

The geological analysis revealed that the study area predominantly consists of schist, granite, and amphibole schist, with additional rock formations including gneiss, quartzites, and localized muscovite schist. Groundwater level mapping was conducted, and the hydraulic head of each well was calculated, leading to the generation of a groundwater flow map indicating directions of flow (NW, SE, and SS).

In-situ measurements of physical parameters, such as temperature (T), pH, Electrical Conductivity (EC), and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), were performed using a multifunctional water quality meter tester. pH values slightly deviated from WHO and NSDWQ standards, showing lower readings of 6.22, 6.24, and 6.31 at BKW L2, BKW L3, and BKW L5, respectively.

Ten toxic elements were analyzed, including Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), Cobalt (Co), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Lead (Pb), Manganese (Mn), Nickel (Ni), Zinc (Zn), and Arsenic (As). Among them, only Cadmium (0.075 ppm), Manganese (0.73 ppm), Lead (0.037 ppm), and Iron (22.71 ppm) exceeded the WHO and NSDWQ standards. The Computed Metal Pollution Index (MPI) yielded a value of 135.5002, indicating significant groundwater pollution from multiple metal sources.

Subsurface apparent resistivity measurements demonstrated a decrease in both NW and SE directions of groundwater flow. Interestingly, the heavy metal concentrations decreased significantly due to an active mine site affecting the NW, SE, and resulting SS direction of flow. These findings indicate that mining activities are the major contributors to groundwater pollution in Bariki and its environs.

Examining Potentially Toxic Element Concentrations in Groundwater within Bariki and Surrounding Areas, North Central Nigeria.

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