- Background to the study
In the northern Benue trough, where the climate and the nature of the sedimentary units allow for geologic studies, which in turn help to provide field evidence supporting the view of the Benue Trough as proposed by Benkheli (1982) and later by Guiraud (1993) which explains that The Benue trough is taught to be as a collection of pull apart basins related to transcurrent or strike-slip movement along deep-seated basement shear zones of Pan African origin reactivated as oceanic transform faults. the fine grained nature of most of the units and the dense vegetation as a result of a wet tropical climate in the southern Benue Trough have hindered field studies and created a missing link in the proper explanation of the structural framework of the basin. Afikpo Basin is located in the southern Benue Trough, between the Abakaliki Anticlinorium running northeast and the Cameroon line in the southeast (Okonkwo 2014). It forms part of the lower Benue Trough and the adjacent Anambra basin. Sedimentation took place in the Afikpo basin ranging in age from Cretaceous to Mastrichian. Due to unique geological features in Afikpo basin, different scholars have taken the basin as point of research interest. In light of this therefore, we carried out geological mapping in Amaekpu and its environs to study the geological feartures and deposition environment of the area.
- Aims and objectives
The aim of the study is to study the geological feartures of Amaekpu and its environs. The objectives of the study among others are
- To carry out detailed geologic mapping of Ama-Ekpe, with a view to delineating lithologic contacts, stratigraphic relationships, sedimentary structures and paleontologic association.
- To establish the age of sediment and reconstruction the depositional environment of deposition.
- To evaluate the hydrocarbon source rock potential of the sediments and their degree of thermal maturation.
- To document the economic potential and hydrogeological characteristics of the study area.
1.2 Significance of study
The findings from this study would definitely provide more evidence to support or discredit what were already know about the Afikpo basin and also provide data for other geologists who are looking forward to conducting further studies on Ama-Ekpe and its environments. 1.3 Location and Accessibility
The studied area lies within longitudes 70 49l E and 70 54l E and latitudes 50 45l N and 50 50l N. It covers an area of 54km2 on a scale of 1:25,000. It is situated in the southern part of the Lower Benue Trough and also within the southern part of Abakaliki Anticlinorium Fig.1 is the accessibility map of the area. Accessibility into the study area is made possible through Amasiri-Edda road and Abiriba-Nguzu-Edda road. Minor routes include the Owutu—Nguzu-Edda road, Ebunwana road, Ufueseni road, and a network of footpaths .
Villages within the study area include; Ndiba, Amaoba, Ama-Ekpu, Amaiyi, Ebunwana, Ekeje, Ekoli, NdiOloughu, Nkawu, Okpocha, Ufueseni.
Figure 1 : Map showing the accessibility and location of study area
1.4REGIONAL GEOLOGIC SETTING AND GEOMORPHOLOGY
Geomorphology is the interpretation of landforms based on the effect of certain factors such as vegetation, drainage, erosion and weathering. The geomorphology of Amaekpu and its environs is the characteristics of the lithology of the area. The area is characterized by undulating highland that has a height of about 250ft at Asaga area, its slopes descend abruptly in some area and gently in some area,the hill is predominantly sandstone which is resistant to erosion and has sparse vegetation.The stream that cut through Ufoeseni take their source from Asaga hill, the low land areas close to this streams are characterized by shale with lush or huge vegetation.
Afikpo is about 164 square kilometers in size with an undulating topography. Sandstone forms its ridge and the shale forms its valley (Hulume, 1997). The shale unit underlies the bioturbated sandstones.
The drainage pattern is mainly dendritic with a few rectangular or trellis patterns and the streams haven’t reached matured stage. As a result of the landform of the study area, these seem to be surface water runoff. The shale underlying the sandstone also makes surface runoff possible as it does not allow for water percolation. These drainages serve as source of water supply to some of the villages and communities. Springs and seepages abound in the study area contributes to the drainage of the area.Fig. shows the drainage pattern of the area.
Figure 2:Map showing the drainage of the area
This is characterized by stunt trees and secondary forest consisting of shrubs and large trees but where there is lowland displaying up accumulation of trees you get sparse vegetation. The vegetation condition of the area is controlled by the lithology of the area, sparcesschrups and grasses cover the sandstone area while thick vegetation is a characteristics of the claye and shale areas,the major crops cultivated in the area is cassava and vegetable especially towards Ufueseni river banks.Fig. 3 shows the vegetation of the area.
Figure 3:Showing the vegetation of the mapped area
1.4.4 Weather and Climate
The study area lie within humid tropical rainforest,it is bounded by fresh water swamp to th south and guinea savannah grass land to the north,The major variable are the wet and dry season. The wet seasons begins in late March and ends in October and sometime in November.the dry seasons begins from November to March. The rainfall is sometime turbulent and accompanied by thunderstorms. The annual rainfall in the area is about 1000mm to 1500mm,the month with the highest is September where rainfall can be as high as 2500mm,during the raining season in the month of August there is an August break which has .During the dry season, in December hammartan sets in,it is characterised by low humidity,the temperature of the study area leads to oxidizing condition that cause chemical weathering of outcrops. Fig 4 shows the mean annual distributing map of south eastern Nigeria.
Figure 4: Mean annual rainfall distribution map of southeastern Nigeria (Floyd, 1969)
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