Exploration for artesian water in the Sokoto Basin, Nigeria

Ground Water
By:  and 



The Sokoto basin in semiarid northwestern Nigeria contains Cretaceous and Tertiary semiconsolidated deposits that dip gently northwest off an oldland of pre‐Cretaceous crystalline rocks. Until recent years the dug well has been the chief source of ground water for the Hausa cultivators and the pastoral Fulani inhabitants of the region. Borehole exploration sponsored by US AID and the Geological Survey of Nigeria with technical guidance from the writers of the U. S. Geological Survey has revealed that the basal section of the Gwandu Formation contains a productive artesian sand aquifer throughout a 5,700 square mile area. Transmissibilities of the aquifer proved to be as high as 180,000 Imperial gallons a day per foot but generally decrease towards the west. The free flow areas total about 1,000 square miles with pressure heads in boreholes up to + 83 feet above land surface and individual flows as great as 12,000 gallons per hour. Beneath the Gwandu, pressure aquifers in the Rima Group and the Gundumi Formation also produce flowing water in the lowland (fadama) of the Sokoto River. In the southern part of the basin, however, only one aquifer is present in the Cretaceous sequence, because the Gundumi aquifer is absent and the Rima aquifer apparently grades into the upper permeable section of the Illo Group. The quality of the water from all the pressure aquifers is generally quite good, although the iron content is high in places and salinity increases in the very deep aquifers.

In Sokoto Province more than 2 million people and their livestock use less than 5 mgd of water drawn from dug wells and about 1 mgd from boreholes. The newly discovered flowing artesian water can do much to improve the water supplies of remote villages in the province and even supplement river irrigation during the dry season in the fertile fadama.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Exploration for artesian water in the Sokoto Basin, Nigeria
Series title Ground Water
Volume 5
Issue 3
Year Published 1967
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Description 5 p.
First page 42
Last page 46
Country Nigeria
Other Geospatial Sokoto Province
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