The study area is between latitude N04o
59′
0”
and N04o 59′ 30” North and longitude E005o
47′
0”
and E005o 48′ 30” East of the prime
meridian and is within the freshwater swamps, back-swamps, deltaic plain
alluvium and meander belt of the recent Niger Delta (Fig. 1). The area is low
lying with dense vegetation, criss-crossed by an anastomosing network of rivers
and creeks.  The rivers and creeks are
characterised by the occurrence of natural levees on both banks, behind which
occur vast areas of back-swamps. The banks of the creeks and rivers comprise
firm sandy silty clay soil, and are generally less than 3 m in height. At
spring tide, the swamps are submerged by up to 0.5 m in places. At neap tides,
however, the high water barely covers the top of the banks.

         The present day Niger Delta is due to build-up of fined grained
sediments eroded and transported by the River Niger and its tributaries,
a process which started in the Eocene. The geologic sequence of the Niger
Delta consists of three main Tertiary subsurface lithostratigraphic units 10
namely from bottom to top are Akata, Agbada and Benin Formations. The Benin
Formation consists of either a relatively uniform lithology or an alternating
sequence of sand, silt, clay-peat or sand-silt-clay mixtures, with the clay and
peat increasingly more prominent seaward.

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These lithostratigraphic units are
overlain by various types of Quaternary deposits. Sand and gravel deposits
occur within the Quaternary deposits of the Niger Delta 11. Studies by 12,13
and 14 revealed that the sediments were deposited under the influence of
fluctuating Pleistocene eustatic sea levels. Existing borehole records show a
wide occurrence of sand in the Niger Delta 11. Sand deposits are usually
overlain by clayey sand or peaty clay that vary from less than 1 to 10 m thick.
11 reported that the boundary is usually sharp but may be occasionally
gradational.

 

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