Electrical Resistivity Imaging of Suspected Seepage Channels in an Earthen Dam in Zaria, North-Western Nigeria


To determine and map the subsurface conditions of a dam, a 2D electrical resistivity tomography study was carried out within the two flanks of Zaria dam at Shika. This was done to ascertain if the variations in the volume of water content in the dam is due to an anomalous seepage beneath the subsurface or seasonal effects. On the basis of the interpretation of the acquired data, various zones of relatively uniform resistivity values were mapped and identified. The first zone is characterized by moderate resistivity values of 150 - 600 ohm-m. It represents unsaturated topsoil with thicknesses varying from 1 - 4.5 m. The second (intermediate depth) resistivity zone, with values ranging from 5 - 100 ohm-m and thickness varying from 3.5 - 10 m, represents a silt clay layer with high moisture content. The third resistivity zone represents fairly weathered granite and is characterized by relatively high resistivity values ranging from 700 - 6000 ohm-m. The available borehole log data correlated well with the pseudo-sections in relation to the obtained resistivity values and depth. Zones of relatively low resistivity within the bedrock are interpreted to represent potential seepage pathways. Hence, this geophysical method can be successfully used to delineate and map these seepage pathways within the subsurface of the earth dam.

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A. Chinedu and A. Ogah, "Electrical Resistivity Imaging of Suspected Seepage Channels in an Earthen Dam in Zaria, North-Western Nigeria," Open Journal of Applied Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2013, pp. 145-154. doi: 10.4236/ojapps.2013.31020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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