Impact Of Upstream Changes And Coastal Hydrodynamics On River Basin Characteristics In The Niger Delta Of Nigeria
Free (open access)
The Niger Delta, a sub-basin of the R. Niger, lies between latitudes 4°30’N and 7%, and longitudes 5°E and 9°E. It covers an estimated land area of some 67, 140km2. Its climate is typically humid with total annual rainfall in excess of 2400mm annually. The hydrology of the area is controlled by major and minor rivers, which have intricate links with a creek network that serves as transportation channels for sediments and other materials from the hinterland. During the wet season (July - October), about 119 x 10’m3 of water is discharged into the delta. Hydrodynamics that characterize the Delta include flooding of the coastal wetlands, coastal erosion, and saltwater intrusion into swampy freshwater and groundwater resources. The trapping of sediments within dams and other storages upstream has intensified loss of beaches, coastal land and other resources to the ocean. This paper focuses not just on the impact of upstream changes and coastal hydrodynamics on the Niger Delta basin, some aspects of the socio-economy of the naturally fragile area is also discussed.