Assessment and expedient monitoring of groundwater pH during seismic blasting operations in Ohuru-Oza, Niger Delta, Nigeria

A.J.C. Madu, I.E. Otuokere


Objective: To determine the effect of seismic blasting operations on groundwater pH in Ohuru-Oza, Niger Delta, Nigeria.

Methods: The energy source was the high explosive dynamite (trinitrotoluene) and 6m Electric Detonators loaded in 5 hole pattern source array. A total amount of 84207 kg dynamite was detonated in 41, 949 source point in an area of 549.73 square kilometers of Ohuru-Oza area. The impact of the dynamite shots in Ohuru-Oza was monitored using 11 boreholes. The pH of the water samples from the boreholes were analyzed using The American Water Works Association method. A control sample was taken from the borehole stations by sampling a day before detonation of dynamite. Subsequently, sampling was carried out a day after dynamite detonation and then, on a fourth-nightly basis.

Results: The average pH value of the control (groundwater before detonation) was 7.25. After dynamite detonation, the average measured pH values ranged from 7.27 – 7.98. The shattering property (brisance) of the dynamite resulted in the crushing of some amount of the sediment particles. Computation from the grain size distribution curve parameters yielded a permeability value of 4.0 cm/sec. This rate of transport of fluids within the vadose zone and aquifers of the study areas favoured the transmission and diffusion of any slight contamination.

Conclusions: Variations of the pH of the water sample test values in comparison with the values of the control samples were not significant enough to be said that there was any groundwater contamination.  However, the pH of the groundwater did not exceed the tolerance or compliance limit specified by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urban Development.


Ohuru-Oza, pH, dynamite, detonation, lithology

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