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Impacts of bitumen deposit on surface waters: A case study of physico-chemical properties of surface waters in the Southwestern Nigerian bitumen deposit area

F.M. Adebiyi (Chemistry Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria)
O.I. Asubiojo (Chemistry Department, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Nigeria)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 9 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the quality of the surface waters of the bitumen deposit area of Nigeria and also to establish the relationship between the deposit and the waters.

Design/methodology/approach

Physico-chemical parameters were measured using standard analytical procedures, while the elemental contents were determined using total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Data acquired were interpreted using statistical techniques – charts, t-test, pollution index (PI) and cross-plot analysis.

Findings

A river located close to the bitumen well contained the highest concentrations of metals that are known to be associated with hydrocarbon formation. Comparison of the levels of the analyzed parameters in the waters with their standard permissible limits showed that the levels of Cl−, SO42-, total alkalinity and Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn and Pb in the river very close to the capped bitumen well and big rivers were high and low in the small streams. This was corroborated by their pollution index values. Results of the cross-plot analysis of the waters-river close to bitumen well/bitumen (R2=0.5); small streams/bitumen (R2=0.8) and big rivers/bitumen (R2=0.2) showed moderate; strong and weak positive correlations respectively, suggesting moderate, strong and weak inter-element correlations respectively between the sets of waters and the Nigerian bitumen deposit, and also establishing relationships between the deposit and the surface waters.

Originality/value

The paper provides insight into the potability of the waters; establishment of the inter-element relationship between the bitumen deposit and the waters. These results can serve as a fingerprint for bitumen exploration elsewhere and for similar mineral deposit settings.

Keywords

Citation

Adebiyi, F.M. and Asubiojo, O.I. (2011), "Impacts of bitumen deposit on surface waters: A case study of physico-chemical properties of surface waters in the Southwestern Nigerian bitumen deposit area", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 22 No. 5, pp. 652-668. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777831111159761

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited