Seepage Investigation on an Existing Dam using Integrated Geophysical Methods

Olasunkanmi N. K., Aina A., Olatunji S., Bawalla M.


Integrated geophysical methods involving VLF-electromagnetic, magnetic intensity and electrical resistivity (ER), were employed to investigate the probable internal seepage at University of Ilorin Dam, Kwara State, Southwestern Nigeria.  Five (5) profiles were established in the south-north and west-east orientations, along the dam and reservoir axis. VLF-em conductivity response from -65 % to 50 % with estimated average anomalies of -7.5 % and; magnetic susceptibility distribution range between 2.27 nT and 756.24 nT, with average response of 163.6 nT suggests resistive basement rock contrasts in the area. Twenty seven (27) vertical electrical sounding (VES) points using the schlumberger array configuration were distributed along the profile lines. The lithologic units delineated with geo-electric sections established; 22 % wet/gravelly topsoil and 78% hard lateric pan – granitic outcrop having resistivity variation between 28.8 Ωm and 2612.8 Ωm with average response of 870 Ωm and thickness range of 0.8 m to 2 m; straddled with 22 % clayey - sand and 78 % sandy – clay, having resistivity distribution between 63.2 Ωm and 316 Ωm with average response of 148 Ωm and thickness range of 3.4 m to 8 m and; fresh bedrock. The area is underlain by fairly thin superficial soil (overburden) materials with an average thickness of 6.5 m which shows that the bedrock is close to the surface and serves as support to the dam. The clay materials which could serve as conduit, exist within the shallow overburden and has been excavated during construction. It is therefore concluded that the dam retains its strength and the observed reduction in reservoir water level could be a result of other environmental factors.

Keywords: Unilorin Dam, internal seepage, anomalies, conductivity, weathered zones, geo-electric sections

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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