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Assessment of environmental impacts and remedies for gully erosion in Ankpa Metropolis and environs, Kogi State, Nigeria

Imasuen, O.I, Omali A.O and Ibrahim, I

The study area (Ankpa) falls within the Nigeria meteorological zone characterized by warm temperature days and moderately cool nights. Two distinct climatic divisions are demarcated. These are the dry and rainy seasons representing two broad periods of significant but contrasting variations of weather parameters, and hence geopedologic stability. Geologically, Ankpa falls within the Anambra Basin whose genesis has been linked with the development of the Niger Delta Miogeosyncline and the opening of the Benue Trough. Underlying the Benue Trough are the rocks of Anambra Sedimentary Basin consisting of Ajali Formation and Mamu Formation. Atterberg limit tests were carried out on soil samples from gully sites. Further particle size and compaction tests were made to assess the geopedologic and hydrologic causes of the gully erosion in the area and suggestions made for a lasting remedy to the menace. The plasticity index revealed that the soils are non-cohesive and non-plastic because it ranged from 1.2% to 5.2%. Sieve analysis indicate that the soil from the gully sites are within the medium to coarse grain range with low percentages of silt/clay, therefore the soil is non-plastic. The compaction test also shows that the optimum moisture content ranges from 13.50% to 15.20% while the maximum dry density ranges from 1.75mg/m3 to 1.98mg/m3. The maximum dry density values are generally low which indicates that the soil is not compact but loose. Enlightenment and awareness of erosion control should include land use habits of the people in their agricultural practices and care of vegetation. Concrete terracing of gully affected areas is recommended to reduce the impact or the force of rain-drop. This will restrict the widening of incipient gullies. A holistic rehabilitation development program of monitoring the pedosphere to reclaim devastated land as well as to ensure a safe environment.

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