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Palynological data acquisition for forensic studies within the lower Benue Trough, Nigeria

Oloto I. N. and Egbuachor C. J.

Palynological baseline data acquisition for forensic studies were carried out within the lower Benue Trough in the area bound by longitudes 6°38′ and 8°43′ and latitudes 4°40′ and 6°40′. The study area includes locations in Agbani – Ihe town in Enugu State and Ogugu – Emohua town, in Enugu and Rivers States respectively. A total number of seventeen samples comprising of sandstone, siltstone and shale were collected across a geographic spread from north to south. The palynologic analysis yielded Nympheapollis clarus, Fenestrites spinosus, Cyperaceapollis sp and Stereisporites sp which corresponds to the Nanka Formation; Retitriporites heterobrochati, Aspleniumsporites trivedii, Retistephanocolpites gracillis, Elaeis guineensis, Echitricolporites spinosus, Multiareolites formosus and Matonisporites sp from Benin Formation. The samples yielded pollen, spores, fungal spore, dinoflagellate, acritarch, foram lining and diatom. The identification of these palynomorphs helped to generate a percentage distribution paleogeographic chart showing the occurrences of the different palynomorph groups. Five biozones were recognized, The first and fifth zones consists of the Zonocostites ramonae zone and Psilatricolporites sp zone respectively, indicating sedimentation in coastal and shallow marine environments in mangrove vegetation. The second, third and fourth zones (Echitricolporites spinosus, Echiperiporites sp, and Retitricolpites sp zones respectively) which are consistent with the presence of alluvial environments characterized by fresh water swamp.