Using GIS for spatial exploratory analysis of borehole data: a firsthand approach towards groundwater development
Groundwater is an inimitable resource that provides water to communities especially in arid and semi-arid regions. However, the spatial variability of the resource as well as the heterogeneity and complex nature of aquifer systems that store groundwater presents difficulties for groundwater development. Thus, understanding the spatial structure of aquifer characteristics could be used as a resourceful tool and as a first point of call towards groundwater development. The study investigated aquifer characteristics particularly on transmissivity and specific capacity to determine how aquifer characteristics could be used in making predictions for new sites that need to be identified for potential groundwater development. Prediction maps were developed for transmissivity and specific capacity using ordinary kriging J-Bessel and exponential semi variograms techniques. The study revealed that 28% of the study area had high potential for groundwater development with transmissivity ranges of 34.40 – 46.52 m2/d. Equally, viable areas of 16% and 20% were identified with transmissivities of 27.99 – 34.39 m2/d and 13.07 – 19.47 m2/d respectively. Based on specific capacity, 21% of the study area was identified to have groundwater development potential with corresponding specific capacity of 13.54 – 20.7 m2/d. Similarly, 24% and 34% of the study area were also identified to be good for the exploitation of groundwater with corresponding specific capacities of 8.74 – 13.55 m2/d and 5.52 – 8.74 m2/d respectively. In terms of spatial structure, transmissivity was found to be variable compared to specific capacity. The application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is thus considered to be an immeasurable tool that could be used in mapping aquifer characteristics that can serve as firsthand information for groundwater development.
Keywords: Spatial, Groundwater, Transmissivity, Specific capacity, Kriging, Semivariogram
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