Environmental effects of crude oil spill on the physicochemical and hydrobiological characteristics of the Nun River, Niger Delta

Augustine Ifelebuegu, Justina Ukpebor, Anita U. Ahukannah, Stephen Theophilus, Ernest Nnadi

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Oil spill pollution has remained a source of several international litigations in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. In this paper, we examined the impacts of small recurrent crude oil spills on the physicochemical, microbial and hydrobiological properties of the Nun River, a primary source of drinking water, food and recreational activities for communities in the region. Samples were collected from six sampling points along the stretch of the lower Nun River over a 3-week period. Temperature, pH salinity, turbidity, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, dissolved oxygen, phosphate, nitrate, heavy metals, BTEX, PAHs and microbial and plankton contents were assessed to ascertain the quality and level of deterioration of the river. The results obtained were compared with the baseline data from studies, national and international standards. The results of the physicochemical parameters indicated a significant deterioration of the river quality due to oil production activities. Turbidity, TDS, TSS, DO, conductivity and heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, Ni and Zn) were in breach of the national and international limits for drinking water aquatic health. They were also significantly higher than the initial baseline conditions of the river. Also, there were noticeable changes in the phytoplankton, zooplankton and microbial diversities due to oil pollution across the sampling zones.
Original languageEnglish
Article number173
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume189
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • heavy metal
  • niger delta
  • nun river
  • oil spill

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