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Bathymetric components towards ensuring navigable channel along a section of lower river Niger, lokoja, kogi state, Nigeria

International Journal of Hydrology
Olanrewaju M Oye, Lawrence Hart, Sika Orupabo


Navigation in Lower River Niger is seasonal because of insufficient water depth during the dry season. This is a limitation to economic benefits derivable compared to when the river is navigable throughout the year. Government and stakeholders alike have exerted efforts in the past years to create an unimpeded navigable channel without much success. The need to ensure all-year-round navigation in the Lower River Niger for industrial and commercial purposes necessitated this research work. The main thrust of this work is to determine bathymetric components parameters of the river necessary for the design of an appropriate river training structure to divert river flow from the secondary channel to the main channel. The specific objective hereto is to assess the extent and geometry of the river banks, the configuration of the river bed, the river flow velocity and discharge. The approach deployed in this work is the classical method of acoustic principle premised on Remote Sensing techniques. The shape of the river was obtained through waypoint survey using Garmin eTrex 10 handheld GPS, while the riverbed configuration was determined through bathymetric survey using Odom Echotrack MK III single beam Echo Sounder and the flow velocity data was acquired using Valeport 106 Current Meter. Data processing and analysis were achieved using Garmin Basecamp 4.7.3, Wintopo V7.03, Valeport Datalog X2 and Surfer 13 software. The length of the study area measured along the main channel was obtained as 5.94km while that of secondary channel gave 4.30km. Area occupied by the main channel was found to be 2,636,331.3m2 and 1,759,045.4m2 for the secondary channel. Average depth on the main channel was 0.21m while on the secondary channel was -0.89m, depth figures referred to Lokoja local datum. The average flow velocity was obtained to be 0.449m/s and the cross-sectional area of the river as 1568.75m2 , which gave a value of 704.2m3/s for the river discharge. The research produced the digital terrain model (DTM) and bathymetric charts of the study area. The parameters obtained in this study is a useful tool in defining an appropriate embankment dam suitable to divert the flow from the secondary channel to the main channel to enhance depth towards all-season navigation in Lower River Niger. 


bathymetric, river bed, echo sounder, local datum, GPS