Hydrogeological and hydrochemical characterization of the Voltaian Basin: The Afram Plains area, Ghana

Sandow Mark Yidana, Duke Ophori, Bruce Banoeng-Yakubo

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In the Afram Plains area, groundwater is the main source of water supply for most uses. The area is underlain by aquifers of the southern Voltaian sedimentary basin, which are predominantly sandstones, mudstones, conglomerates and shale. Ordinary least squares regression analysis using 41 well-test data from aquifers in the Afram Plains portion of the Voltaian system reveals that transmissivity, T, exists in a non-linear relationship with specific capacity, Sc. The analysis reveals that T = 0.769Sc1.075 with R 2 = 0.83 for aquifers in the area. The mudstone/conglomerate aquifer in the area appears to be the most variable in terms of both specific capacity and transmissivity with transmissivity ranging from 0.18 to 197.7 m2/day and 0.5 and 148.5 m3/day/m, respectively. Horizontal fractures and joints resulting from secondary fracturing appear to be the main determinants of both transmissivity and specific capacity in the area. PHREEQC modeling and mineral stability diagrams indicate that groundwater quality in the Afram Plains area is controlled by the incongruent weathering of silicate minerals in the aquifers. These processes concentrate calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, bicarbonate ion and quartz, leading to calcite, dolomite and aragonite supersaturation at most locations. Hierarchical cluster analysis performed on the raw chemical data reveals two main water types or facies: the calcium-sodium-chloride-bicarbonate facies, and the magnesium-potassium-sulfate- nitrate facies for the southern and northern sections of the Afram Plains area, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1213-1223
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Geology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Afram Plains
  • Hierarchical cluster analysis
  • Specific capacity
  • Transmissivity


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