Watershed Characteristics and Their Implication for Hydrologic Response in the Upper Sokoto Basin, Nigeria

Ifabiyi Ifatokun Paul, Eniolorunda Nathaniel Bayode


Most African river basins lack flow data, a condition which has affected river basin operations. Flood is a common occurrence on the Sokoto basin but poor data base has affected various research efforts and flood mitigation attempts in the basin. This present study will study basin variables using a GIS approach with a few to gaining insights to the flood potentials of Sokoto basin. Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) image covering 5o-7o E and 12 o to 14oN was used in this study. The analysis was carried out using the Integrated Land and Water Information System (ILWIS) and ArcGIS environments. Sinks were removed from the STRM, and the flow direction map was generated as an input for drainage extraction, river ordering and basin catchment extraction. Drainage network overlay was carried out on the generated hill-shade map and on a portion of SPOT image covering the Upper Sokoto catchment for visual analysis. Altogether, 44 basin variables were generated with a view to appraising flood and water resource management in the basin. The results showed that the Upper Sokoto basin is an alluvial catchment; located in a relatively low lying area where high level of deposition is experienced. It is sinuous in nature, circular in shape and compact. These characteristics coupled with the relatively high volume of precipitated water of 14,511,439,620 m³/year are indications that the basin has high flood potential. The paper recommends construction of levees to protect farmlands, efficient reservoir operation and sustainable watershed management for the purpose of environmental management in the Sokoto basin.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jgg.v4n2p147

Journal of Geography and Geology   ISSN 1916-9779 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9787 (Online)

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