Electrical resistivity mapping of oil spills in a coastal environment of Lagos, Nigeria

  • Wasiu Olanrewaju Raji
  • Ifedolapo Gbadesere Obadare
  • Marry Abiodun Odukoya
  • Lukman Mobolaji Johnson
Original Paper


Three years after the oil spillage and pipeline explosion that claimed about 100 human lives at Ijegun Community of Lagos–Nigeria, a combination of carefully designed 2D Electrical Resistivity Profilling and Vertical Electrical Sounding methods was deployed to map and characterise the subsurface around the contaminated site. Data acquired were processed, forward modelled and tomographically inverted to obtain the multi-dimensional resistivity distribution of subsurface. The results of the study revealed high resistivity structures that indocate the presence of contaminant (oil plumes) of different sizes and shapes around the oil leakage site. These high resistivity structures are absent in the tomograms and resistivity-depth slices computed for Iyana—a linear settlement not affected by oil spillage. The five geo-electric layers and the resistivities delineated in the area are the top soil layer, 220–670 Ωm; clayey sand layer, 300–1072 Ωm; top sand layer, 120–328 Ωm; mudstone/shale layer, 25–116 Ωm and the bottom sand layer, 15–69 Ωm. The base of the first four geo-electric layers corresponds to 3.9, 8.4, 27.2 and 34.6 m respectively. The two groundwater aquifers delineated correspond to the third and fifth geo-electric layers. The top aquifer has been infiltrated by oil plumes. The depth penetrated by the oil plume decreases from 32 m to about 24 m across the survey profiles from the two ends. It was concluded that the contaminant plumes from the oil spillage are yet to be completely degraded as at the time of the study. It is recommended that the contaminated site be remediated to remove or reduce the contaminant oil in the subsurface.


Contaminant oil plume Electrical resistivity tomography Vertical electrical sounding Groundwater aquifers Geo-electric layer 



The authors thankfully acknowledge the efforts of the postgraduate students who helped in the second phase data acquisition fieldwork. Many thanks to Dr. A. Tse, Prof. Pantelis Soupios and other anonymous reviewers for useful comments and suggestions. The Journal editorial committee is acknowledged for the rigorous review and timely processing of the manuscripts.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wasiu Olanrewaju Raji
    • 1
  • Ifedolapo Gbadesere Obadare
    • 1
  • Marry Abiodun Odukoya
    • 2
  • Lukman Mobolaji Johnson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeophysicsUniversity of IlorinIlorinNigeria
  2. 2.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of LagosLagosNigeria
  3. 3.Department of GeologyUniversity of IlorinIlorinNigeria

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