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STUDY AND DESCRIPTION OF LIMESTONE DEPOSIT IN EBONYI STATE, NIGERIA

CHAPTER ONE

Detailed Study and Description of Limestone Deposit in Ebonyi State, Nigeria

 1.1 BACKGROUND INFORMATION

 

Petrography is a branch of petrology that focuses on detailed description of rock, someone who studies petrography is called a petrogarpher. The mineral content and textural relationships within the rock are described in detail, petrographic description start with the field notes at the outcrop and include megascopic description of hand specimen. However the most important tool for the petrogarpher is the petrographic microscope the detailed analysis of the minerals by optical mineralogy in thin section and the micro texture and structure are critical to understanding the origin of the rock. Electron microscope analyses of individual grain as well as a whole rock, chemical analysis by atomic absorption or x-ray fluorescence are used in modern petrographic laboratory. Individual mineral grains from a rock sample may also be analyzed by x-ray diffraction when optical means are insufficient (Chisholm, 1911).

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed primarily of calcium carbonate in the form of mineral calcite it most commonly form in clean, warm, shallow marine water it is usually an organic sedimentary rock that forms from the accumulation of shell and algal (geology.com, 2005)

1.2 LOCATION, EXTENT AND ACCESSBILITY

The study area lies within latitudes 6˚27’N-6˚32’N and longitudes 7˚47’E-7˚52’E. It covers an area of about 81.9km2. It is located in the southern Benue Trough and the western limb of Abakalilki anticlinorium. The study area encompasses Nkalagu and its environs in Ishielu Local Government of Ebonyi state. It is bordered to the northwest by Enugu state. The major access route to the area is the EnuguAbakaliki expressway. Minor routes includes untarred Nkalagu-Ehamufu road and a network of footpaths in the adjoining villages that help transversing the area, the villages within the study area include Ogodo, Amguwu.

1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

This research was carried out with a view to map the area and to establish detailed description of limestone in the mapped area. It intends to provide reliable information that would help in determining the mineral content and textural relationship within the limestone it may as well serve as a document that could aid further research.

1.4 LIMITATION OF STUDY

This work is limited to Nkalagu and its environs in Ishielu local government area of Ebonyi state, limestone sample were collected from the open pit of NIGERCEM

1.5 PHYSIOGRAPHY AND DRAINAGE

The mapped area is lowlying and is part of gently undulating cross river plain. It slopes gently along the strike from a height of 200feet (about61m) above sea level in the south to a height of 250feet (about 75.8m) above sea level in the north. The study area drainage pattern is by intricate and dendritic network of stream. The dendritic drainage is a result of stream channels cutting across the lithologies that almost show uniform resistance to erosion; however lithology is the dominant factor controlling the mapped area as a result of drainage pattern (Inyang, 1975).

1.6 CLIMATE AND VEGETATION

The mapped area falls within the third climatic region of (Inyang, 1975) that is characterized by nine months of rainfall (March-November) and the dry months of the year (December-February). The average rainfall of the area is about 2125mm during the period of intense rainfall and slightly more than 250mm in the driest month (Inyang, 1975). The influence of harmattan is not too severe and it occurs in the middle of dry season, it features cold dry NE trade wind. The climatic condition of the area is moderate having mean annual temperature of the range 27-28˚c.

The climatic type and temperature favours weathering particularly chemical weathering. Physical weathering in most case was noticed to be achieved by root wedging; the mapped area falls within the nine vegetation of the area is forest savanna, the vegetation is dominantly trees, grasses and occasionally shrub, areas covered by shale support more luxuriant vegetation than area covered by sandstone and limestone (Reyment, 1965). Due to the nature of vegetation and climatic condition in the area the inhabitants practice shifting cultivation method of subsistence level of farming.

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DETAILED STUDY AND DESCRIPTION OF LIMESTONE DEPOSIT IN EBONYI STATE, NIGERIA

 

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