Why Geology?

July 29, 2009 at 10:51 | Posted in accretionary wedge, geology, UNN | 1 Comment

I’ve been taking advantage of a week’s break to catch on happenings around. I put up a very late post for the accretionary wedge on time travel. Here is another late entry (not too Late I hope) for this months wedge which also has a very interesting theme:

… your inspiration to enter geoscience. Was it a fantastic mentor? Watching your geologist parents growing up? A great teacher, or an exciting intro field trip? How did it happen?

My story is still unfolding but I think I’ve gone through enough in the geosiences (6 years already) to be able give a good but not complete narrative.

I’ve always loved the earth. From childhood I loved going out, I spent hours poring over my cousin’s atlas, I loved those fascinating documentaries on volcanoes and earthquakes and dinosaurs. My earliest ambition though was to be an astronaut, to be the first Nigerian to go to space (there’s still a chance for that). Then came secondary school and the prospect of what you would like to study guiding the choices of subjects you took (Physics, Chemistry and Biology against Government, Commerce and English literature). Unfortunately, many here in Nigeria choose careers that earn a good salary or worse have their careers chosen for them by their parents. My parents were not like that though and I had a free (but guided hand) in choosing a career. Even at that time geology did not come up. There were inklings though; my favorite subject was Geography even though I liked Technical Drawing and Physics.

In my first university matriculation exam (JAMB) I put Architecture as my first choice of course of study! Fortunately, I failed that exam and had to wait one year at home and it was in that time that I spoke with my Dad who knew, knowing how good I was in geography asked me to consider a career in geology. I did not take too much time to think about. Here was an opportunity to study what I love. It was this love that, I would say sustained me through four tough years at the university. It was so easy to study as the books I had to read were those I read as a hobby (like reading a novel.

It was in the university that I saw clearly that I would remain in the academia after graduation. It wasn’t an easy option. Most of my classmates were looking forward to big jobs at the multinational oil companies and being an academic here is not at all easy: from funding to the absence of basic facilities. But that love for the field, for geology pure and simple won me over. As it stands now I’ve applied to be retained at my university and have decided not to apply to the oil companies whose adverts I see in the newspaper and hopefully a very interesting story is about to begin.


Accretionary Wedge: Back in time

July 19, 2009 at 21:01 | Posted in accretionary wedge, geologic time, geology, nigeosyncline, Nigeria, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The June edition of the Acrretionary Wedge geoblogospheric carnival was hosted at outside the interzone. I’m obvious late as usual but the topic was too intriguing to so here i am with a one month late. the intruiging post is

“Where and when would you most like to visit to witness and analyze an event in Earth’s history”

Actually if I had a time machine I would go through the whole of geologic time on the spot where I’m on (Nigeria) to see how the land I live on has changed through time. But to narrow down I’ll go for the cretaceous when the Benue trough was evolving. there are still a few important questions to be answered:

  • Is the Benue rift a failed arm of an R-R-R triple junction formed at the early stages of the opening of the Atlantic (similar to the red sea-afar triangle) or is as a result of transcurrent movement along the chain and chacourt transform faults?
  • How extensive were the various trangressions in the area? Did all transcontinental connections between the Tetys and the Atlantic exist?
  • What caused the Santonian compression and it’s accompanying magmatism?

I’d also like to see the sedimentary environments where the formations of the Benue rift and the adjacent Anambra basin. And many more things.

The images are from here>

Where I'm talking about, 120 million years ago

Where I'm talking about, 120 million years ago

Where I'm talking about, 105 million years ago

Where I'm talking about, 105 million years ago

Where I'm talking about, 120 million years ago

Where I'm talking about, 120 million years ago

Where I'm talking about, 65 million years ago

Where I'm talking about, 65 million years ago

I’d also like to see Nigeria during the Pan- African orogeny (650-500 million years ago) to see how it happened and how those intrusions which stand out as the inselbergs I blog about earlier formed.


March 14, 2009 at 09:20 | Posted in 7 lakes, geology, Nigeria, UNN | 5 Comments
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It all began with my first visit to a University hall of residence and Study centre for students with a funny name: Uhere. ‘What kind of name is that?’ I asked. I was told that it is the local dialect’s word for wind. I was also told that the centre is named after a river somewhere around. That was in my first undergraduate year (2003). A year later, I became a resident at the center and we one day had a get-together with a lecturer from the department of tourism at the university. He told us, among many other things, about some tourist locations in Enugu state and mentioned Uhere River and The seven lakes of Opi. I was a bit skeptical about their existence, with ‘geological’ reasons for my doubt. The Nsukka area sits on the late cretaceous (Maastrichian) Ajali Sandstone formation (a.k.a false-bedded sandstone), consisting of characteristically friable cross-bedded sandstones. Ajali formation is also a good aquifer, supplying water to the areas around Nsukka all the way down to Enugu (city) area and even Okigwe. In Nsukka the groundwater level is deep (more than 100m on average) and if it is the same in Opi which is close to Nsukka (about 10 km to the southwest), how would the lakes be able to hold water on such a porous and permeable formation?

Accretionary Wedge: Inselbergs of Nigeria

February 17, 2009 at 09:11 | Posted in accretionary wedge, geology, Granite, Inselberg's, nigeosyncline, Nigeria | 9 Comments

This month’s Accretionary Wedge Geosblogospheric carnival is hosted at Geotripper and the theme:

What are the places and events that you think should all geologists should see and experience before they die? What are the places you know and love that best exemplify geological principles and processes?

Since I’m a new in the geoblogosphere I figured that I take part.

There are many impressing geological features in Nigeria though the general awareness of these features by the general public leaves much to be desired. of these feature one of the most prominent and indeed awesome are the Granite inselbergs.Granite inselergs can be found in the areas of the basement complex which covers more than two-thirds of the country. Here are some of the most popular ones

Zuma Rock, Abuja, central Nigeria

Zuma rock Abuja Central Nigeria. View from the west

Zuma rock Abuja Central Nigeria. View from the west

The most famous (Nigeria’s Ayer’s) and one of the largest at more than 1km across.

Idanre hills, Akure South west Nigeria

Idanre hills (Idanre town in the foreground)

Idanre hills (Idanre town in the foreground)

Another famous one which has made the small town in the foreground a tourist destination.
Kwantankwashi hill, Zamfara North Central Nigeria

kwatankwarshi Inselberg-

kwatankwarshi Inselberg

Wase rock, wase North east nigeria


Wase inselberg

Kajuru ludo hill, Kaduna Nigeria

Kajuru-Ludo hill

Kajuru-Ludo hill

There are many more even outstanding examples in other parts of the country and is something that one cannot miss on any jurney around the nigeria.

The granite inselbergs are huge plutonic intrusions that were emplaced during the pan-african orogenic event which affected all of what is now Nigeria, most of africa and even the arabian peninsular and brazil (sugar loaf mountain). Though they were emplaced at depth 550 million years of erosion have brought them to the surface where the stand out due to their greater resistance to erosion than the surrounding migmatites , Gniesses and migmatic Gniesses.They dome shapes are result of exfoliation (a Chemical weathering process that peels away layers of rock).

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