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.



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?

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