GEOMORPHOLOGICAL MAPPING OF PART OF THE NIGER DELTA, NIGERIA USING DEM AND MULTISPECTRAL IMAGERY
This study utilised geo-information technology to carry out a geomorphological mapping of a part of the Niger Delta. Satellite image analysis was based on bi-annual seasonal approach using a combination of visual analysis of the geometry, site, situation, colour, and season for analysis of the non-topographic features. The study also utilised virtual and onsite fieldworks and existing geomorphologic information to interpret and analyse topographic and bathymetric features. First-order topographic features (elevation) and second level features including slope, aspect, curvature and mathematically exaggerated shaded relief were extracted from DEM. Relief classification was based on average elevation differences, hill shade, slope, and aspect. Three main non-topographic landforms were identified; the permanent rivers with stable meanders, perennially-active systems of creeks and fluvial landforms including scroll bars and oxbows. With the exception of higher elevation values towards the north-western fringe, the elevation ranges between mean sea level and 1 metre above sea level thus establishing a somewhat flat terrain. These areas were filled with meandering streams, sinuous creeks and watercourses flanked by mangrove vegetation. In the north-western area, elevation rose close to approximately 4 metres in most of the area with a peak of 10 metres. Generally, the cumulative area-slope analysis yielded a deltaic plain with generalised slope ≤ 20. Overall two elevation-based geographically differentiated morphological units were identified; tidal mudflats and saltmarshes. The study recommends that to provide needed information for resource planning and management, further investigation should be carried out with a view to modelling probable ecological and geomorphological changes in the entire Niger Delta.
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