Hydrogeologic and hydrochemical framework of the shallow groundwater system in the southern Voltaian Sedimentary Basin, Ghana.
The southern Voltaian Sedimentary Basin underlies an area of about 5000 km2 in east-central Ghana. Groundwater in the basin occurs in fractures in highly consolidated siliciclastic aquifers overlain by a thin unsaturated zone. Aquifer parameters were evaluated from available aquifer-test data on 28 shallow wells in the basin. Hydraulic-conductivity values range from 0.043.6m/d and are about two orders of magnitude greater than the hydraulic conductivity calculated using Darcys Law and the average groundwater velocity estimated from carbon-14 dating. Linear-regression analysis of the transmissivity and specific-capacity data allowed the establishment of an empirical relationship between log transmissivity and log specific capacity for the underlying aquifers. Groundwater chemistry in the basin is controlled by the weathering of albitic plagioclase feldspar. The weathering rates of various minerals were estimated using 14C-derived average velocity in the basin. The weathering rate of albite was calculated to be 2.16 mol L-1 yr-1 with the resulting formation of 3.3 mol L-1 yr-1 of kaolinite and 0.047mol L-1 yr-1 of calcite. The low porosity and permeability of the aquifers in the basin are attributed to the precipitation of secondary minerals on fracture surfaces and interlayer pore spaces.