Abstract

Liberia is recovering from a 14 year civil war and only 51% of the rural population has access to safe drinking water. Little hydrogeological knowledge survives in Liberia, increasing the difficulty in successfully siting new boreholes. An understanding of the local hydrogeological environment is therefore needed to improve borehole site selection and increase success rates. This research provides a semi-quantitative characterization of the hydrogeological environment of the basement aquifer in Lofa county, Liberia. Based on literature review and analysis of borehole logs, the study has developed a conceptual hydrogeological model for the local conditions, which is further characterized using 2D geoelectrical sections. Groundwater is predominantly obtained from the saprolite and underlying fractured bedrock, but specific capacities (median 281 l h−1 m−1; 25th and 75th percentile of 179 and 490 l h−1 m−1, respectively) are constrained by the limited thickness of the saturated saprolite. This study has shown that the groundwater resources in the crystalline basement in this part of Liberia conform to the general conceptual model, allowing standard techniques used elsewhere for siting and developing groundwater to be used.

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