The Bénin project is a collaborative effort apart of the Geoscientists Without Borders program. The team conducting the study is comprised of students, scientists, and professors from Boise State University, Gonzaga Univeristy, Université of Nice Sophia Antipolis, and L'Université d'Abomey-Calavi—the principal university in Bénin, West Africa.
The coastal city of Cotonou in Bénin, West Africa, with approximately 1.5–2.0 million people, is facing a serious threat to the sustainability of its fresh water supply. Cotonou relies on the Godomey aquifer for domestic water supply. An aquifer is a body of permeable rock that can contain or transmit groundwater. The Godomey aquifer is undergoing saltwater intrusion and this problem is likely to worsen without significant steps to improve management of the pumping system. Lake Nokoué is a nearby body of water that holds high salinity levels throughout most of the year and is thought to be main portal for salinity issues that the Godomey aquifer is facing.
In this project, seismic reflection is being used to map the primary hydrogeologic units of the Godomey aquifer system. Electrical and electromagnetic methods are used to image the freshwater-saltwater contact. A project team is developing a hydrogeologic model. Results will be shared with the city's groundwater management agency.
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