Morphological Changes along the shoreline of the arcuate Niger Delta from Parts of Delta State to Akwa Ibom State between 1986 and 2016

  • Gordon Tami Amangabara1* Obinna Michael Onyewuchi2 Federal University Technology
Keywords: Arcuate Niger Delta, coastline, shoreline, morphology, accretion, erosion


This study analyzes the morphological changes occurring at the arcuate Niger Delta shoreline by identifying factors that contribute to erosion-induced shoreline changes and the rate of shoreline change from Forcados (Delta State) to Ibeno (Akwa Ibom State). Shoreline changes were compared from 1986 to 2016 as well as among western, central and eastern sections of the arcuate Niger Delta using Landsat satellite imagery within Geographic Information System (GIS) environment. In the assessment of the entire shoreline, accretion was 5,477.814Ha (1.2%) in 1986 and 19181.53Ha (4.1%) in 2016. For erosion, it was 48,400.03 (10.3%) in 1986 and 68398.84Ha (14.5%) in 2016. This indicates that accretion increased by 2.91% and erosion also increased by 4.25% in 30 years. The major accretion was detected within Brass (Bayelsa State), Bonny (River State), Andoni (River State) and Ibeno (Akwa Ibom State). Forcados South Point (Delta State), Sombreiro River mouths and eastern Obolo recorded the highest level of shoreline erosion. For land use/land cover (LULC), vegetation was 27.4% in 1986 but reduced to 22.9% in 2016; a change I attributed to massive conversion of vegetative cover for anthropogenic activities in the area. The study concluded that major erosion cases are due to the changing climate and the velocity of flow of major estuaries into the ocean. The activities that contribute to the shoreline change aside the challenging natural factors are sand mining, hard and engineered structures on the shore and other commercial and social activities. The occurrences of shoreline erosion have contributed to the degradation of these coastal ecosystems, loss of human settlements and livelihood. It is therefore essential to implement precautionary measures to mitigate the risk of shoreline erosion within this sensitive zone