HYDROLOGIC MODELLING OF KATSINA-ALA RIVER BASIN: AN EMERGING SCENARIO FROM LAKE NYOS THREAT
Keywords: Crater, Hydrologic, vulnerability, simulations, mitigation
Abstract. Understanding the hydrologic system surrounding crater lakes is of great importance for prevention of flooding damages, conservation of ecological environment, and assessment of socio-economic impact of dam failure on the civilians in the downstream regions. Lake Nyos is a crater lake formed by volcanic activities at the Oku volcanic field on the Cameroon Volcanic Line. It is a freshwater lake with a maximum depth of 200 meter. In 1986, a limnic eruption at the lake emitted 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the bottom of saturated water into the air and suffocated up to 1,800 people and 3,500 livestock at nearby villages. The lake waters are held in place by a natural dam composed of loosely consolidated volcanic rock, which is now at the verge of collapse due to accelerated erosion. This study was carried out to determine the flood risks and vulnerability of population and infrastructure along Katsina-Ala drainage basins. The project integrated both satellite images and field datasets into a hydrologic model for Katsina-Ala River Basin and its vicinity including the Lake Nyos. ArcHydro was used to construct a hydrologic database as 'data models' and MIKE SHE was employed to conduct hydrologic simulations. Vulnerable infrastructures, population and socio-economic activities were identified to assist the Federal and State governments in disaster mitigation and management plans. The result of the project provides comprehensive knowledge of hydrologic system of Katsina-Ala drainage basin to mitigate potential future disasters from a potential dam failure and manage water resources against such disasters.