Wetlands regulate sediment accumulation, minimize pollution load and act as a buffer against coastal erosion. However, the overflow of seawaters into closed lagoons and wetlands could cause an excessive build-up of solutes through evaporation and could threaten the health of the aquatic life. This study examined hydrological regime, water quality and spatial distribution of flora within the Songor Wetland, Ghana using standard methods. The results indicate hyperhaline (46‰) condition at the west and limnetic [freshwater] (≤ 0.5‰) at the east with mesohaline (±18 - ± 5‰) and oligohaline (±5 - ±0.5‰) in between the east and the west. Natural and anthropogenic barriers are impeding the hydrological connectivity and are creating hyperhaline water conditions that are flowing in the eastward direction. High levels of nitrate (3.5 mg/L) and ammonia (0.25 mg/L) suggested possibilities of toxicity of TDS (41 g/L) and sulphate (4245 mg/L) effect on the biota at the west. While levels of phosphate (1.71 mg/L) and silicate (24.3 mg/L), indicated anthropogenic contamination at the east. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) displayed salinity as the major environmental variable contributing to the spatial variation of the water quality in the wetland. The flow of hypersaline waters in the west-east direction is also confirmed by perfect second-order polynomial relationship between conductivity, salinity and sulphate levels. There exist significant (p<0.01, p<0.05) correlation among the environmental variables.
Key words: Wetland, salinity, sulphate, water quality, principal component analysis (PCA), Songor.
Copyright © 2020 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0