Keywords: wetlands acidification, acidithiobacillus sp, acid sulphate soils, acid sulphate sediments, dredging, indicators, mangroves, oil exploration, Niger Delta, environmental pollution, environmental impact assessment, acidification prediction
Indicators of wetland acidification and their relevance to environmental impact assessment
Developments in most tropical coastlines are often hampered by acidification, which occurs when sedimentary pyrites are disturbed during construction activities. Acidification causes vegetation die back, fish mortality, heavy metal pollution, corrosion of concrete, steel and other metallic structures. The aim of this study is to develop tools for predicting the likelihood of acidification occurring in advance prior to project implementation. The study found that acidification indicators including land forms, acidophilic bacteria, soil and water properties, mangrove vegetation, and hydrology and sedimentation pattern are useful tools for predicting acidification. The study concludes by providing keys for the identification of problem soils and recommended the mainstreaming of acidification related issues into the overall EIA process.