Publications

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2019
Kanoti JR, Olago D, Opiyo N, Nyamai C, Dindi E, Kuria Z. "Characterization of Major Ion Chemistry and Hydro-Geochemical Processes in Mt. Elgon Trans-Boundary Aquifer and Their Impacts on Public Health." of Environment and Earth Science. 2019;9(4). Abstract47529-51080-1-pb1.pdfWebsite

There is a gradual paradox shift from the utilization of surface water to groundwater in both urban and rural Kenya. This is because surface water is both diminishing in quantity due to climate variability and deteriorating in quality due to high levels of anthropogenic contamination. In the quest to attain the Sustainable Development Goal number 6 that aim at ensuring access to safe water by all by 2030, the Government of Kenya is encouraging the development of groundwater resources whose potential is enormous though it has not been quantified. The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) supported this research on the shared Mt. Elgon trans-boundary aquifer between Kenya and Uganda aimed at understanding its dynamics. Mt. Elgon is a Tertiary age mountain that straddles the Kenya-Uganda border and has a trans-boundary aquifer. This study investigated the groundwater chemistry and its implication on water management and human health. Physico-chemical parameters of water that included electrical conductivity, pH, and temperature were measured in the field and the major cations and anions were measured at the Central Laboratories of the State Department for Water. Geological mapping and identification of sanitary risks were undertaken during the field work. The study revealed that the concentration of cations and anions in the groundwater varied spatially and temporally. Abundance of these ions were in the order Ca²⁺ > Na⁺ > Mg²⁺ > K⁺ for most samples and HCO₃⁻ > Cl⁻ > SO₄²⁻ >NO₃⁻. Interpretation of hydro-chemical data suggests that calcium carbonate dissolution, halite dissolution, Ca/Na ion exchange and Mg/Na ion exchange are the major processes that control the ground-water chemistry. Chemical results indicate further that the groundwater is suitable for domestic use but is threatened by both anthropogenic and geological factors. Extensive use of fertilizer and the destruction of the catchment area coupled with low permeability and rock-water interactions in the metamorphic rock terrains are the main threats to groundwater quality in the region. A few water points had water with some ionic composition exceeding WHO and the local KEBS maximum limits for drinking water. Such water pose a risk to human health.

2014
Mulwa JK, Kimata F, Suzuki S, Kuria ZN. "The seismicity in Kenya (East Africa) for the period 1906–2010: A review." Journal of African Earth Sciences. 2014;89:72-78. AbstractFull Text

Kenya has had a seismic station since 1963 as part of the World Wide Standardized Seismograph Network (WWSSN). In 1990, the University of Nairobi in collaboration with GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) started to build up a local seismological network, the Kenya National Seismic Network (KNSN), which operated for about ten years between 1993–2002. This, however, experienced a myriad of problems ranging from equipment breakdown, vandalism and lack of spares. Kenya is seismically active since the Kenya rift valley traverses through the country from north to south bisecting the country into eastern and western regions. In the central part, the Kenya rift branches to form the NW-SE trending Kavirondo (Nyanza) rift. The Kenya rift valley and the Kavirondo (Nyanza) rift are the most seismically active where earthquakes of local magnitude (Ml) in the order of ⩽2.0–5.0 occur. Furthermore, historical records show that earthquakes of magnitudes of the order of Ml ⩾ 6.0 have occurred in Kenya. Such large magnitude earthquakes include the January 6, 1928 Subukia earthquake (Ml 7.1) and an aftershock (Ml 6.2) four days later, as well as the 1913 Turkana region earthquake (Ml 6.2). Since early 1970’s, numerous seismic investigations have been undertaken in Kenya in order to understand the formation and structure of the Kenyan part of the East African rift valley. Earthquake data from these studies is, however, rather disorganized and individual datasets, including that acquired during the period 1993–2002, cannot furnish us with comprehensive information on the seismicity of Kenya for the past ∼100 years. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to review the seismicity in Kenya for the period 1906–2010 by utilizing data and results from different sources. The general seismicity of Kenya has been evaluated using historical data, data recorded by local seismic networks, the United States Geological Survey catalogue as well as earthquake data from the numerous seismic investigations by different individuals and research groups. On the basis of earthquake data from these sources, the entire N–S trending Kenya rift valley and the NW-SE trending Nyanza (Kavirondo) rift are characterized by a high rate of seismicity, and the USGS network has been effective in detecting local M > 3.0 earthquakes. A peculiar trend is exhibited by earthquakes of Ml ⩾ 5.1 in that these occur along the N-S and NW-SE trending Kenya rift valley and the Kavirondo (Nyanza) rift zone respectively. Earthquake data from the various sources for the period 1906–2010 is complete for Ml ⩾ 4.4 earthquakes with a b-value of 0.79 which is characteristic of tectonic active regions like rifts. There is need to revive and extend the KNSN for a greater coverage and effective seismic monitoring in Kenya.

2013
Kuria Z. "Groundwater Distribution and Aquifer Characteristics in Kenya.". In: Developments in Earth Surface process .; 2013.
2012
Komolafe, A.A., Kuria ZN, Woldai T, Noomen M, Anifowose AYB, A.Y.B. "Integrated Remote Sensing and Geophysical Investigations of the Geodynamic Activities at Lake Magadi, Southern Kenyan Rift." International Journal of Geophysics. 2012;2012(2012):15 pages.
Kodikra GL, Woldai T, van Ruitenbeek JA, Kuria ZN, van der Meer F, Shepherd KD, van Hummel GJ. "Spectral remote sensing of evaporate minerals and associated sediments in Lake Magadi area, Kenya." International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. 2012;14(1):22-32.
2010
Kuria ZN, Woldai, T., Opiyo Akech N. ". Imaging saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifers with electrical resistivity tomography at Lamu Island, South Coast Kenya. ." African Journal of Science and Technology. 2010;11(2):57-72.
Kuria, Z.N., Woldai, T., Barongo, J.O., van der F.D. M. "Active fault segments as potential earthquake sources: inferences from integrated geophysical mapping of the Magadi fault system, southern Kenya Rift." Journal of African Earth Sciences . 2010;57:345-359.

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