Environmental Geology

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 175–180

Characterization of groundwater contamination using factor analysis


  • C. Subbarao
    • Department of Geophysics, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530003, India
  • N. V. Subbarao
    • Department of Geophysics, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam 530003, India
  • S. N. Chandu
    • Remote Sensing Application Centre, Jhansi, UP, India
Research article

DOI: 10.1007/s002540050091

Cite this article as:
Subbarao, C., Subbarao, N. & Chandu, S. Environmental Geology (1996) 28: 175. doi:10.1007/s002540050091


 The effluent contamination of groundwater at two industrial sites at Visakhapatnam, India, was studied using factor analysis. Thirty groundwater samples near a zinc smelter plant and 19 from the polymers plant were analyzed for specific conductance, chloride, bicarbonate, sulfate, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. The data were subjected to R-mode factor analysis and the factor scores transferred to areal maps. While magnesium and sulfate are the dominant contaminants at the zinc site, sodium, chloride, and bicarbonate from the effluent are affecting groundwater in the polymers area. Contour maps for each factor suggest the areal extension of the contaminants.

Key words Factor scoreContaminationZinc smelter plantPolymers plantIon dominance
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996