Original Article

Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 131-142

First online:

Geochemistry of fluoride rich groundwater in Kolar and Tumkur Districts of Karnataka

  • P. MamathaAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science
  • , Sudhakar M. RaoAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of ScienceDepartment of Civil Engineering and Center for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Groundwater is a significant water resource in India for domestic, irrigation, and industrial needs. By far the most serious natural groundwater-quality problem in India, in terms of public health, derives from high fluoride, arsenic, and iron concentrations. Hydrogeochemical investigation of fluoride contaminated groundwater samples from Kolar and Tumkur Districts in Karnataka are undertaken to understand the quality and potability of groundwater from the study area, the level of fluoride contamination, the origin and geochemical mechanisms driving the fluoride enrichment. Majority of the groundwater samples did not meet the potable water criteria as they contained excess (>1.5 mg/L) fluoride, dissolved salts (>500 mg/L) and total hardness (75–924 mg/L). Hydrogeochemical facies of the groundwater samples suggest that rock weathering and evaporation–crystallization control the groundwater composition in the study area with 50–67% of samples belonging to the Ca–HCO3 type and the remaining falling into the mixed Ca–Na–HCO3 or Ca–Mg–Cl type. The saturation index values indicated that the groundwater in the study area is oversaturated with respect to calcite and under-saturated with respect to fluorite. The deficiency of calcium ion concentration in the groundwater from calcite precipitation favors fluorite dissolution leading to excess fluoride concentration.


Fluoride Groundwater quality Geochemistry Hydrogeology India