Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 184, Issue 8, pp 5121–5138 | Cite as

Integrated approach for demarcating subsurface pollution and saline water intrusion zones in SIPCOT area: a case study from Cuddalore in Southern India

  • S. Sankaran
  • S. Sonkamble
  • K. Krishnakumar
  • N. C. Mondal


This paper deals with a systematic hydrogeological, geophysical, and hydrochemical investigations carried out in SIPCOT area in Southern India to demarcate groundwater pollution and saline intrusion through Uppanar River, which flows parallel to sea coast with high salinity (average TDS 28, 870 mg/l) due to back waters as well as discharge of industrial and domestic effluents. Hydrogeological and geophysical investigations comprising topographic survey, self-potential, multi-electrode resistivity imaging, and water quality monitoring were found the extent of saline water intrusion in the south and pockets of subsurface pollution in the north of the study area. Since the area is beset with highly permeable unconfined quaternary alluvium forming potential aquifer at shallow depth, long-term excessive pumping and influence of the River have led to lowering of the water table and degradation of water quality through increased salinity there by generating reversal of hydraulic gradient in the south. The improper management of industrial wastes and left over chemicals by closed industries has led surface and subsurface pollution in the north of the study area.


Coastal aquifers Subsurface pollution Saline water intrusion Geophysical investigations Cuddalore South India 



The SIPCOT authority, Cuddalore cooperated during the field work. Director, NGRI, Hyderabad had given support and permission to publish this paper. The associate editor, Professor Yu-Pin Lin and three anonymous reviewers had suggested their constructive comments to improve the paper. The authors are thankful to them.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Sankaran
    • 1
  • S. Sonkamble
    • 1
  • K. Krishnakumar
    • 1
  • N. C. Mondal
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Geophysics GroupNational Geophysical Research Institute (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research)HyderabadIndia

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