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Natural Hazards

, Volume 97, Issue 3, pp 1209–1230 | Cite as

Identification of seawater intrusion signatures through geochemical evolution of groundwater: a case study based on coastal region of the Mahanadi delta, Bay of Bengal, India

  • A. K. BeheraEmail author
  • G. J. Chakrapani
  • S. Kumar
  • N. Rai
Original Paper
  • 26 Downloads

Abstract

The study dealt with seawater intrusion process in a coastal aquifer system in the Mahanadi river delta region in the east coast of India along the Bay of Bengal. The aquifers of Mahanadi delta are characterized as shallow aquifers (< 50 m) and deeper aquifers (> 50 m). Electrical conductivity (EC) of groundwater varied from a fresh of 146 μS/cm (NW of the Mahanadi delta) to a saline of 33,900 μS/cm (close to sea coast) with cation dominance in the order Na+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+ and anion dominance of Cl > \( {\text{HCO}}_{3}^{ - } \) > \( {\text{SO}}_{4}^{2 - } \). The hydrochemical facies changed from Ca–Mg–Na–HCO3 type to Na–Cl type along the groundwater flow direction due to ion exchange processes. A strong positive correlation (r > 0.9) between Cl with EC, Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, \( {\text{SO}}_{4}^{2 - } \) and K+ was observed, which indicated the influence of seawater on coastal aquifer. The ionic ratios (Na+/Cl, \( {\text{HCO}}_{3}^{ - } \)/Cl, Mg2+/Ca2+, \( {\text{SO}}_{4}^{2 - } \)/Cl, Ca2+/(\( {\text{HCO}}_{3}^{ - } \)/\( {\text{SO}}_{4}^{2 - } \))) also suggested that the groundwater is affected by seawater intrusion. Stable isotope compositions (δ18O and δ2H) varied from − 1.86 to − 6.87 ‰ for δ18O and from − 10.79 to − 45.42 ‰ for δ2H, implying the mixing of saline water and fresh groundwater in the coastal region of the Mahanadi delta. The proportion of seawater in groundwater was estimated to vary from 0% in the upper-delta formation to 72% in the lower-delta formation of the Mahanadi delta (close to seacoast), which was due to inland intrusion of seawater. In a first ever study on this coastal aquifer along the Bay of Bengal, where a large population is dependent on agriculture, seawater intrusion into the fresh groundwater has been quantified. The issue of seawater intrusion into the coastal aquifer in this region may become a serious disaster, if appropriate management strategies are not implemented in time.

Keywords

Seawater intrusion Stable isotopes Cation exchange Mahanadi delta Coastal aquifer Bay of Bengal 

Notes

Acknowledgements

AKB acknowledges University Grant Commission (Grant Number: 6405-14-044), New Delhi, for providing Junior Research Fellowship to carry out the research work. The two anonymous reviewers and the editor are thanked and gratefully acknowledged for their critical reviews of the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. K. Behera
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. J. Chakrapani
    • 1
  • S. Kumar
    • 2
  • N. Rai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeUttarakhandIndia
  2. 2.Hydrological Investigations DivisionNational Institute of HydrologyRoorkeeIndia

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