Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 4067–4077 | Cite as

Dissolved trace element biogeochemistry of a tropical river, Southwestern India

  • M Tripti
  • G P Gurumurthy
  • K Balakrishna
  • M D Chadaga
Research Article

Abstract

River Swarna, a small tropical river originating in Western Ghats (at an altitude of 1,160 m above mean sea level) and flowing in the southwest coast of India discharges an average of 54 m3s−1 of water into the Arabian Sea, of which significant part is being discharged during the monsoon. No studies have been made yet on the water chemistry of the Swarna River basin, even as half a million people of Udupi district use it for domestic and irrigational purposes. As large community in this region depends on the freshwater of Swarna River, there is an urgent need to study the trace element geochemistry of this west flowing river for better water management and sustainable development. The paper presents the results on the biogeochemistry of dissolved trace elements in the Swarna River for a period of 1 year. The results obtained on the trace elements show seasonal effect on the concentrations as well as behavior and thus forming two groups, discharge driven (Li, Be, Al, V, Cr, Ni, Zr, In, Pb, Bi and U) and base flow driven (groundwater input; Mn, Fe, Co, Cu, Ga, Zn, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Ag, Cd, Cs, Ba and Tl) trace elements in Swarna River. The biogeochemical processes explained through Hierarchical Cluster Analysis show complexation of Fe, Ga and Ba with dissolved organic carbon, redox control over Mn and Tl and biological control over V and Ni. Also, the water quality of Swarna River remains within the permissible limits of drinking water standards.

Keywords

Dissolved trace element Biogeochemistry Hierarchical cluster analysis Tropical river Swarna River Southwestern India 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is funded by European Commission through their support to Manipal Center for European Studies (MCES) and post-doctoral research fund (to KB) from Manipal Institute of Technology. Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India is sincerely thanked for providing the necessary facilities to carry out this work. The authors are thankful to MRPL, Mangalore for providing the ICP-MS facility for trace element analysis. Also, Dr. JJ Braun, Dr. J Riotte, and Dr. S Audry at GET, France are thanked for providing the analytical facilities to measure major ions and DOC concentration in Swarna River.

Supplementary material

11356_2012_1341_MOESM1_ESM.doc (316 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 316 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M Tripti
    • 1
  • G P Gurumurthy
    • 1
  • K Balakrishna
    • 1
  • M D Chadaga
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, Manipal Institute of TechnologyManipal UniversityManipalIndia

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