Hydrogeochemical modelling to understand the surface water–groundwater interaction around a proposed uranium mining site

  • S Manoj
  • M Thirumurugan
  • L ElangoEmail author


The interaction between surface water and groundwater is a complex process and is considered as an important component for controlling the mining activities. The objective of this study is to understand the interaction between surface water and groundwater around a proposed uranium mining site by geochemical modelling. Surface water and groundwater samples along the groundwater flow path were collected from September 2013 to June 2016 across the uranium mineralised region located near Gogi, Karnataka, India. Collected water samples were analysed for major ion and uranium concentrations. This hydrochemical data was used as input in the geochemical modelling code PHREEQC to calculate the uranium speciation and saturation indices. Inverse geochemical modelling was performed along the flow direction by considering the mineralogical composition of host rock. Measurement of surface water and groundwater level indicates that the recharge and discharge of this region were primarily controlled by rainfall. Relation between the temporal variation of rainfall and saturation index of mineral reveals the various scenarios of interaction between surface water and groundwater around the mineralised region. Silicate/carbonate weathering, irrigation return flow and dissolution of evaporites are the major processes indicated by inverse geochemical modelling, which controls the hydrogeochemical evolution of water in this region. Geochemical modelling was effectively used to understand the temporal changes in the interaction between surface water and the groundwater in a uranium mineralised region.


Uranium Bhima basin PHREEQC geochemical speciation saturation index inverse modelling 



The author would like to thank the Board of Research in Nuclear Sciences, Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India (grant no. 2009/36/71-BRNS/1690) for their financial support.


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyAnna UniversityChennaiIndia

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