Water Quality, Exposure and Health

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 219–225 | Cite as

Assessment and Distribution of Metals Contamination in Groundwater: a Case Study of Busan City, Korea

  • S. Venkatramanan
  • S. Y. Chung
  • T. H. Kim
  • M. V. Prasanna
  • S. Y. Hamm
Original Paper


The present research was carried out to assess the pH, electrical conductivity (EC), dissolved oxygen (DO), and metal concentrations of groundwater in Busan City, Korea. Forty groundwater samples were collected at the environs of major residential and recreational area. The physicochemical parameters (pH, EC, and DO) and metals (Fe, Mn, Cu, Cd and Zn) were analyzed. The metals in groundwater were listed in the descending order of concentration like \(\hbox {Zn}> \hbox {Mn} > \hbox {Cu} > \hbox {Fe} > \hbox {Cd}\). Groundwater pollution indices (heavy metal evaluation index, heavy metal pollution index and degree of contamination) revealed that most of groundwater samples belonged to the low to medium zones. GIS-based spatial maps suggested that the activities of seawater intrusion and salinized river water are pervasive process in this area. Correlation and cluster analyses were used to assess the intensity and source of pollution in groundwater. It was suggested that groundwater quality was polluted mainly by seawater intrusion, infiltration of salinized river water, sewage leaked from sewer, and groundwater discharge from the subway. The pollution status of groundwater systems in this case study are of great environmental and health concerns.


Heavy metals Groundwater pollution indices Correlation and cluster analyses Environmental and health concerns 



This work was supported by the Pukyong National University Research Fund in 2012 (PK-2012-0571).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Venkatramanan
    • 1
  • S. Y. Chung
    • 1
  • T. H. Kim
    • 2
  • M. V. Prasanna
    • 3
  • S. Y. Hamm
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Institute of Environmental GeosciencesPukyong National UniversityBusanKorea
  2. 2.K-Water InstituteKorea Water Resources CorporationDaejeonKorea
  3. 3.Department of Applied Geology, School of Engineering and ScienceCurtin UniversityMiriMalaysia
  4. 4.Division of Earth & Environmental SystemPusan National UniversityBusanKorea

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