Journal of the Geological Society of India

, Volume 83, Issue 3, pp 279–289 | Cite as

Delineation of fresh aquifers in tannery belt for sustainable development — A case study from southern India

  • Sahebrao Sonkamble
  • V. Satish Kumar
  • B. Amarender
  • P. M. Dhunde
  • S. Sethurama
  • K. Raj Kumar
Research Articles


The tannery effluents discharged by the existing units on either side of the Palar river at Ambur town (known for tannery industry), has resulted in vertical and lateral spread of pollution. The study area of 55.3 km2 is situated on a granitic terrain of Archaean age with undulating topography and hillocks. The shallow aquifers, in flood plain and valley fills of the river are highly polluted (with EC: 15340 μS/cm) by tannery effluents making groundwater unfit for any use, hence the local population (20000) face health hazards and shortage of potable water. Hydrogeological, geophysical and in-situ groundwater quality measurement were carried out to demarcate fresh groundwater zones and to delineate lateral and vertical extent of pollution. The results show, brackish aquifer was characterized by low order of resistivity (<20 Ω-m) with a thickness of 8.5 to 28 m located in the flood plains, valley fills, and partially in hard rock formations, whereas the fresh water aquifer resistivity varying from 23 to 216 Ω-m in hard rock. Further, these results were correlated with the water quality data and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) signals. The integrated studies revealed that pollution due to tannery effluents has spread over an area of 33.4 km2 (60.4 %) on either side of the river and only a small area of 21.9 km2 (39.6 %) was identified as fresh groundwater zone, which has to be conserved and exploited in sustainable manner for future generations.


Delineation Tannery pollution Fresh aquifer Geophysics Ground Penetrating Radar Tamil Nadu 


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Copyright information

© Geological Society of India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sahebrao Sonkamble
    • 1
  • V. Satish Kumar
    • 1
  • B. Amarender
    • 1
  • P. M. Dhunde
    • 1
  • S. Sethurama
    • 1
  • K. Raj Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Geophysics GroupCSIR-National Geophysical Research InstituteHyderabadIndia

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