Journal of the Geological Society of India

, Volume 92, Issue 6, pp 753–763 | Cite as

Geochemical Characterization and Controlling Factors of Chemical Composition of Spring Water in a Part of Eastern Himalaya

  • Chandrashekhar Azad Vishwakarma
  • Ratan Sen
  • Neha Singh
  • Priyadarshini Singh
  • Vikas Rena
  • Kumari Rina
  • Saumitra MukherjeeEmail author


This paper focuses on the suitability of spring water for drinking and irrigation purposes in a part of eastern Himalaya, south Sikkim. There are many anthropogenic and geogenic factors contributing as a source of major cations and anions in the spring water. The spring water chemistry show a variation in EC, pH, TDS, Temperature, Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Fe2+, Pb, Mn, Cu, HCO3-, Cl-, PO43-, NO3-, F- and SO42-. Mainly two types of water quality indexing has been used, one for suitability of spring water for drinking purposes and the other for irrigation purposes. For drinking purposes, Piper diagram used for determination of water type, water quality index (WQI) for quality monitoring and saturation index for mineral dissolution in water. % Na, RSC (Residual Sodium Carbon) and SAR (sodium absorption ratio) have been used for irrigation suitability. Piper diagram shows that CaHCO3 type of water was dominant in the study area. The WQI depicted excellent category and SAR, percent sodium and RSC (Residual Sodium Carbon) depict excellent, good and permissible category for irrigation purposes. Principle component analysis (PCA) was used to determine the major influencing factor responsible for the variability in the parameters analysed of spring water.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abdulwahid, S. (2013) Water quality index of delizhiyan springs and shawrawa river within soran district, erbil, kurdistan region of iraq. Jour. Appld. Environ. Biological Sci., v.3(1), pp.40–48.Google Scholar
  2. Acheampong, S.Y. and Hess, J.W. (1998). Hydrogeologic and hydrochemical framework of the shallow groundwater system in the southern Voltaian Sedimentary Basin, Ghana. Hydrogeol. Jour., v.6(4), pp.527–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aghazadeh, N. and Mogaddam, A.A. (2010) Assessment of groundwater quality and its suitability for drinking and agricultural uses in the Oshnavieh area, Northwest of Iran. Jour. Environ. Protection, v.1(01), pp.30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ako, A. A., Shimada, J., Hosono, T., Kagabu, M., Ayuk, A.R., Nkeng, G.E.,... Takounjou, A.L.F. (2012) Spring water quality and usability in the Mount Cameroon area revealed by hydrogeochemistry. Environ. Geochem. Health, v.34(5), pp.615–639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Al Bassam, A.M., Awad, H.S. and Al Alawi, J.A. (1997). Durov plot: a computer program for processing and plotting hydrochemical data. Groundwater, v.35(2), pp.362–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blum, J.D., Gazis, C.A., Jacobson, A.D. and Chamberlain, C.P. (1998). Carbonate versus silicate weathering in the Raikhot watershed within the High Himalayan Crystalline Series. Geology, v.26(5), pp.411–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. CGWB. (2017) Ground water information booklet South District of Sikkim: District at a Glance. Retrieved from Scholar
  8. Datta, P. and Tyagi, S. (1996) Major ion chemistry of groundwater in Delhi area: chemical weathering processes and groundwater flow regime. Jour. Geol. Soc. India, v.47, pp.179–188.Google Scholar
  9. Durov, S. (1949) Treugolnaja forma graficeskogo vyrazenija rezultatov vodnych analizov I primenenije jejo k klassifikaciji prirodnych vod. Gidrochem. materialy, v.16, p.54.Google Scholar
  10. Federation, W.E. and Association, A.P.H. (2005) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. American Public Health Association (APHA): Washington, DC, USA.Google Scholar
  11. Grotzinger, J. (2008) Geology Portal: Understanding Earth Fifth Edition: Macmillan Higher Education.Google Scholar
  12. GSI (2012) Geology and Mineral Resources of the State of India. Geol. Surv. India, v.30(XIX).Google Scholar
  13. Helena, B., Pardo, R., Vega, M., Barrado, E., Fernandez, J.M. and Fernandez, L. (2000) Temporal evolution of groundwater composition in an alluvial aquifer (Pisuerga River, Spain) by principal component analysis. Water Res., v.34(3), pp.807–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Horton, R.K. (1965) An index number system for rating water quality. Jour. Water Pollution Control Federation, v.37(3), pp.300–306.Google Scholar
  15. Jeelani, G., Bhat, N. A., Shivanna, K. and Bhat, M. (2011). Geochemical characterization of surface water and spring water in SE Kashmir Valley, western Himalaya: Implications to water–rock interaction. Jour. Earth System Sci., v.120(5), pp.921–932.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kent, R. and Belitz, K. (2004) Concentrations of dissolved solids and nutrients in water sources and selected streams of the Santa Ana Basin, California, October 1998-September 2001: US Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey.Google Scholar
  17. Kumar, M., Kumari, K., Ramanathan, A. and Saxena, R. (2007). A comparative evaluation of groundwater suitability for irrigation and drinking purposes in two intensively cultivated districts of Punjab, India. Environ. Geol., v.53(3), pp.553–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lakshmanan, E., Kannan, R. and Kumar, M.S. (2003) Major ion chemistry and identification of hydrogeochemical processes of ground water in a part of Kancheepuram district, Tamil Nadu, India. Environ. Geosci., v.10(4), pp.157–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mahamuni, K. and Kulkarni, H. (2012) Groundwater resources and spring hydrogeology in South Sikkim, with special reference to climate change. Climate change in Sikkim-Patterns, impacts and initiatives, pp.261–274.Google Scholar
  20. Mazlum, N., Öer, A. and Mazlum, S. (1999) Interpretation of water quality data by principal components analysis. Turkish Jour. Engg. Environ Sci, v.23(1), pp.19–26.Google Scholar
  21. MSME. (2013-14). State Industrial Profile of Sikkim. Gangtok.Google Scholar
  22. Mukherjee, S., Kumar, B. A. and Koertvelyessy, L. (2005) Assessment of Groundwater Quality, South 24-Parganas, West Bengal Coast, India. Jour. Environ. Hydrol., v.13, pp.1–8.Google Scholar
  23. NIC, S. (2017). Sikkim. Retrieved 25 November, 2017, from NRSC. (2011-12)
  24. LULC Information (2011-12) for South Sikkim. Retrieved 29 November 2017
  25. P.H.E. (2012-2013) Water Security & P.H.E. Department, Government of Sikkim, Annual report. Gangtok.Google Scholar
  26. Penrose Jr, R. (1893) The Chemical Relation of Iron and Manganese in Sedimentary Rocks. Jour. Geol., v.1(4), pp.356–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Piper, A.M. (1944) A graphic procedure in the geochemical interpretation of water analyses. Eos, Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, v.25(6), pp.914–928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Rajmohan, N. and Elango, L. (2004) Identification and evolution of hydrogeochemical processes in the groundwater environment in an area of the Palar and Cheyyar River Basins, Southern India. Environ. Geol., v.46(1), pp.47–61.Google Scholar
  29. Ramakrishnaiah, C., Sadashivaiah, C. and Ranganna, G. (2009) Assessment of water quality index for the groundwater in Tumkur Taluk, Karnataka State, India. Jour. Chemistry, v.6(2), pp.523–530.Google Scholar
  30. Rao, N.S. (2008) Factors controlling the salinity in groundwater in parts of Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environ. Monit. Assess., v.138(1-3), pp.327–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rao, N. S., Marghade, D., Dinakar, A., Chandana, I., Sunitha, B., Ravindra, B. and Balaji, T. (2017) Geochemical characteristics and controlling factors of chemical composition of groundwater in a part of Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environ. Earth Sci., v.76(21), pp.747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ravikumar, P., Mehmood, M. A. and Somashekar, R. (2013) Water quality index to determine the surface water quality of Sankey tank and Mallathahalli lake, Bangalore urban district, Karnataka, India. Applied Water Science, v.3(1), pp.247–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Richards, L. (1954) Diagnosis and improvement of saline and alkali soils. Washington: United States Salinity Laboratory, 160p.Google Scholar
  34. USDA. Agriculture Handbook, 60.Google Scholar
  35. Rina, K., Datta, P., Singh, C.K. and Mukherjee, S. (2012) Characterization and evaluation of processes governing the groundwater quality in parts of the Sabarmati basin, Gujarat using hydrochemistry integrated with GIS. Hydrological Processes, v.26(10), pp.1538–1551.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rina, K., Singh, C. K., Datta, P., Singh, N. and Mukherjee, S. (2013) Geochemical modelling, ionic ratio and GIS based mapping of groundwater salinity and assessment of governing processes in Northern Gujarat, India. Environ. Earth Sci., v.69(7), pp.2377–2391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Roy, I. (2009) Proceedings of the Workshop on Integrated water resource management, 27 November 2009.Google Scholar
  38. Sahu, P. and Sikdar, P. (2008). Hydrochemical framework of the aquifer in and around East Kolkata Wetlands, West Bengal, India. Environ. Geol., v.55(4), pp.823–835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sakram, G., Sundaraiah, R. and Vishnu Bhoopathi, P.R.S. (2013) The impact of agricultural activity on the chemical quality of groundwater, Karanja Vagu Watershed, Medak District, Andhra Pradesh. Internat. Jour. Advd. Sci. Tech. Res., v.6(3), pp.769–786.Google Scholar
  40. SAPCC. (2011) Sikkim Action Plan on Climate Change (2012-2030).Google Scholar
  41. Schoeller, H. (1965) Qualitative evaluation of groundwater resources. Methods and techniques of groundwater investigations and development. UNESCO, 5483.Google Scholar
  42. Selvam, S., Manimaran, G., Sivasubramanian, P., Balasubramanian, N. and Seshunarayana, T. (2014) GIS-based evaluation of water quality index of groundwater resources around Tuticorin coastal city, South India. Environ. Earth Sci., v.71(6), pp.2847–2867.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Singh, E. J., Gupta, A., & Singh, N. (2013). Groundwater quality in Imphal West district, Manipur, India, with multivariate statistical analysis of data. Environ. Sci.Pollution Res., v.20(4), pp.2421–2434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Singh, N., Singh, R. P., Kamal, V., Sen, R. and Mukherjee, S. (2015) Assessment of hydrogeochemistry and the quality of groundwater in 24-Parganas districts, West Bengal. Environ. Earth Sci., v.73(1), pp.375–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Singh, N., Singh, R. P., Mukherjee, S., McDonald, K. and Reddy, K. (2014) Hydrogeological processes controlling the release of arsenic in parts of 24 Parganas district, West Bengal. Environ. Earth Sci., v.72(1), pp.111–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tiwari, A. (2012). Water quality and quantity analysis in Sikkim, North Eastern Himalaya. Curr. Sci., v.103, pp.41–45.Google Scholar
  47. Tyagi, S., Sharma, B., Singh, P., & Dobhal, R. (2013). Water quality assessment in terms of water quality index. Amer. Jour. Water Resour., v.1(3), pp.34–38.Google Scholar
  48. Vasanthavigar, M., Srinivasamoorthy, K., Vijayaragavan, K., Ganthi, R. R., Chidambaram, S., Anandhan, P.,... Vasudevan, S. (2010) Application of water quality index for groundwater quality assessment: Thirumanimuttar sub-basin, Tamil Nadu, India. Environ. Monit. Assess., v.171(1-4), pp.595–609.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Verghese, B. (1990) Waters of Hope: Himalayas, Ganga, and Cooperation for One Billion People. Dhaka, Bangladesh: Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  50. WHO (2009) Potassium in drinking-water, Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality.Google Scholar
  51. Wilcox, L. (1955) Classification and use of irrigation waters.Google Scholar
  52. Wilson, C. (1982) Groundwater Hydrology (2nd edn) Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  53. WRC. (2017) Watter research center; Source of total dissolve solid in drinking water. Retrieved 10 September, 2017, from
  54. Yidana, S., Ophori, D. and Banoeng-Yakubo, B. (2008) Groundwater availability in the shallow aquifers of the southern voltaian system: a simulation and chemical analysis. Environ. Geol., v.55(8), pp.1647–1657.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Geological Society of India 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chandrashekhar Azad Vishwakarma
    • 1
  • Ratan Sen
    • 1
  • Neha Singh
    • 2
  • Priyadarshini Singh
    • 1
  • Vikas Rena
    • 1
  • Kumari Rina
    • 3
  • Saumitra Mukherjee
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.The M. S. University of Baroda, PratapgunjVadodaraIndia
  3. 3.School of Environment and Sustainable Developmentcentral university of GujaratGandhinagarIndia

Personalised recommendations