Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 65, Issue 4, pp 1231–1250 | Cite as

Environmental geochemistry and quality assessment of surface and subsurface water of Mahi River basin, western India

  • Anupam Sharma
  • Abhay Kumar Singh
  • Kamlesh Kumar
Original Article


The hydrogeochemical study of surface and subsurface water of Mahi River basin was undertaken to assess the major ion chemistry, solute acquisition processes and water quality in relation to domestic and irrigation uses. The analytical results show the mildly acidic to alkaline nature of water and dominance of Na+ and Ca2+ in cationic and HCO3 and Cl in anionic composition. In general, alkaline-earth elements (Ca2+ + Mg2+) exceed alkalis (Na+ + K+) and weak acids (HCO3 ) dominate over strong acids (SO4 2+ + Cl) in majority of the surface and groundwater samples. Ca2+–Mg2+–HCO3 is the dominant hydrochemical facies both in surface and groundwater of the area. The weathering of rock-forming minerals mainly controlled the solute acquisition process with secondary contribution from marine and anthropogenic sources. The higher concentration of sodium and dissolved silica, high equivalent ratios of (Na+ + K+/TZ+), (Na+ + K+/Cl) and low ratio of (Ca2+ + Mg2+)/(Na+ + K+) suggest that the chemical composition of the water is largely controlled by silicate weathering with limited contribution from carbonate weathering and marine and anthropogenic sources. Kaolinite is the possible mineral that is in equilibrium with the water, implying that the chemistry of river water favors kaolinite formation. Assessment of water samples for drinking purposes suggests that the majority of the water samples are suitable for drinking. At some sites concentrations of TDS, TH, F, NO3 and Fe are exceeding the desirable limit of drinking. However, these parameters are well within the maximum permissible limit except for some cases. To assess the suitability for irrigation, parameters like SAR, RSC and %Na were calculated. In general, both surface and groundwater is of good to suitable category for irrigation uses except at some sites where high values of salinity, %Na and RSC restrict its uses.


Mahi River basin Hydrogeochemistry Hydrogeochemical process Weathering Water quality assessment Sodium adsorption ratio 



We are thankful to the Director, BSIP, Lucknow, for extending all help and support to carryout this study. We also thank the Geochemical Division of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun, for analysis of water samples. Financial grant sanctioned to A.S. (Project Ref. No. SR/S4/ES-21/Baroda Window/P-1) under the Shallow Subsurface Studies program of Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, New Delhi, is gratefully acknowledged. We also thank Prof. L.S. Chamyal and his group for providing logistic help during the field work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anupam Sharma
    • 1
  • Abhay Kumar Singh
    • 2
  • Kamlesh Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Birbal Sahni Institute of PalaeobotanyLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Central Institute of Mining and Fuel ResearchDhanbadIndia

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