Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 68, Issue 3, pp 749–763 | Cite as

Hydrogeochemical and isotopic characterization of groundwater salinization in the Bangkok aquifer system, Thailand

  • Falko StoeckerEmail author
  • Mukand S. Babel
  • Ashim Das Gupta
  • Aldrin A. Rivas
  • Mariele Evers
  • Futaba Kazama
  • Takashi Nakamura
Original Article


The deterioration of groundwater quality, particularly due to salinization, because of the overexploitation of groundwater in the Lower Central Plain of Thailand remains a major concern. With increasing demand for water there is a growing need for sustainable management of the resource, which would benefit from an improved understanding of the sources of chloride contamination. Thus, a hydrochemical and isotopic study was carried out to chemically characterize groundwater and to investigate possible sources of salinization, and in particular of chloride contamination, in the multi-layered Bangkok aquifer system. Groundwater samples were taken from four topmost aquifers (Bangkok, Phra Pradaeng, Nakhon Luang, and Nonthaburi). Additionally, short-term rainwater sampling, as well as river and seawater sampling was performed and later analyzed for ionic composition and stable water isotopes. Ionic and isotopic data indicate at least three different recharge sources for groundwater. The major recharge source is rainwater. The influence of seawater is limited to the coastal region and tidally influenced areas of the two main rivers (Chao Phraya and Tha Chin). Bromide data also suggest the influence of saline water in deeper aquifers due to trapped water. Most importantly, although the influence of seawater on groundwater is recognizable, the surrounding geology contributes a significant number of dissolved ions detected in the groundwater.


Coastal aquifers Groundwater salinization Stable isotopes Hydrochemistry Bangkok aquifer system 



This work was supported by the Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany; the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand; the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan; and the Yamanashi University, Kofu, Japan. The authors wish to acknowledge Dr. A. Toeppe for her comments and assistance. Also, sincere appreciation is extended to the laboratory members and the students of the Yamanashi University, especially Ms. U. Hiraga and Mr. S. K. Chapagain. Further, the authors are deeply grateful to Mr. P. Tibkaew, Mr. V. Kanganapongporn, Mr. K. Pimsak, and Mr. P. Chutipattarasakul for the assistance during fieldwork. Moreover, Ms. S. Hanmeng deserves a lot of thanks for her assistance with the Thai language and Ms. S. Wichakul for providing additional data and information. Thankful acknowledgement is also extended to Ms. M. Franks for editing the earlier version of this manuscript. Thanks are also due to Ms. K. J. McElhinney for her assistance with the English.

Supplementary material

12665_2012_1776_MOESM1_ESM.docx (202 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 201 kb)
12665_2012_1776_MOESM2_ESM.doc (454 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 81 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Falko Stoecker
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Mukand S. Babel
    • 2
  • Ashim Das Gupta
    • 2
  • Aldrin A. Rivas
    • 2
  • Mariele Evers
    • 3
  • Futaba Kazama
    • 4
  • Takashi Nakamura
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Environmental StrategiesLeuphana University LueneburgLueneburgGermany
  2. 2.Water Engineering and Management, School of Engineering and TechnologyAsian Institute of TechnologyKlong LuangThailand
  3. 3.Working Group General Geography/Human-Environment-ResearchUniversity of WuppertalWuppertalGermany
  4. 4.Department of Eco-Social System EngineeringUniversity of YamanashiKofuJapan
  5. 5.StuttgartGermany

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