Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 7, pp 2211–2225 | Cite as

Assessment of groundwater quality for irrigation purposes and identification of hydrogeochemical evolution mechanisms in Pengyang County, China

  • Peiyue Li
  • Jianhua Wu
  • Hui Qian
Original Article


Groundwater is an important water source for agricultural irrigation in Penyang County. Some traditional methods such as irrigation coefficient, sodium adsorption ratio, total alkalinity, total salinity and total dissolved solids were employed to assess groundwater quality in this area. In addition, an improved technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution model was applied for comprehensive assessment. The origin of major ions and groundwater hydrogeochemical evolution was also discussed. Groundwater in Penyang County contains relative concentrations of dominant constituents in the following order: Na+ > Ca2+ > Mg2+ > K+ for cations and HCO3  > SO4 2− > Cl > CO3 2− for anions. Groundwater quality is largely excellent and/or good, suggesting general suitability for agricultural use. Calcite and dolomite are found saturated in groundwater and thus tend to precipitate out, while halite, fluorite and gypsum are unsaturated and will dissolve into groundwater during flow. Groundwater in the study area is weathering-dominated, and mineral weathering (carbonate and silicate minerals) and ion exchange are the most important factors controlling groundwater chemistry.


Groundwater quality Agricultural irrigation Groundwater suitability Groundwater evolution Ion exchange 



This research was supported by the Doctoral Postgraduate Technical Project of Chang’an University (CHD2011ZY025 and CHD2011ZY022), the special Fund for Basic Scientific Research of Central Colleges, Chang’an University (CHD2011ZY020 and CHD2012TD003) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (40772160 and 41172212). The anonymous reviewers and editor are gratefully acknowledged for their useful comments regarding the original version of this paper.

Supplementary material

12665_2012_2049_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1315 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringChang’an UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Subsurface Hydrology and Ecology in Arid AreasMinistry of EducationXi’anChina

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