Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 1699–1708 | Cite as

Geochemical processes regulating groundwater chemistry with special reference to nitrate and fluoride enrichment in Chhatarpur area, Madhya Pradesh, India

  • Ram Avtar
  • Pankaj KumarEmail author
  • Akhilesh Surjan
  • L. N. Gupta
  • Koel Roychowdhury
Original Article


The present study focuses on the hydrogeochemical composition of groundwater in Chhatarpur area with special focus on nitrate and fluoride contamination, considering the fact that groundwater is the only major source of drinking water here. Carbonate and silicate mineral weathering followed by ground water–surface water interactions, ion exchange and anthropogenic activities are mainly responsible for high concentrations of cations and anions in the groundwater in the region. The average concentration of nitrate and fluoride found in 27 samples is 1.08 and 61.4 mg/L, respectively. Nitrate enrichment mainly occurs in areas occupied with intense fertilizer practice in agricultural fields. Since the area is not dominated by industrialization, the possibility of anthropogenic input of fluoride is almost negligible, thus the enrichment of fluoride in groundwater is only possible due to rock–water interaction. The highly alkaline conditions, which favor the fluorite dissolution, are the main process responsible for high concentration of fluoride.


Chhatarpur District Groundwater quality Nitrate Fluoride Hydrogeochemistry 



R. Avtar is highly thankful to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, for the financial support, School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, for laboratory support. R. Avtar and P. Kumar are also thankful to the Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho-MEXT) Scholarship to pursue doctoral research in Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ram Avtar
    • 1
  • Pankaj Kumar
    • 2
    Email author
  • Akhilesh Surjan
    • 1
    • 3
  • L. N. Gupta
    • 4
  • Koel Roychowdhury
    • 1
  1. 1.United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP)TokyoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Science and Technology for Advance Studies and Research (ISTAR)Vallabh VidyanagarIndia
  3. 3.Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Faculty of Science and EnvironmentMahatma Gandhi Chitrakoot Gramodaya VishwavidyalayaChitrakootIndia

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