Environmental Earth Sciences

, 75:279 | Cite as

Hydro-geophysical techniques for safe exploitation of the fresh groundwater resources in coastal area

  • Sahebrao Sonkamble
  • Subash Chandra
  • V. K. Somvanshi
  • Shakeel Ahmed
Original Article


Vertical disposition of the freshwater aquifer lens and their progressive change on lateral scale are relevant to understand the short circuiting of fresh and saline water at coastal areas. Since, half of the world population dwells within 50 km of coast line, the freshwater aquifers at coast are deteriorating at alarming rate. There are well-defined water well construction plans for coastal aquifer management, but mostly fails while execution due to lack of precise knowledge of subsurface lithological layer setup. In the present study, an attempt has been made to investigate such precise information about subsurface lithological layer setup to protect the freshwater resources at coastal area, applying noninvasive hydro-geophysical technique. Integrated electrical parameters, hydrochemistry, topography, and water table assessment have been applied to decipher the geometry of freshwater lens at Cuddalore coast, India. Results show in this study (1) the electrical resistivity (ρ) 1–10 Ω-m of subsurface formation, electrical conductivity (σ) 30,891 µS/cm of groundwater, and water table 1.55 m above mean sea level (MSL) confirms the zone of effluent contamination; (2) the zone showing ρ = 1–10 Ω-m, σ = 6172 µS/cm, water table 6.46 m below MSL is attributed to the saline water intrusion; (3) freshwater formations are identified in beach ridges underlain by clay layers with ρ = 30–60 Ω-m, σ = 453 µS/cm and water table above MSL; and (4) water well design is proposed to tap the freshwater aquifers avoiding vertical short circuiting of saline and freshwater.


Coastal aquifers Hydro-geophysics Freshwater protection Water well design India 



This study is the research topic of the Ph. D work of the first author. First author would like to thank Dr. R. Rangarajan (CSIR-NGR) for his valuable guidance and Dr. S. Sankaran (CSIR-NGRI) for his suggestions during the field activity. The local communities of Cuddalore have provided information during well inventory. SIPCOT Cuddalore authority has provided logistic support and cooperated during field investigations in and around the industrial premises. We acknowledge Mr. V. Satish Kumar and Mr. B. Amarender (NGRI-Hyderabad) for their assistance during field work. The support and encouragement extended by Director, NGRI are duly acknowledged. We are greatly thankful to the three anonymous reviewers, Dr. Gunter Doerhoefer (Editor-in-Chief) and Dr. Dante Fratta (Associate Editor) for their constructive comments to improve the quality of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sahebrao Sonkamble
    • 1
  • Subash Chandra
    • 1
  • V. K. Somvanshi
    • 1
  • Shakeel Ahmed
    • 1
  1. 1.Indo French Centre for Groundwater ResearchCSIR-National Geophysical Research InstituteHyderabadIndia

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