Environmental Earth Sciences

, 75:1364 | Cite as

Geochemical control on spatial variability of fluoride concentrations in groundwater from rural areas of Gujrat in Punjab, Pakistan

  • Maimoona Raza
  • Abida Farooqi
  • Nabeel Khan Niazi
  • Arslan Ahmad
Original Article


Spatial variability and geochemical factors controlling fluoride (F) concentrations were evaluated in five villages of subdistrict Gujrat in Pakistan. Groundwater samples (n = 70) were collected along the River Chenab and examined for F concentrations. The average F concentrations in groundwater of village Chhani Nikoani (1.8 mg/L) and Dhool Khurd (2.2 mg/L) were crossing the World Health Organization (WHO) permissible limit of 1.5 mg/L, while village Kalra Khasa, Ghazi Chak and Kula Chor were below the WHO guidelines. About 64 % of the samples contain fluoride concentrations that exceed the 1.5 mg/L drinking water standard set by WHO. Spatially F concentrations in groundwater increased as moving away from the River Chenab because more residence time for water–rock interaction was available. High F concentrations were associated with high electric conductivity (EC), total dissolved solids (TDS), pH and Na+ values. The overall groundwater quality is controlled by silicate mineral weathering and less by evaporation. Fluoride originates from anion exchange (OH for F) on clays and weathered micas under high pH conditions. High fluoride levels are associated with NaCl- and NaHCO3-type water produced by calcite precipitation and/or base ion exchange. The groundwater with higher fluoride concentrations is accompanied by lower Ca+2 levels. This study enhances our understanding on geochemical behavior of F and highlights the importance of spatial variability on F release in aquifers of Punjab in Pakistan, as well as in other countries of Asia region.


Groundwater Soil Fluoride Clay Spatial variability Gujrat Pakistan 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maimoona Raza
    • 1
  • Abida Farooqi
    • 1
  • Nabeel Khan Niazi
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
  • Arslan Ahmad
    • 4
  1. 1.Environmental Geochemistry Laboratory, Department of Environmental SciencesQuaid-i-Azam UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  2. 2.Institute of Soil and Environmental SciencesUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan
  3. 3.Southern Cross GeoScienceSouthern Cross UniversityLismoreAustralia
  4. 4.KWR Water cycle Research InstituteNieuwegeinThe Netherlands
  5. 5.MARUM and Department of GeosciencesUniversity of BremenBremenGermany

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