Environmental Geology

, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 901–912 | Cite as

Hydrochemical appraisal of groundwater and its suitability in the intensive agricultural area of Muzaffarnagar district, Uttar Pradesh, India

  • S. K. TyagiEmail author
  • P. S. Datta
  • N. K. Pruthi
Original Article


Muzaffarnagar is an economically rich district situated in the most fertile plains of two great rivers Ganga and Yamuna in the Indo-gangetic plains, with agricultural land irrigated by both surface water as well as groundwater. An investigation has been carried out to understand the hydrochemistry of the groundwater and its suitability for irrigation uses. Groundwater in the study area is neutral to moderately alkaline in nature. Chemistry of groundwater suggests that alkaline earths (Ca+Mg) significantly exceed the alkalis (Na+K) and weak acids exceed the strong acids (Cl+SO4), suggesting the dominance of carbonate weathering followed by silicate weathering. Majority of the groundwater samples (62%) posses Ca–Mg–HCO3 type of hydrochemical species, followed by Ca–Na–Mg–HCO3, Na–Ca–Mg–HCO3, Ca–Mg–Na–HCO3–Cl and Na–Ca–HCO3–SO4 types. A positive high correlation (r2=0.928) between Na and Cl suggests that the salinity of groundwater is due to intermixing of two or more groundwater bodies with different hydrochemical compositions. Barring a few locations, most of the groundwater samples are suitable for irrigation uses. Chemical fertilizers, sugar factories and anthropogenic activities are contributing to the sulphate and chloride concentrations in the groundwater of the study area. Overexploitation of aquifers induced multi componential mixing of groundwater with agricultural return flow waters is responsible for generating groundwater of various compositions in its lateral extent.


Groundwater Hydrochemistry Muzaffarnagar Irrigation Weathering 



The authors express gratitude to the Director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi for granting permission to carry out this research work. The authors also acknowledge the help and encouragement rendered by the Principal, CCR College (PG), Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. Field assistance provided by Sh. Maange Ram is thankfully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuclear Research LaboratoryIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural ChemistryCCR College (PG)MuzaffarnagarIndia

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