Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 157–180 | Cite as

Modeling groundwater quality over a humid subtropical region using numerical indices, earth observation datasets, and X-ray diffraction technique: a case study of Allahabad district, India

  • Sudhir Kumar Singh
  • Prashant K. SrivastavaEmail author
  • Dharmveer Singh
  • Dawei Han
  • Sandeep Kumar Gautam
  • A. C. Pandey
Original Paper


Water is undoubtedly the vital commodity for all living creatures and required for well-being of the human society. The present work is based on the surveys and chemical analyses performed on the collected groundwater samples in a part of the Ganga basin in order to understand the sources and evolution of the water quality in the region. The two standard indices such as water quality index and synthetic pollution index for the classification of water in the region are computed. The soil and sediment analysis are carried out with the help of X-ray diffractometer (XRD) for the identification of possible source of ions in water from rock and soil weathering. The dominant minerals which include quartz, muscovite, plagioclase, and orthoclase are reported in the area. The study further utilizes the multivariate statistical techniques for handling large and complex datasets in order to get better information about the groundwater quality. The following statistical methods such as cluster analysis (CA), factor analysis (FA), and principal component analysis (PCA) are applied to handle the large datasets and to understand the latent structure of the data. Through FA/PCAs, we have identified a total of 3 factors in pre-monsoon and 4 factors in post-monsoon season, which are responsible for the whole data structure. These factors explain 77.62 and 82.39 % of the total variance of the pre- and post-monsoon datasets. On the other hand, CA depicted the regions that have similar pollutants origin. The average value of synthetic pollution index of groundwater during pre-monsoon is 9.27, while during post-monsoon, it has been recorded as 8.74. On the other hand, the average values of water quality index of groundwater during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons are found as 217.59 and 233.02, respectively. The study indicates that there occurs an extensive urbanization with gradual vast development of various small- and large-scale industries, which is responsible for degradation in water quality. The overall analysis reveals that the agricultural runoff, waste disposal, leaching, and irrigation with wastewater are the main causes of groundwater pollution followed by some degree of pollution from geogenic sources such as rock and soil weathering, confirmed through XRD analysis.


Water quality index XRD Synthetic pollution index Ganga basin Remote sensing and GIS Multivariate analysis 



Authors are grateful to School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University and University Grant Commission, New Delhi, Grant No. (F. No. 42-74/2013(SR) for their technical and financial support, respectively. The views expressed here are those of the authors solely and do not constitute a statement of policy, decision, or position on behalf of NASA or the authors’ affiliated institutions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sudhir Kumar Singh
    • 1
  • Prashant K. Srivastava
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Dharmveer Singh
    • 5
  • Dawei Han
    • 4
  • Sandeep Kumar Gautam
    • 6
  • A. C. Pandey
    • 1
  1. 1.K. Banerjee Centre of Atmospheric and Ocean Studies, IIDS, Nehru Science CentreUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  2. 2.Hydrological Sciences (Code 617)NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltUSA
  3. 3.Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC)University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  5. 5.Department of ChemistryUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia
  6. 6.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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