Preliminary assessment of groundwater hydrogeochemistry within Gilan, a northern province of Iran

  • M. J. Nematollahi
  • M. J. R. Clark
  • P. Ebrahimi
  • M. Ebrahimi


In four basins of Gilan province, groundwater samples were collected from 127 piezometric wells to investigate the hydrogeochemistry of groundwater, and additionally its suitability for drinking and irrigation purposes. The average concentrations of major cations and anions follow the order of Ca2+ > Na+ > Mg2+ > K+ and \( {\mathrm{HCO}}_3^{-}>{\mathrm{Cl}}^{-}>{\mathrm{SO}}_4^{2-}>{\mathrm{CO}}_3^{2-} \), respectively. Using Piper diagram delineation, CaMgHCO3 was determined as the main hydrogeochemical facies of groundwater. According to Piper diagrams, Gibbs plots, and ionic ratios, silicate weathering and ion exchange are the major processes regulating the groundwater hydrochemistry. Furthermore, saturation indices (SIs) revealed that carbonate precipitation also plays an important role in aquifers. Among the processes, weathering of silicate minerals seems to be the dominant process. Comparing the analyzed major ions and physicochemical parameters with the WHO guideline values indicates that the potability of most groundwater samples is generally acceptable. Electrical conductivity (EC) and total dissolved solid (TDS) measurements along with sodium percentage (SP), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), Kelley’s index (KI), and residual sodium carbonate (RSC) calculations suggest that groundwater in many areas is suitable for irrigation use. Nonetheless, total hardness (TH) values ranging as high as 650.0 mg/l reveal many groundwater samples to be classified as hard and very hard, indicating a requirement for long-term monitoring and further evaluation. The present study shows that the groundwater quality in Lahijan, Astaneh, and to a lesser extent Fouman drainage basins is lower than in Talesh. Therefore, intense monitoring programs towards enhanced water management practices are recommended before poorer quality groundwater is further utilized.


Groundwater suitability Processes controlling groundwater hydrochemistry WHO guideline values Sodium percentage Sodium adsorption ratio Residual sodium carbonate 



The authors would like to express their gratitude to Gilan regional water organization experts for making this study possible.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Nematollahi
    • 1
  • M. J. R. Clark
    • 2
  • P. Ebrahimi
    • 1
  • M. Ebrahimi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Earth Sciences, College of SciencesShiraz UniversityShirazIran
  2. 2.Commonwealth Scientific Ltd.VictoriaCanada
  3. 3.Department of Geology, Faculty of SciencesUniversity of ZanjanZanjanIran

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