Chemometric analysis to infer hydro-geochemical processes in a semi-arid region of India

Abstract

Groundwater exploitation in Punjab has increased in last few decades due to rapid increase in industrialization, population, crop production, and erratic monsoon. In the present study, groundwater samples from 29 locations were collected and analyzed for almost all major anions, cations, and heavy metals. The analyzed parameters formed the attribute database for statistical analysis. The study approach included multivariate statistical analysis of hydro-chemical data to identify hydro-geochemical processes occurring in the study area and its relation to groundwater quality. The principal component analysis produced seven significant factors that explained nearly 77 % of the cumulative variance. Factor 1 explained nearly 22.05 % of dataset with variables loading indicating mineralization of geological component of soil. Trilinear plot and other graphical methods were also used to identify chemical facies of groundwater and geochemical processes occurring in study area. The water type in the study area is of Na/K–Mg–HCO3 type. It was found that the general hydro-geochemistry of groundwater in the study area dominated is by the processes such as carbonate/silicate weathering, ion-exchange, and dissolution. Thus, statistical methods can prove to be an effective tool understanding hydro-geochemistry of a region along with conventional graphical methods.

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Acknowledgment

The authors are very much thankful to the anonymous reviewers as the inputs provided by the reviewers helped us improve the manuscript. The author also acknowledges funding support by Dept. of Science and Technology to carry out this research work.

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Correspondence to Chander Kumar Singh.

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Singh, C.K., Shashtri, S., Rina, K. et al. Chemometric analysis to infer hydro-geochemical processes in a semi-arid region of India. Arab J Geosci 6, 2915–2932 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-012-0597-3

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Keywords

  • Factor analysis
  • Principal component analysis
  • Groundwater
  • Punjab