Arabian Journal of Geosciences

, Volume 6, Issue 9, pp 3257–3267 | Cite as

Hydrochemical characteristics of groundwater in the plains of Phalgu River in Gaya, Bihar, India

  • Rajesh Kumar RanjanEmail author
  • AL. Ramanathan
  • Purushothaman Parthasarathy
  • Alok Kumar
Original Paper


Assessment of groundwater quality is essential to ensure sustainable use of it for drinking, agricultural, and industrial purposes. The chemical quality of groundwater of Gaya region has been studied in detail in this work to delineate the potable groundwater zones. A total of 30 groundwater samples and 2 surface water samples were collected in and around Gaya district of Bihar. The major cations follow the trend: Ca2+ > Mg2+ > Na+ > K+. The domination of calcium ions in the groundwater is due to weathering of rocks. The K+ ranged between 0.2 and 47.95 ppm, suggesting its abundance the below desired limit; but some samples were found to be above permissible limit. K+ weathering of potash silicate and the use of potash fertilizer could be the source. The major anions abundance followed the order HCO 3  > Cl > SO 4 2−  > NO 3  > PO 4 3− . Dissolution of carbonates and reaction of silicates with carbonic acid accounts for the addition of HCO 3 to the groundwater and oxidation of sulphite may be the source of SO 4 2− . Principal component analysis was utilized to reflect those chemical data with the greatest correlation and seven major principal components (PCs) representing >80 % of cumulative variance were able to interpret the most information contained in the data. PC1, PC2 and PC3 reflect the hydrogeochemical processes like mineral dissolution, weathering and anthropogenic sources. PC4, PC5, PC6 and PC7 show monotonic, random and independent relationships.


Hydrogeochemistry Anthropogenic Contamination Alluvial Aquifers 



The authors would like to thank Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India and University Grants Commission, India for the fellowships in the form of JRF and SRF. The authors would also like to thank School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University for providing Central Instrumentation Facility for carrying out this research. The authors are thankful to the reviewers for the suggestions to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajesh Kumar Ranjan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • AL. Ramanathan
    • 2
  • Purushothaman Parthasarathy
    • 3
  • Alok Kumar
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Earth Biological and Environmental SciencesCentral University of BiharPatnaIndia
  2. 2.School of Environmental SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.National Institute of HydrologyRoorkeeIndia

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