Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 67–76 | Cite as

Spatial analysis of fluoride concentration in groundwaters of Shivani watershed area, Karnataka state, South India, through geospatial information system

  • D. C. KantharajaEmail author
  • T. K. Lakkundi
  • M. Basavanna
  • S. Manjappa
Original Article


Hydrogeochemical investigations with emphasis on groundwater fluoride concentrations were carried out in the Shivani watershed area, Karnataka, South India. This drought-prone watershed is characterised by poor groundwater potential and is composed of different lithounits like gneisses, migmatites, tonalites, mafics–ultramafics, conglomerates and quartzites. Analysis of spatial variation of groundwater fluoride concentration through the use of GIS technology software platforms like ArcView 3.2a and MapInfo Professional 8.5 has enabled the identification of low-fluoride and high-fluoride areas within the watershed. Geochemical data indicates that 38% of groundwater samples have excessive fluoride concentration which poses a health risk to the population of the area. Correlation studies indicate that higher groundwater alkalinity activates leaching of fluoride resulting in elevated concentrations of fluoride. No other significant geochemical interrelationship could be identified between fluoride and rest of the physico-chemical parameters owing to the lack of any significant correlation coefficients. This holds good in the case of both low-fluoride (<1.5 mg/L) and high-fluoride (>1.5 mg/L) groundwaters of the watershed. However, differential or non-uniform type (positive or negative) of coefficient of correlation is observed between fluoride at different levels and other physico-chemical parameters. Among the different lithounits of the study area, gneisses house comparatively more number of high-fluoride groundwaters. Fluoride-bearing minerals biotite, hornblende and apatite are the probable natural sources of groundwater fluoride.


Groundwater quality Fluoride Shivani GIS Spatial information 



The authors thank, The Chairman, Department of Studies in Geology, Karnatak University, Dharwad, for extending necessary facilities to carryout this work. Authors express their gratitude to Prof. Basavarajappa, Bapuji Institute of Engineering and Technology, Davanagere, for his help in carrying out groundwater analysis for fluoride and nitrate. Sincere thanks to the anonymous reviewers for undertaking thorough review, suggestions and encouragement.


  1. Alapieti TT (2008) PGE mineralization in the late Archaean iron-rich mafic ultramafic Hanumalapur complex, Karnataka, India. Mineral Petrol 92:99–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. APHA (1995) Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater, 19th edn. American Public Health Association, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  3. Athavale RN, Das RK (1999) Beware! Fluorosis is zeroing in on you. Down to Earth 8:24–25Google Scholar
  4. Ayoob S, Gupta AK (2006) Fluoride in drinking water: a review on the status and stress effects. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 36:433–487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. BIS Bureau of Indian Standards Drinking water specification (2006) IS:10500, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  6. Chakraborti D, Chanda CR, Samanta G, Chowdhury UK, Mukherjee SC, Pal AB (2000) Fluorosis in Assam, India. Curr Sci 78:1421–1423Google Scholar
  7. Dev Burman GK, Singh B, Khatri P (1995) Hydrogeochemical studies of groundwater having high fluoride contents in Chandrapur district. Gondwana Geol Mag 9:71–80Google Scholar
  8. Devaraju TC, Alapieti TT (1994) Evidence of PGE mineralization in the Channagiri mafic complex, Shimoga District, Karnataka. J Geol Soc India 43:317–318Google Scholar
  9. Dhiman SD, Keshari AK (2006) Hydrogeochemical evaluation of high-fluoride groundwaters: a case study from Mehsana district, Gujarat, India. Hydrol Sci 51(6):1149–1162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Handa BK (1975) Geochemistry and genesis of fluoride containing groundwaters in India. Groundwater 13:275–281Google Scholar
  11. Hem JD (1985) Study and interpretation of the chemical characteristics of natural water, 2nd edn. US Geological Survey Water Supply Paper-2254Google Scholar
  12. Hem JD (1991) Study and interpretation of the chemical characteristics of natural water, Book 2254, vol 3. Scientific Publications, JodhpurGoogle Scholar
  13. Jacks G, Rajagopalan K, Alveteg T, Jonsson M (1993) Genesis of high-F groundwaters, southern India. Appl Geohem Suppl. Issue No. 2:241–244Google Scholar
  14. Jacks G, Bhattacharya P, Chaudhary V, Singh KP (2005) Controls on the genesis of some high-fluoride groundwaters in India. Appl Geochem 20:221–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Karthikeyan G, Pius Anita, Appa Rao BV (1996) Contribution of fluoride in water and food to the prevalence of fluorosis in areas of Tamilnadu in South India. Fluoride 29(3):151Google Scholar
  16. Kodata KJ, Pophare AM, Gajbhiye K, Meshram Y (2007) Hydrochemistry of groundwater from Bhadravati tehsil, Chandrapur district, Maharashtra, with special reference to fluoride contamination. Gondwana Geol Mag 11:113–118Google Scholar
  17. Lee JR (2000) Hip fracture and fluoride—revisited: a critique. Fluoride 33(1):2Google Scholar
  18. Madhavan N, Subramanian V (2002) Fluoride in fractioned soil samples of Ajmer district, Rajasthan. J Environ Monit 4:821–822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Muralidharan D, Nair AP, Satyanarayana U (2002) Fluoride in shallow aquifers in Rajgarh tehsil of Churu district, Rajasthan—an arid environment. Curr Sci 83:699–702Google Scholar
  20. Onyango MS, Kojima Y, Aoyi O, Bernardo EC, Matsuda H (2004) Adsorption equilibrium modelling and solution chemistry dependence of fluoride removal from water by trivalent-cation exchanged zeolite, F-9. J Colloid Interface Sci 279:341–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pillai KS, Stanley VA (2002) Implications of fluoride—an endless uncertainty. J Environ Biol 23:81–97Google Scholar
  22. Robinson WD, Edington G (1946) Fluorine in soils. Soil Sci 61:341–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Salve PR, Maurya A, Kumbhare PS, Ramteke DS, Wate SR (2008) Assessment of groundwater quality with respect to fluoride. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 81:289–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sarma DRR, Rao SLN (1997) Fluoride concentrations in ground waters of Visakhapatnam, India. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 58:241–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Saxena VK, Ahmed S (2003) Inferring the chemical parameters for the dissolution of fluoride in groundwater. Environ Geol 43:731–736Google Scholar
  26. Sreedevi PD, Ahmed S, Made B, Ledoux E, Gandolfi JM (2006) Association of hydrogeological factors in temporal variations of fluoride concentration in a crystalline aquifer in India. Environ Geol 50:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Srikanth R, Anees K, Madhu MR (1994) Fluoride in borehole waters in 20 villages of Medak district, A.P., India. Fluoride 27:97Google Scholar
  28. Strunz H (1970) Mineralogische Tabellen, 5, Aufl. Geest und Portig, LeipzigGoogle Scholar
  29. Subba Rao N (2003) Groundwater quality—focus on fluoride concentration in rural parts of Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh, India. Hydrol Sci J 48:835–847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Subba Rao N (2008) Fluoride in groundwater, Varaha river basin, Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh, India. Environ Monit Assess. doi: 10.1007/s10661-008-0295-5
  31. Subba Rao N, Prakasa Rao J, Nagamalleswara Rao B, Niranjan Babu P, Madhusudhana Reddy P, John Devadas D (1998) A preliminary report on fluoride content in groundwaters of Guntur Area, Andhra Pradesh, India. Curr Sci 75:887–888Google Scholar
  32. Susheela AK (1999) Fluorosis management programme in India. Curr Sci 77:1250–1256Google Scholar
  33. Tirumalesh K, Shivanna K, Jalihal AA (2006) Isotope hydrochemical approach to understand fluoride release into groundwaters of Ilkal area, Bagalkot district, Karnataka, India. Hydrogeol J. doi: 10.1007/s10040-006-0107-3
  34. Tiwari AN, Nawale VP, Tambe JA, Satya Kumar Y (2008) Correlation of fluoride with bicarbonate in groundwater of exploratory wells in parts of Maharashtra. J Appl Geochem 10:93–102Google Scholar
  35. Todd DK (1980) Groundwater hydrology, 2nd edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  36. Trivedi YR, Goel PK (1984) Chemical and biological methods for water pollution studies. Environmental Publications, KaradGoogle Scholar
  37. WHO (2005) World Health Organization’s recommendations for drinking water. J Geol Soc India 66:5Google Scholar
  38. Wodeyar BK, Sreenivasan G (1996) Occurrence of fluoride in the groundwaters and its impact in Peddavankahalla Basin, Bellary District, Karnataka, India—a preliminary study. Curr Sci 70:71–74Google Scholar
  39. Zhang BO, Hong M, Zhao Y, Lin X, Zhang X, Dong J (2003) Distribution and risk assessment of fluoride in drinking water in the west plain region of Jilin Province, China. Environ Geochem Health 25:421–431. doi: 10.1023/B:EGAH.0000004560.47697.91 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. C. Kantharaja
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • T. K. Lakkundi
    • 1
  • M. Basavanna
    • 1
  • S. Manjappa
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeologyKarnatak UniversityDharwadIndia
  2. 2.Department of Analytical ChemistryKuvempu UniversityDavanagere-4India
  3. 3.Guyana Geology and Mines CommissionGeorgetownSouth America

Personalised recommendations