Geochemical characterization and heavy metal contamination of groundwater in Satluj River Basin

Abstract

Groundwater, a renewable and finite natural resource, vital for man’s life, social and economic development and a valuable component of the ecosystem, is vulnerable to natural and human impacts. The aim of present study is to evaluate hydrogeochemical parameters and heavy metals in groundwater and to study their spatial distribution in the Rupnagar District of Punjab. The spatial distribution of physico-chemical parameters were studied using Arc GIS 9.2. It was observed that the concentration of parameters, such as NO3, Cd, Cr, Mn and Pb was above permissible limit (World Health Organization, WHO) in southern part of the study area. The heavy metal pollution index (HPI) was calculated for all sampling locations and it was found much above the critical limit of pollution. Geochemical reaction models of selected water groups were constructed using Phreeqc. Geochemical modeling suggests that sodium has source other than halite-albite and calcium has alternate source other than gypsum-carbonate or silicates. It also suggests that evaporites, ion exchange, dissolution along with anthropogenic activities are controlling the hydro-geochemistry of groundwater in the region. Various indices, such as heavy metal pollution index, permeability index, sodium adsorption ratio, were studied to verify suitability of groundwater for drinking and irrigation.

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Acknowledgments

The author (CKS) thanks to Sat Pal Mittal trust for providing the fellowship. The author also thanks the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions. The author also acknowledges Jawaharlal Nehru University for providing various instrument facilities to carry out research work.

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Correspondence to Chander Kumar Singh.

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Singh, C.K., Rina, K., Singh, R.P. et al. Geochemical characterization and heavy metal contamination of groundwater in Satluj River Basin. Environ Earth Sci 71, 201–216 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-013-2424-x

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Keywords

  • GIS
  • Groundwater quality
  • Phreeqc
  • Satluj River
  • Saturation index
  • HPI