Major ion chemistry, catchment weathering and water quality of Renuka Lake, north-west Himalaya, India

  • Pawan KumarEmail author
  • Narendra Kumar Meena
  • Ambrish Kumar Mahajan
Original Article


The water samples collected from Renuka Lake during pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon seasons were analyzed to know water quality related to major ion chemistry and other essential parameters. The water is found to be slightly alkaline having pH value 7.22–8.66. Both Ca2+ and Mg2+ are observed as the dominant cations, whereas SO42− and HCO3 are dominant anions during all seasons. The Piper plot has shown Ca2+–HCO3 type of water during pre- to post-monsoon seasons. Alkaline earth metals (Ca2+ and Mg2+) are noticed to exceed over alkali metals (Na+ and K+), and weak acid (HCO3) surpass over strong acid (SO42−) in all seasons. The carbonate weathering of surrounding rocks is found to be the dominant source of major ions for the lake during pre- to post-monsoon. The WQI values 176.45–184.91 from monsoon to pre-monsoon have revealed that the water of Renuka Lake is unsuitable for drinking. The higher value of WQI is mainly due to increased concentration of F, which is produced from the fluorapatite, cryolite and mica etc., and anthropogenic activities. Its concentration more than standard permissible limit may be very harmful for human being and aquatic species. However, based on sodium per cent (11.88–15.62%), sodium adsorption ratio (0.48–0.61) and residual sodium carbonate (< 2.5 meq/L), the water quality is determined  fit for irrigation. The lake has indicated seasonal variations of Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+ and HCO3, etc., which may be due to changing temperature, monsoon rain and human activities. Thus, stringent mitigation measures are required to reduce increased concentration of various physiochemical parameters and preservation of the Renuka Lake.


Alkaline earth metals Carbonate weathering Major ion chemistry Mineral dissolution Mitigation measures Water quality 



The authors thank the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Central University of Himachal Pradesh (CUHP) for his encouragement and support for publishing this manuscript. The authors heartily thank the Director, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG), Dehradun. The authors acknowledge the local administration of the lake and R. K. Verma (R.F.O., Renukaji, wild life range, H.P.) for providing permission, boat facility and other support system during collection of water samples.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pawan Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Narendra Kumar Meena
    • 2
  • Ambrish Kumar Mahajan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesCentral University of Himachal PradeshDharamshalaIndia
  2. 2.Wadia Institute of Himalayan GeologyDehradunIndia

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