Hydrogeochemical modelling for groundwater in Neyveli aquifer, Tamil Nadu, India, Using PHREEQC: A case study
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Sophisticated geochemical models have been used to describe and predict the chemical behaviour of complex natural waters and also to protect the groundwater resources from future contamination. One such model is used to study the hydrogeochemical complexity in a mine area. Extraction of groundwater from the coastal aquifer has been in progress for decades to mine lignite in Neyveli. This extraction has developed a cone of depression around the mine site. This cone of depression is well established by the geochemical nature of groundwater in the region. 42 groundwater samples were collected in a definite pattern and they were analysed for major cations, anions and trace elements. The saturation index(SI) of the groundwater for carbonate, sulphate and silica minerals was studied and it has been correlated with the recharge and the discharge regions. The SI of alumino silicates has been used to decipher the stage of weathering. The SIGibbsite SIK-feldspar has been spatially distributed and the regions of discharge and recharge were identified. Then two flow paths A1 and A2 were identified and inverse modelling using PHREEQC were carried out to delineate the geochemical process that has taken place from recharge to discharge. The initial and final solutions in both the flow paths were correlated with the thermodynamic silicate stability diagrams of groundwater and it was found that the state of thermodynamic stability of the end solutions along the flow path were approaching similar states of equilibrium at the discharge.
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