A study on the impact of weathering in groundwater chemistry of a hard rock aquifer
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Hydrogeochemistry of groundwater in hard rock terrain are mainly governed by lithology and land use practices. A study area near Madurai region of central Tamil Nadu was selected with various litho-units and a hard rock sedimentary contact with an unconformity. Land use practices in these regions are also varied with lithology. The study was conducted by collecting 54 groundwater samples spatially covering the major litho-units. Collected samples were analyzed for electrical conductivity, pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), temperature, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Cl, HCO3, NO3, H4SiO4, PO4, and SO4. The results of the samples analyzed found to vary spatially. Dominance of ion shows that the alkalies are predominant and HCO3 is the dominant anion. Piper facies show that the samples are alkali-carbonate type indicating the predominance of weathering. Most of the parameters exceed the drinking water permissible limit. Standard plots and statistical analysis also indicate weathering as the major process governing the hydrogeochemistry of the groundwater in the region. Relative mobility of cations indicates that the rate of liberation of alkalies from the lithology is more prominent.
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