Dissolved Organic Carbon in Multilayered Aquifers of Pondicherry Region (India): Spatial and Temporal Variability and Relationships to Major Ion Chemistry
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Carbon, which is an essential element found in rocks and minerals, is used by biologically diverse life forms as a source of energy. Natural organic carbon is mainly derived from decomposing vegetation and other organic matter in the soil zone. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is an important component in biogeochemical cycling of elements characterized by high susceptibility to leaching. The significance of DOC was studied in layered coastal aquifers of the Pondicherry region during four different seasons. Pondicherry region has varied geological setup ranging from Cretaceous to Recent formations. A total of 324 groundwater samples were collected from various aquifers, namely Alluvium, Tertiary, Cretaceous, and Mixed formations, during different seasons of pre-monsoon, southwest monsoon, northeast monsoon, and post-monsoon. The samples were analyzed for major ions and DOC. The range of DOC in the study area is 0–10 mg/l. Very high DOC concentrations were measured in most of the samples from Alluvium and Upper Cuddalore Formation and in few samples from the Lower Cuddalore Formation. The relationships of DOC with other ions in this study indicate that the hydrochemistry of groundwater was controlled by both aerobic and anaerobic environments in the different formations of the study area.
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