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Groundwater quality in and around Tuticorin town, Southeast coast of India



Groundwater quality in and around Tuticorin town, Southeast coast of India



Journal of Indian Geophysical Union 21(1): 34-43



Rapid urbanization coupled with growth in agriculture and industries has led to deterioration of groundwater quality. The problem is severe in the coastal tracts due to salinity ingression since the last few decades. The present paper deals with a systematic hydrogeochemical study carried out in and around Tuticorin town covering an area of about 120 km(2) to assess groundwater quality. A total of 29 groundwater samples were collected and analyzed. Analysis of major ions has shown the anomalous values for total dissolved solids (TDS), sodium (Na+), magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (Cl-), and sulphate (SO42-) resulting in degradation of groundwater quality. Only 21% of samples are potable based on the TDS values. The order of major cations and anions obtained are Na+> Mg2+> Ca2+> K+ and Cl-> SO42- > HCO3-> NO3- > F-, respectively. The results of these parameters were interpreted with the help of Piper, Wilcox and Gibbs diagrams apart from correlation matrix analysis. Cross plot of HCO3-/Cl-(molar ratios) versus TDS indicated that about 72% of the analyzed samples are brackish and saline in nature. Out of them, about 42% samples are NaCl-type. On the basis of interpretation of US Salinity diagram, it is found that majority of the samples have very high salinity hazard and sodium hazard, and represent evaporation dominance.

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