Main content area

Hydrologic and Hydrogeologic Characterization of a Deltaic Aquifer System in Orissa, Eastern India

Mohanty, S., Jha, Madan K., Kumar, Ashwani, Jena, S. K.
Water resources management 2012 v.26 no.7 pp. 1899-1928
aquifers, basins, computer software, groundwater, groundwater flow, hydraulic conductivity, irrigation, land use, models, monsoon season, rain, remote sensing, rivers, runoff, sand, summer, temporal variation, water quality, water table, watersheds, India
The present study focuses on the in-depth hydrologic and hydrogeologic analyses of Kathajodi-Surua Inter-basin within the Mahanadi deltaic system of Orissa, eastern India to explore the possibility of enhanced and sustainable groundwater supply. The results of 6 years (2001–2006) streamflow analysis indicated that the river flow is highly seasonal and it reduces to almost no flow during summer seasons. Land use map of the study area for the monsoon (Kharif) and post-monsoon (Rabi) seasons was developed by remote sensing technique and runoff estimation was done by curve number method. The runoff estimated for the 20-year period (1990–2009) varied from a minimum of 10.2% of the total monsoon rainfall in 1995 to a maximum of 43.3% in 2003. The stratigraphy analysis indicated that a leaky confined aquifer comprising medium to coarse sand exists at depths of 15 to 50 m and has a thickness of 20 to 55 m. The analysis of pumping test data at 9 sites by Aquifer-Test software indicated that the aquifer hydraulic conductivity ranges from 11.3 to 96.8 m/day, suggesting significant aquifer heterogeneity. Overall groundwater flow is from north-west to south-east direction. There is a 5 to 6 m temporal variation and 3 to 4 m spatial variation of groundwater levels over the basin. The rainfall-groundwater dynamics and stream-aquifer interaction in the river basin were studied by correlation analysis of groundwater level with weekly rainfall and river stage. The correlation between the weekly rainfall and weekly groundwater level was found to vary from ‘poor’ to ‘fair’ (r = 0.333 to 0.659). In contrast, the weekly groundwater level was found to be strongly correlated with the weekly river stage (r = 0.686 to 0.891). The groundwater quality was found suitable for both irrigation and drinking purposes. It is recommended that a simulation-cum-optimization modeling following an integrated approach is essential for efficient utilization of groundwater resources in the study area.