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Assessment of hydrogeochemistry and contamination of Varamin deep aquifer, Tehran Province, Iran

Mahmoudi, Nina, Nakhaei, Mohammad, Porhemmat, Jahangir
Environmental earth sciences 2017 v.76 no.10 pp. 370
adsorption, aquifers, bicarbonates, calcite, chlorides, crop yield, dolomite, groundwater, gypsum, hydrogeochemistry, ion exchange, ions, irrigation, magnesium, sodium, sodium carbonate, sulfates, wastewater, Iran
The present study investigates the hydrogeochemistry and contamination of Varamin deep aquifer located in the southeast of Tehran province, Iran. The study also evaluates groundwater suitability for irrigation uses. The hydrogeochemical study was conducted by collecting and analyzing 154 groundwater samples seasonally during 2014. Based on evolutionary sequence of Chebotarev, the aquifer is in the stage of SO₄ + HCO₃ in the north half of the plain and it has evolved into SO₄ + Cl in the south half. The unusual increase in TDS and Cl⁻ toward the western boundaries of the aquifer indicates some anomalies. These anomalies have originated from discharge of untreated wastewater of Tehran city in these areas. The studied aquifer contains four dominant groundwater types including Na–Ca–SO₄ (55%), Na–Ca–HCO₃ (22%), Na–Cl (13%) and Ca–Cl (10%). The spatial distributions of Na–Cl and Ca–Cl water types coincide with observed anomalies. Ionic relationships of SO₄ ²⁻ versus Cl⁻ and Na⁺ versus Cl⁻ confirm that water–rock interaction and anthropogenic contribution are main sources of these ions in the groundwater. The main processes governing the chemistry of the groundwater are the dissolution of calcite, dolomite and gypsum along the flow path, and direct ion exchange. Reverse ion exchange controls the groundwater chemistry in the areas contaminated with untreated wastewater. Based on Na% and SAR, 10.3 and 27% of water samples are unsuitable for irrigation purposes, respectively. Regarding residual sodium carbonate, there is no treat for crop yields. Only 6% of water samples represent magnesium adsorption ratios more than 50% which are harmful and unsuitable for irrigation.