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Groundwater arsenic contamination from parts of the Ghaghara Basin, India: influence of fluvial geomorphology and Quaternary morphostratigraphy
- Shah, Babar Ali
- Appl Water Sci 2017 v.7 no.5 pp. 2587-2595
- World Health Organization, alluvium, aquifers, arsenic, atomic absorption spectrometry, basins, floodplains, groundwater, guidelines, highlands, hydrides, iron hydroxides, mountains, pollution load, rivers, sediment yield, towns, villages, India
- A groundwater arsenic (As) distribution in Faizabad, Gonda, and Basti districts of Uttar Pradesh is shown in the entrenched channels and floodplains of the Ghaghara River. Tubewell water samples were analysed for As through flow injection hydride generation atomic absorption spectrometry (FI-HG-AAS) system. About 38, 61, and 42 % of tubewells in Faizabad, Gonda, and Basti districts, respectively, have As >10 µg/l (WHO guideline). Moreover, 15, 45, and 26 % of tubewells in Faizabad, Gonda, and Basti districts, respectively, have As above 50 µg/l. About 86, 69, and 35 % of tubewells in Faizabad, Gonda, and Basti districts, respectively, are from shallow depth (21–45 m), and it is worth noticing that 47 % As-contaminated (As >10 µg/l) tubewells in these three districts are located within the depth of 10–35 m in Holocene Newer Alluvium aquifers. The high content of As (7.11 mg/kg) is measured in suspended river sediments of the Ghaghara River. Most of the As-contaminated villages in the Ghaghara Basin are located close to abandoned or present meander channels and floodplains of the Ghaghara River. In contrast, tubewells in Faizabad, Ayodhya, and Nawabganj towns are As-safe because of their positions on the Pleistocene Older Alluvium upland surfaces. Quaternary geomorphology plays an important role in groundwater arsenic contamination in the Ghaghara Basin. The sources of groundwater arsenic are geogenic and perennial mountainous rivers in the Ghaghara Basin supplied high sediment loads. The arsenic in groundwater of Ghaghara Basin is getting released from associated sediments which were likely deposited from the Himalayas. The process of release of groundwater arsenic is reductive dissolution of iron hydroxides.