Arsenic mobilization in the aquifers of three physiographic settings of West Bengal, India: understanding geogenic and anthropogenic influences

Bhowmick, Subhamoy and Nath, Bibhash and Halder, Dipti and Biswas, Ashis and Majumder, Santanu and Mondal, Priyanka and Chakraborty, Sudipta and Nriagu, Jerome and Bhattacharya, Prosun and Iglesias, Monica and Roman-Ross, Gabriela and Guha Mazumder, Debendranath and Bundschuh, Jochen and Chatterjee, Debashis (2013) Arsenic mobilization in the aquifers of three physiographic settings of West Bengal, India: understanding geogenic and anthropogenic influences. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 262. pp. 915-923. ISSN 0304-3894


A comparative hydrogeochemical study was carried out in West Bengal, India covering three physiographic regions, Debagram and Chakdaha located in the Bhagirathi-Hooghly alluvial plain and Baruipur in the delta front, to demonstrate the control of geogenic and anthropogenic influences on groundwater arsenic (As) mobilization. Groundwater samples (n = 90) from tube wells were analyzed for different physico-chemical parameters. The low redox potential (Eh = -185 to -86 mV) and dominant As(III) and Fe(II) concentrations are indicative of anoxic nature of the aquifer. The shallow (<100 m) and deeper (>100 m) aquifers of Bhagirathi-Hooghly alluvial plains as well as shallow aquifers of delta front are characterized by Ca 2+ {single bond}HCO 3 - type water, whereas Na + and Cl - enrichment is found in the deeper aquifer of delta front. The equilibrium of groundwater with respect to carbonate minerals and their precipitation/dissolution seems to be controlling the overall groundwater chemistry. The low SO 4 2- and high DOC, PO 4 3- and HCO 3 concentrations in groundwater signify ongoing microbial mediated redox processes favoring As mobilization in the aquifer. The As release is influenced by both geogenic (i.e. geomorphology) and anthropogenic (i.e. unsewered sanitation) processes. Multiple geochemical processes, e.g., Fe-oxyhydroxides reduction and carbonate dissolution, are responsible for high As occurrence in groundwaters.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Published online 11 Jul 2012. Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2012 02:31
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2014 01:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: aquifers; arsenic; Bengal Delta Plain; geomorphology; land use; West Bengal
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0403 Geology > 040301 Basin Analysis
04 Earth Sciences > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.)
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961103 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments (excl. Urban and Industrial Use)
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.07.014

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