Sources of major ions and processes affecting the geochemical and isotopic signatures of subsurface waters along a tropical river, Southwestern India

G. P. Gurumurthy, K. Balakrishna, M. Tripti, Jean Riotte, Stéphane Audry, Jean Jacques Braun, Luc Lambs, H. N. Udaya Shankar

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Systematic monitoring of subsurface hydrogeochemistry has been carried out for a period of one year in a humid tropical region along the Nethravati–Gurupur River. The major ion and stable isotope (δ18O and δ2H) compositions are used to understand the hydrogeochemistry of groundwater and its interaction with surface water. In the study, it is observed that intense weathering of source rocks is the major source of chemical elements to the surface and subsurface waters. In addition, agricultural activities and atmospheric contributions also control the major ion chemistry of water in the study area. There is a clear seasonality in the groundwater chemistry, which is related to the recharge and discharge of the hydrological system. On a temporal scale, there is a decrease in major cation concentrations during the monsoon which is a result of dilution of sources from the weathering of rock minerals, and an increase in anion concentrations which is contributed by the atmosphere, accompanied by an increase in water level during the monsoon. The stable isotope composition indicates that groundwater in the basin is of meteoric origin and recharged directly from the local precipitation during the monsoonal season. Soon after the monsoon, groundwater and surface water mix in the subsurface region. The groundwater feeds the surface water during the lean river flow season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-346
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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