Você está na página 1de 10

International Symposium on Geomorphological Factors of Coastal Groundwater Salinity in Central Kerala 315 Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM2014)

February 1921, 2014, CWRDM, Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Geomorphological Factors of Coastal Groundwater Salinity in Central Kerala: Integrated Hydrochemical-Geospatial Approach
Priju C P1, Ramisha N, Neerajamol T P, Madhavan K and Narasimha Prasad N B
Centre for Water Resources Development and Management, Kunnamangalam, Kozhikode673 571, Kerala, India E-mial; 1cppriju@gmail.com

ABSTRACT: Groundwater salinity in the coastal region extending from Ernakulam to Alappuzha of central Kerala was studied in relation to hydrogeology and geomorphology. Geomorphological mapping of the study area was carried out with the help of digital satellite data (IRS P6 LISS III, bands 1, 2, 3 and 4) acquired in February 2010. The study revealed the presence of various geomorphological units viz., barrier islands, spit, lagoon, beach ridges and swale complex, mudflats and intertidal flats, floodplains, marshy areas and mangrove swamps of coastal origin. The landform units of fluvial origin viz., paleochannels, abandoned channels, point bar, channel Island, swamps/river flood plains etc. were also identified. Well water samples (115 open wells) from various geomorphological units were collected in the pre-monsoon season (2011) and were analysed for water quality parameters viz. pH, temperature, EC, alkalinity, salinity, turbidity, TDS, chloride (Cl), total hardness, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, SO42 and Fe2+. The hydro-chemical data obtained from different morphological/landform units were compared and correlated. Bivariate plots viz., chloride content vs. water level elevation, conductivity vs. chloride and piper diagram was plotted to understand the geomorphological controls on groundwater salinity. Older and younger coastal plain alluvium consist a major portion of the study area and also by flood plains, floodplain lowlands, alluvial plain, paleo-channels and abandoned channels. The water samples from ridges, alluvial and coastal plain areas are generally of good quality. The water samples from floodplain areas are generally of poor quality, i.e. affected by salinity, turbidity and hardness. However, in the northern part of the study area, i.e, Vypin, Njarakkal, Ernakulam and near Thannermukkam bund, the anthropogenic activities superseded the geomorphological controls and poor quality groundwater. The water level elevation vs. chloride concentration, EC vs. Chloride concentration and piper plot shows the geomorphological control on groundwater salinity. Keywords: Coastal Aquifers, Geomorphology, Saline Intrusion, Central Kerala Coast.

INTRODUCTION
Groundwater salinization is extensive and represents a special category of groundwater pollution in the coastal regions. Most of the freshwater salinization along the coastal areas

316

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM2014)

and oceanic islands are due to the encroachment of seawater through surface and subsurface pathways (Gingerich and Voss 2005; Post 2005; Trabelsi et al., 2007). Seawater intrusion has received wide attention in the most populated coastal areas since almost 50% of the worlds total population lives within 60 km of the shoreline (Chen et al., 1997; Izuka and Gingerich, 1998; Salama et al., 1999; Radhakrishna 2001; Lee et al., 2002; Cardona et al., 2004; Bridge and Allen 2006; Feseker 2007). There are different causes for the salinization of fresh water zones of aquifers; which mainly depends on local hydrogeological and geomorphic characteristics. The presence of fissures and cracks and fractures in the aquifer and smallscale heterogeneities in the hydraulic properties also has great influence on the hydrogeology of an area and development of the saltwater ingress and groundwater salinization (Bense et al., 1998; Radhakrishna 2001; Kukillaya et al., 2004; Bridger and Allen 2006). The groundwater quality problems, especially due to salinization of freshwater aquifers have been mainly reported from Ernakulam, Thrissur and Alleppey coasts (CGWBKR, 2007). In Ernakulam, seawater intrusion is severe around Chellanum and Vypin coasts. Many studies have been carried out on the hydro-geochemistry and water quality of coastal aquifers of Kerala (Keerthiseelan et al., 2001; George and Shrine Clarit 2002; Pareek et al., 2006; Kukillaya et al., 2004; Laluraj et al., 2005; Manjusree et al., 2009; Harikumar and Kokkal 2009). The demarcation of areal extent of saline intrusion was also done by some researchers (Basak and Vasudev 1983; Basak and Nasimudin 1987; Ahmed Ali et al., 1987; Vatakkepat and Narasimha Prasad 1991; Vinayachandran et al., 2003; Kukillaya et al., 2004). Most of these studies are on the water quality parameters and did not look into the role of hydro-geomorphological units

Fig. 1: Map of the Study Area Showing Geology and Well Sample Locations

Geomorphological Factors of Coastal Groundwater Salinity in Central Kerala

317

on groundwater salinity patterns. The present study focuses on mapping different landform units and to assess the water quality in shallow aquifers representing each hydro-geomorphic unit. The study area comprises the coastal belt extending from Alappuzha in the south to Ernakulam in the north and laterally it extends towards midland region in the east (Figure 1). The area receives an average annual rainfall of about 3000 mm and is drained by six major rivers viz., southern arm of Periyar, Muvattupuzha, Pamba, Achankovil, Manimala and Meenachil. Vemband backwater system and associated wetlands constitute a major part of the study area.

MATERIALS AND METHODS


Geomorphological mapping of the study area was carried out with the help of digital satellite data (IRS P6 LISS III, bands 1, 2, 3 and 4) acquired on February 2010. Geomorphological units were identified and the corresponding well sample locations were noted. Water samples from 115 shallow wells were collected during pre-monsoon 2011 period (Figure 1). The pH, Temperature, TDS, electrical conductivity, salinity of the samples was measured in-situ using Eutech multi-parameter instrument. The concentration of major ions (cations and anions) was analyzed in the laboratory as per the standard method (APHA 2005). Na+ and K+ in the water samples was analyzed using Flame photometer (SYSTRONICS Model: 1382). Ca2+ and Mg2+ were estimated by EDTA titrimetric method, and Cl content was determined by argentometric titration using standard silver nitrate as reagent. Carbonate concentration of the water samples was determined by titration method. Sulphate concentration was determined following turbidity method using Nephlo-Turbidity meter.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Hydro-Geomorphology


The area mainly covered by the low land coastal plain and part of lateritic mid land. It is observed that in most of the places the soil formation is clayey sand to sandy clay. In some places the aquifer is laterite overlain on weathered crystalline basement. Riverine alluvium, sandy soil, clayey soil and fine sand were also found in other locations. The coastal landforms are conspicuous in the coastal plain region, consists of sand and alluvium. Other major geomorphological features identified from the area are barrier islands, beach ridges, mudflats and tidal flats, flood plains and mangrove swamps (Figure 2). The ground elevation ranges from 0.398 m above MSL. The data shows a smooth gradient in the coastal plain part (08 m) compared to the eastern side adjoining midlands. The maximum ground elevation of 98 m above MSL is noticed in the eastern part. The lowland area that forms the western part comprises of backwaters, lagoons and artificial channel networks. The midland areas lying east of the low land coastal plain has natural drainages. As a whole the area has a slope downwards from east to west.

Hydrochemistry In-situ parameters (Temp., pH, EC, TDS and Salinity)


The water temperature of the samples ranged from 2533.4C. Spatially water temperature in the wells near to the coast/coastal inlet is comparatively higher than the wells adjacent to the

318

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM2014)

Fig. 2: Hydro-Geomorphology Map of the Study Area Showing Different Landform Units and Ground Elevation from MSL

river mouths. pH of the water samples varied from 5.89 with average of 7.4. Most of the samples have pH within the drinking quality limit (BIS). The spatial plot of pH shows that north-western and southern part of the study area is covered by alkaline water. Alkalinity of water samples is higher in the coastal region compared to midland areas. Acidic nature water is noted along northeastern and southern part of study area. The electrical conductivity (EC) of the water samples varied from 4439670 S/cm with average of 1703 S/cm. Higher EC was detected in the water samples collected around Cochin inlet and in the areas viz., Kadamakkudi, Elangunnapuzha, Kumbalam, Maradu and Vaikom. The TDS content in the water samples varied from 1523630 mg/L with average of 813 mg/L. In most part of the study area the water is fresh (TDS <1000 mg/L) which is suitable for human and animal consumption. Higher TDS content was detected in the water samples from Kadamakkudi,

Fig. 3: Spatial Plots Showing Variations in pH, EC, TDS and Salinity in the Water Samples

Geomorphological Factors of Coastal Groundwater Salinity in Central Kerala

319

Vallarpadam, Kumbalam and Trippunithura areas. TDS content shows an increasing trend in the wells around Cochin inlet and the areas adjacent to the Lake The salinity of the water samples ranged from 022.84 ppt with average of 0.75 ppt. Salinity of water samples follows the same trend of electrical conductivity and total dissolved solids. Higher salinity (>1.0 ppt) was observed in Kadamakkudi, Vallarpadam, Kumbalam, Marad, Trippunithura and Vaikom areas compared to the southern parts (Figure 3).

Laboratory Analysis of Water Samples


Major Ions: The results show that CaHCO3 hydrochemical facies is the dominant water type. All the wells are tapping groundwater from the shallow aquifers and there is more heterogeneity in the major ion composition in the water samples. Eight different hydrochemical facies are identified among the water samples. Cations (Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+ and K+): Calcium (Ca2+) content in the water samples ranged between 31488 mg/L (average 64 mg/L) within the permissible limit in most of the samples (WHO, 1995). Magnesium (Mg2+) content in the water samples ranged between 0505 mg/L (average 25 mg/L). Calcium content is higher in Kadamakkudi, Kumbalam areas and magnesium content is higher in Kadamakkudi, Vypin, Vallarpadam and Fort Cochin areas (Figure 4). Sodium (Na+) content in the water samples ranged from 51424 mg/L with average of 124 mg/L. High Na+ content were observed in the well water samples from Trippunitura, Maradu, Kadamakkudi, Kumbalam, Vallarpadam, Kavalam areas (Figure 4). Lower Na+ values are exhibited south western parts of the study area. Potassium (K+) content in the water samples varied from 1106 mg/L with an average of 12 mg/L. Potassium content is higher in the water samples from Trippunitura, Marad, Kadamakkudi, Kumbalam, Kumarakam, Vaikom, Nedumudi, Vadakkal areas (Figure 4).

Fig. 4: Spatial Plots Showing Variations in Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+ and K+ in the Water Samples

Total Alkalinity (TA) and Total Hardness (TH): The total alkalinity of water samples range from 9836 mg/L with an average of 164 mg/L. Higher alkalinity (TA) is noted in the southern, western and northern eastern parts of the study area, whereas lower alkalinity is noted along Cherthala, Talayolaparabu areas (Figure 5). The hardness (TH) of the well water samples ranged from 164400 mg CaCO3/L with an average of 272 mg CaCO3/L. The results show that in most parts of the study area, groundwater is fresh with TH <300 mg/L (Figure 5).

320

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM2014)

Fig. 5: Spatial Plots Showing Variations in TA, TH, Cl and SO42 in the Water Samples

Anions (Cl and SO42): The Chloride (Cl) values in the water samples ranged from 84477 mg/L with an average of 282 mg/L. The Cl content in most of the water samples are within the desirable limit as per BIS (< 250.0 mg/L). The Cl content is less in the region of higher topographic elevation than in the surrounding coastal areas indicating groundwater composition in alluvial aquifers are largely influenced by seawater intrusion, the main source of chloride. Chloride (Cl) content is higher in water samples collected from Trippunitura, Marad, Kumbalam, Vallarpadam, Kumarakam areas (Figure 5). The Sulphate (SO4 2) content in the water samples varied from 2640 mg/L, with an average of 48 mg/L. Higher SO42 content was found in the samples from Varapuzha, Vallarpadam, Kumbalam and Marad, Kumarakam areas. Generally SO42 content is lesser in the areas with higher elevation (Figure 5). Iron (Fe2+): Iron (Fe2+) was detected in few samples (34 out of 115) and is at low concentration (max. 1.4 mg/L). Higher Fe2+ content was noted in Mararikulam, Arathungal and Cherthala areas. The Fe2+ values obtained for the water samples are within the desirable limit (BIS, 1993).

Hill-Piper Plot and Ground Water Type


The HCO3-Cl-SO4 anion triangle plotted show groundwater samples have bicarbonate and chloride type end members and sulphate is not present in significant proportion. The Ca-Mg-Na

Fig. 6: Pie Diagram Showing Proportions of Different Hydro-Chemical Facies

Geomorphological Factors of Coastal Groundwater Salinity in Central Kerala

321

cation triangle show that the major cations present in the sample are Ca and Na. Sixty three water samples are Ca dominant, 43 of them are Na dominant and 9 are Mg dominant (Figure 6). It shows that alkaline earths (Ca+Mg) exceed alkalies (Na+K) and weak acids (SO4+Cl) exceed strong acids (HCO3+CO3). Overall eight water types are seen from the study area. The dominant hydrochemical facies (53 samples out of 115 samples) is Ca-HCO3 followed by NaCl and Na-HCO3. Spatially Ca-HCO3 facies is distributed in the western part of the study area adjoining Vembanad Lake and sea.

Hydro-Geochemical Relationships
Correlation Coefficient: The correlations between various hydro-geochemical parameters are obtained from the correlation coefficients. The results show a very good correlation (0.700 0.862) between TDS and TH, Ca2+, Na+, Cl as well as TH and Ca2+, Mg2+ (0.8320.86). Na+ also shows very good correlation (0.7450.825) with K+, Cl. Good correlation is seen between TDS and TA, Mg2+, K+, SO42 (0.4800.674). Ca2+ also shows good correlation (0.5230.745) with sodium, potassium, chloride and sulphate. TA with TH and calcium (0.4350.604) and TH with sodium and chloride (0.5300.536) also show good correlation. Good correlation is also noted between Mg2+ and Cl (0.542), Na+ and SO42 (0.470) and Cl and SO42(0.497). Bivariate plots: Scatter plot of the water table elevation vs. chloride concentration shows an inverse correlation (R = 0.1). i.e., as the water table elevation decreases, the chloride concentration increases (Figure 11). Very good positive correlation is seen between hardness (TH) vs. Calcium (R = 0.77), Magnesium (R = 0.81) and Electrical Conductivity (R = 0.81). Positive correlation is also seen between Conductivity (EC) vs. Chloride (R = 0.72) and Sodium vs. Chloride (R = 0.56). The ratio of Sodium and Chloride (Na+/Cl) plotted against log EC shows an inverse correlation (R = 0.14).

Fig. 7: US Salinity Diagram Showing Salinity and Alkalinity Hazard of the Water Samples

322

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM2014)

US Salinity Diagram: The US Salinity diagram (specific conductance vs. sodium-adsorption ratio) shows that majority of the water samples have medium-high salinity hazard and lowmedium sodium hazard (Figure 7). Low salinity hazard is exhibited by twenty six samples and very high salinity hazard by two samples collected from Manakkodam and Kadamakudi. In case of sodium hazard, six samples belong to high category and eight samples belong to very high category.

CONCLUSION
The study is an attempt to investigate the interrelation of ground water quality with hydrogeomorphology along Ernakulam-Alappuzha area. Geomorphologically, the area is covered with extensive backwaters/lagoon system and dynamic barrier-island complexes with ridgeswale topography. This forms an ideal landform setting for the study of coastal aquifer system with respect to geomorphology and saline intrusion. The surface elevation model shows a smooth gradient in the majority of the study area, except in the eastern part adjoining the midlands. An elevation of 98 m above MSL is noted in the eastern part and it ranges from 08 m above MSL in the coastal plain areas. The temperature of well water samples ranged from 2533.4C. The pH of the samples varied from 5.89 (av. 7.4). Most of the samples were found within the permissible limit (BIS). The electrical conductivity of the samples varies between 4439670 S/cm (av.1703 S/cm). The TDS level in the water samples ranged from 1523630 mg/L (av. 813 mg/L). The salinity of the water samples ranged from 022.84 ppt (av. 0.75 ppt). TDS levels indicate that majority of the samples are within safe limit (250 mg/L) and rest mainly within 500 mg/L. Different water types (eight) were obtained from Hill-Piper plots of hydrochemical data. The dominant hydrochemical facies (53 samples out of 115 samples) is Ca-HCO3 followed by Na-Cl and Na-HCO3. Spatially Ca-HCO3 facies is distributed in the western part of the study area adjoining the lagoon and sea. All the wells are tapping groundwater from shallow aquifers, thus there is more heterogeneity in the major ion concentration of water samples. Total alkalinity (TA) in the water samples ranged from 9836 mg/L is found within permissible limit (BIS). Total hardness (TH) of the water samples ranged from 164400 mg CaCO3/L (av.272 mg CaCO3/L). Iron content (Fe2+) is reported only in few of the samples. The chloride (Cl) content in majority of the water samples are within 100 mg/L, few samples exceeding the limit. The hydro-geochemical relationship of the samples was obtained from correlation coefficients and bivariate plots. The results show a very good correlation (0.7000.862) between TDS and TH, Ca2+, Na+, Cl as well as TH and Ca2+, Mg2+ (0.8320.86). Na+ also shows very good correlation (0.7450.825) with K+, Cl. Good correlation is seen between TDS and TA, Mg2+, K+, SO42 (0.4800.674). Ca2+ also shows good correlation (0.5230.745) with sodium, potassium, chloride and sulphate. TA with TH and calcium (0.4350.604) and TH with sodium and chloride (0.5300.536) also show good correlation. Good correlation is also seen between Mg2+ and Cl (0.542), Na+ and SO42 (0.470) and Cl and SO42(0.497). The US Salinity diagram shows that majority of the water samples have medium-high salinity hazard and low-medium sodium hazard. The hydro-chemical data obtained from different morphological/landform units shows good interrelationship. Older and younger coastal plain alluvium consist a major portion of the study area and also by flood plains, floodplain lowlands, alluvial plain, paleo-channels and

Geomorphological Factors of Coastal Groundwater Salinity in Central Kerala

323

abandoned channels. The water samples from ridges, alluvial and coastal plain areas are generally of good quality. The water samples from floodplain areas are generally of poor quality, i.e. affected by salinity, turbidity and hardness. However, in the northern part of the study area, i.e, Vypin, Njarakkal, Ernakulam and near Thannermukkam bund, the anthropogenic activities superseded the geomorphological controls and poor quality groundwater.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Authors thank Executive Director, Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) for the permission and extending support for publishing this work. This paper form part of the Plan N40 project of CWRDM sanctioned under Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) funding. Authors thank Dr. P.S. Harikumar, Head, Water Quality Division, CWRDM for extending the facility in analyzing the water samples.

REFERENCES
Basak, P. and Nasimudin, M. (1987). Seawater intrusion in coastal unconfined aquifers of the southwestern peninsulaa case study. Jal Vigyan Sameeksha, a publication of high level technical committee on hydrology, 2(1): 7280. Basak, P. and Vasudev (1983). Saltwater intrusion in typical coastal aquifers of Kerala. Paper presented in the workshop on the recent advances in the groundwater exploration and management at NGRI, Hyderabad, pp. 2729. Bense, V., Hooijboer, A. and Brokx, W. (1998). Morphotectonic and hydrogeomorphic control on the hydrogeology of the Buffelsrivier catchment. Technical ReportA hydrogeologic case study on the Great Escarpment in Namaqualand, South Africa, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 101p. Bridge, D.W. and Allen, D.M. (2006). An investigation into the effects of diffusion on salinity distribution beneath the Fraser river delta. Hydrogeology Journal, 14:14231442. Cardona, A., Carrillo-Rivera, J.J., Huizar-Alvarez, R. and Graniel-Castro, E. (2004). Salinization in coastal aquifers of arid zones: an example from Santo Domingo, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Environ. Geol., 45: 350366. CGWBKR (2007). Hydro Geological Conditions of Kerala. http://cgwb.gov.in/KR/ Chen, H., Zhang, Y., Wang, X., Ren, Z. and Li, L. (1997). Salt-water intrusion in the lower reaches of the Weihe river, Shandong Province, China. Hydrogeology Journal, 5(3): 8288. Feseker, T. (2007). Numerical studies on saltwater intrusion in a coastal aquifer in northwestern Germany. Hydrogeology Journal, 15: 267279. George, A.V. and Shrine Clarit, C.G. (2002). Influence of saline water intrusion in the freshwater bodies of Vypin Island, Ernakulam district, Kerala. Proc. of National seminar on current environmental problems and management, Christ College, Irinjalakuda, Kerala, pp 194200. Gingerich, S.B. and Voss, C.I. (2005). Three-dimensional variable-density flow simulation of a coastal aquifer in southern Oahu, Hawaii, USA. Hydrogeology Journal, 13: 436450. Harikumar, P.S. and Kokkal, K. (2009). Environmental Monitoring programme on water quality. Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment, Thiruvanathapuram. 174p. Izuka, S.K. and Gingerich, S.B. (1998). Estimation of the depth to the fresh-water/salt-water interface from vertical head gradients in wells in coastal and island aquifers. Hydrogeology Journal, 6: 365373. Keerthiseelan, K., Kapoor, S.L., Suresha, A. and Prakash, T.R. (2001). Salinity intrusion from tidal recharge and its impact on groundwater quality in Goa state. Jour. Geol. Soc. India, 57: 257262. Kukillaya, J.P., Padmanabhan, K. and Radhakrishnan, K. (2004). Occurrence of Brackish groundwater in fractured hard rock aquifers of Puzhakkal-Avanur area in Thrissur, Kerala. Jour. Geol. Soc. India, 64 (1): 3242.

324

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM2014)

Laluraj, C.M., Gopinath, G. and Dineshkumar, P.K. (2005). Groundwater chemistry of shallow aquifers in the coastal zones of Cochin, India. Applied Ecology and Environ. Research, 3(1): 133139. Lee, S., Kim, K., Ko, I., Lee, S. and Hwang, H. (2002). Geochemical and geophysical monitoring of saline water intrusion in Korean paddy fields. Environ. Geochemistry and Health, 24: 277291. Manjusree, T.M., Sabu Joseph and Jobin, Thomas (2009). Hydrogeochemistry and groundwater quality in the coastal sandy clay aquifers of Alappuzha district, Kerala. Jour. Geol. Soc. India, 74 (4): 459468. Pareek, N., Jat, M.K. and Jain, S.K. (2006). The utilization of brackish water, protecting the quality of the upper fresh water layer in coastal aquifers. Environmentalist, 26: 237246. Post, V.E.A. (2005). Fresh and saline groundwater interaction in coastal aquifers: Is our technology ready for the problems ahead? Hydrogeology Journal, 13: 120123. Radhakrishna, I. (2001). Saline fresh water interface structure in Mahanadi delta region, Orissa, India. Environ. Geol., 40(3): 369380. Salama, R.B., Otto, C.J. and Fitzpatrick, R.W. (1999). Contributions of groundwater conditions to soil and water salinization. Hydrogeology Journal, 7: 4664. Trabelsi, R., Zairi, M. and Dhia, H.B. (2007). Groundwater salinization of the Sfax superficial aquifer, Tunisia. Hydrogeology Journal (online version), DOI 10.1007/s10040-007-0182-0. Vatakkepat, H. and Narasimha Prasad, N.B. (1991). Salinity of groundwater in the Kole lands of Trichur district, Kerala. Proc. Sem. Groundwater Development and Management in irrigation and other water sectors, CWRDM, Kozhikode, pp. 235242. Vinayachandran, N., Kunhambu, V. and Nayagam, S.P. (2003). A study on seawater ingress in the coastal aquifers in parts of Alleppey and ernakulam districts, Kerala state, Unpub. Rep., Central Ground Water Board.