The study area Mettur forms an important industrial town situated NW of Salem district. The geology of the area is mainly composed of Archean crystalline metamorphic complexes. To identify the major process activated for controlling the groundwater chemistry an attempt has been made by collecting a total of 46 groundwater samples for two different seasons, viz., pre-monsoon and post-monsoon. The groundwater chemistry is dominated by silicate weathering and (Na + Mg) and (Cl + SO4) accounts of about 90% of cations and anions. The contribution of (Ca +Mg) and (Na + K) to total cations and HCO3 indicates the domination of silicate weathering as major sources for cations. The plot for Na to Cl indicates higher Cl in both seasons, derived from Anthropogenic (human) sources from fertilizer, road salt, human and animal waste, and industrial applications, minor representations of Na also indicates source from weathering of silicate-bearing minerals. The plot for Na/Cl to EC indicates Na released from silicate weathering process which is also supported by higher HCO3 values in both the seasons. Ion exchange process is also activated in the study area which is indicated by shifting to right in plot for Ca +Mg to SO4 + HCO3. The plot of Na − Cl to Ca +Mg − HCO3 − SO4 confirms that Ca, Mg and Na concentrations in groundwater are derived from aquifer materials. Thermodynamic plot indicates that groundwater is in equilibrium with kaolinite, muscovite and chlorite minerals. Saturation index of silicate and carbonate minerals indicate oversaturation during pre-monsoon and undersaturation during post-monsoon, conforming dissolution and dilution process. In general, water chemistry is guided by complex weathering process, ion exchange along with influence of Cl ions from anthropogenic impact.
Volume 129, 2020
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